Saturday, 23 January 2016

REVIEW - The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker


Title: The End of the World Running Club

Author: Adrian J Walker

Publisher: Del Rey

Release Date: 5th May 2016 (Paperback) - Available now for Kindle

Source: Net Galley
Edgar Hill is 35 and caught in his own headlock. Overweight slob, under-performing husband and reluctant father – for Ed, the world may as well have already ended. So when it does end in a catastrophic asteroid strike and Edgar and his family find refuge in an Edinburgh army barracks, it comes as something of a relief.

But nothing's ever that simple. Returning from a salvage run in the city, Edgar finds his family gone, taken to the south coast for evacuation by an international task force. Suddenly he finds himself facing a gruelling journey on foot across a devastated United Kingdom. Edgar must race against time and overcome his own short-comings, not to mention 100 mile canyons and a heavily flooded west coast, to find the people he loves before he loses them forever...

A vivid, gripping story of hope, long-distance running and how we break the limits of our own endurance.

It is set in Scotland, oh my goodness a book about the end of the world and it is set in Scotland, it is a miracle.  To be precise it is set in and around Edinburgh and it starts with our introduction to Edgar, an overweight excuse of a husband and father.

Edgar loves his wife and he loves his two young children but he isn't really in love with the whole fatherhood ideal.  His marriage is on a sticky wicket but he has just resigned himself to the mundane though mundane is about to get a lot more "interesting".  The shit is about to hit the fan.

On a collision course with earth, an asteroid is about to come and claim humanity and wipe their legacy of the face of the planet, nowhere is safe, not even Edinburgh.

Waking up from a night on the piss (and the couch) he realises that something is happening, leaving the house, the harsh reality of what is coming sets in and he quickly shoplifts stock from the corner shop to provide for his family.

His house has a basement, the perfect safe haven to ride out the storm with his wife and kids unfortunately for him some of his other neighbours realise he has a basement too, they want in.

The book gets a bit harrowing to read at this time, there is the urgency of Ed and his family getting to safety, the frightened neighbours trying to get in to Ed's house and then the asteroid hitting is described in bowel releasing details.  It is scary shit, incredible yet so sad to read at the same time.

Thankfully Ed survives as does his family and they suffer in the depths of their basement until one day a couple of weeks later they are rescued, what is left of the military takes them to a barracks in Edinburgh.  What they see on the way their is plain shocking, the devastation is everywhere, houses, cars and bodies, burnt to a crisp.

They aren't the only survivors, Ed meets some fellow gents and strikes up a particular friendship with his polar opposite Bryce.  The military want the able to survivors to be able to help and to do that they need to train so they are fit enough to scout the ruins for supplies.

Now for lard-ass Ed this is a shock to the system but her perseveres whilst his wife keeps an eye on the kids.  His relationship with his wife is still frosty at the best of times but now really isn't the time for marriage guidance as staying alive is higher up the list.

The end of the world of course brings out the worst in people and the scum of the earth have already started locking down valuable supplies, leaving Ed and his fellow survivors struggling.  Returning from a supply run he discovers that his wife, kids and other survivors have been taken south to the far south of England where boats are going to be sailing for safety, away from the devastated UK.

The problem is those helicopters that took them away are not coming back and those boats are going to be setting sail soon.  For a man who has put his family low on his list of priorities he realises he needs them and he doesn't care how but he is going to get there.

Now Edinburgh to the South of England by car without the massive potholes left by an asteroid would take probably 10 odd hours, an hour if you have the luxury of a plane, they have nothing.

A motley crew along with Ed include an Australian pensioner, a crazy biker and a female military officer.  They do find transport but those wheels don't stay with them for long and their only option is to use their feet, they run.

This book once you get past the harrowing initial scenes is just amazing.  Ed is really an anti-hero but him a his fellow runners show some amazing stamina as they go from unfit to slightly fitter with blisters.

They journey through the worst possible scenery, encountering the worst kind of people that only surface during the end of the world including an extra from Coronation Street (not an actual extra!!) in Manchester who is ruling her colony with an iron fist and some interesting pig farmers.

An excellent read that scared me shitless then went on make me laugh, make me cry and make me realise the power of having good friends too.  I am off to have a run....

Thanks to Del Rey for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.



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5 comments

  1. Funny thing about this book- it used to be self-published. I bought it because its cover (at the time) was killer (as well as the concept). To be honest, I kind of miss the old cover. Glad you loved it, Heather!
    ~Litha Nelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I had seen it before! Still it is a great read and hopefully will attract some new readers.

      Delete
  2. This book sounds amazing. Your review just convinced me, I have to read it now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just finished and agree it's a fab read. So did he really meet Jesus and was Bryce real?

    ReplyDelete

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