Started this book because the title somehow seemed to fit in … last days of 2013, finished in 2014. Thus my first finished read of the year, I’ll declare. And a good read – Adam Nevill was hitherto unknown to me and I picked the book more or less at random in the library. “Last Days” sounded good, always liked a good apocalyptic tale.
What I did not know: it featured a heap of stuff that I am interested in, always have been. Let me name-check a few, like Jim Jones (yes, drink the Cool-Aid and pray), Charles Manson (Helter Skelter and all that), the Process Church and Scientology, with hints at the Children of God and their flirty fishing. Messianic leaders with a destructive, exploitative trend. Fascinating. And then … ah … Jan van Leyden, the Münster Anabaptists, all neatly rolled into one package.
Which only split apart because, frankly speaking, those “Blood Friends” coming from another dimension (or so) did not do it for me. Neither did the rather hastily assembled endgame where big guns are more important than intelligence or anything supernatural. Kinda like a zombie splatter movie in the end.
Talking about movies … much of the book is concerned with movie making and I actually liked those bits, found them very insightful. Everybody chasing the dime by hoping for that one big movie that’ll actually be made on a budget and not only win critical acclaim, but also hit pay-dirt at the box office.
Also quite convincing … that 1960s background of the original cult/sect/brotherhood, a golden dream turning sour. Seemed quite convincing.
All in all, as I said, a good read. Though the graphic supernatural bits did not quite work for me. And the solution was nowhere as neat or as mysterious as I expected. It was strictly middle of the road, vanilla, a rather hasty end to an initially sprawling book.
Recommended … but with reservations. Don’t expect a masterpiece. But okay for solid entertainment in-between.