After London: or, Wild England by Richard Jefferies
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
One of the worst endings ever!
The book is divided into two parts, the first and shortest part being a description of how nature has reclaimed England in the wake of some unexplained event that wiped out “modern” man (of the Victorian era). The bulk of the book is about Felix, the heir to a minor lord, who goes exploring the post-apocalyptic landscape and the adventures he has.
In many cases I love Victorian prose. However, this is no Dickens or Stoker or Collins. Jefferies’ prose is pretty dry and subdued, his story never filled with much emotion and never really putting us in the action. Felix is likeable enough, but he’s a pretty standard Victorian English trope. I also had some trouble with the description of the technology and social morays of the setting. It seemed a little too feudal to be a futuristic setting, in my opinion.
Still, I would have given the book three stars if not for that horrible ending. As the words ran out like sand from an hourglass I was wondering, “How are we going to resolve this major issue is the space left?” The answer was simple. We didn’t resolve it. Ugh!
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