The Last Three by Almon Chu

The Last Three - Almon Chun-San Chu,  Alina Kli.

I read this awhile ago and am still fixing/updating my GR reviews one by one and will probably be 90 or so by the time I finish this project!

 

The Last Three is a short novel that tells the story of Jon, a young guy living on the edge of hopelessness in a corroding and soul sucking city that threatens to consume all who dare walk its streets.

The writing here is exceptional in its portrayal of a decaying city and its struggling inhabitants. It truly is a tale of modern day dystopia, painting an accurate picture of urban decay as more people become homeless, quaint businesses are forced to close up shop only to be replaced by shadier shops that contribute to the blight.

“The sidewalks were spotted black with old gum, its crevices and fissures filled with cigarette butts and small pieces of shredded garbage. I was stopped at an intersection by a red light, a blur of cars roared past. The roads were patchwork, lines of tar crisscrossed segments of asphalt, like wrinkles on an old face. The numerous pot-holes and depressions were filled with black water of obscure origin. I inhaled the last sweet breath of cigarette smoke and flicked the filter to the ground.”



Jon works himself to the bone at one of the shadier underground businesses, saving his money so one day soon he is able to move and reunite with his love Eris. He jokes that his daily diet consist of a cigarette but as the story progresses you realize he’s only half kidding. Jon’s health and mental state is deteriorating as he comes to the realization that Eris may (or may not) be avoiding his calls and may (or may not) have already betrayed him. I won’t give it all away but you get the gist.

There is some realistic dialogue between friends and a few humorous cracks that felt genuine. I enjoyed the gritty dialogue and cutting remarks that helped bring Jon and his small circle of friends to life. The city, here though, is as much a character as Jon and all the others. I was taken in immediately by the bleakness and despair at the heart of the writing but really felt for Jon who was stuck in this landscape and losing hope page by page.

Recommend for anyone willing to take a long, hard look at the uglier side of life.

 

*The FTC makes me say that I received this copy from the author. Naturally I reviewed it like I would any other book with honesty, sarcasm (if the mood strikes) and all personal biases firmly intact.