ARCHIVES: “LAST POLICEMAN” Discussed Dec. 15/15


Suzanne, Lynsey, Shauna, Margaret, Sabrina, Richard, Jan, Agnes, Val, Rosemary, Linda, Bill
Abs: Nancy, Kulsomom, Jane, Kyla

Mixed acceptance
The members, somewhat evenly divided in their acceptance of this novel, generally were lukewarm to it.

Apocalypse related themes and plots seem to be popular today. The TV shows which rate highly with viewers deal with cataclysmic events, the end of the planet, earth’s inevitable self-destruction by careless waste, nuclear immolation and the like; Revolution, Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Falling Skies and then there are the movies, V, Logan’s Run, Jurassic Park, The Hunger Games, And this popularity pervades literature: The Hunger Games, Magic Bees, Stand, The Harvesting, Kill Them Dead, Dead Chaos, the list seems endless.

Why this popularity
Is this popularity of today’s society’s dissatisfaction with politicians, unhappiness with the social order, or the expectation that ‘The Fall’ is inevitable. Who knows! But The Last Policeman buys into this popularity.

The ‘Likes’
The writer studies human behaviour in the face of the doom of an apocalyptic event, the earth being hit by an asteroid. Some club members found this examination educational, if not entertaining. They felt the message written in Winter’s first book of a trilogy of apocalyptic novels was that the strongest will survive and dominate.

Others found the story engaging because it examined various people and their varied responses to the impending disaster.

Yet others felt the novel simply fell in line with our pleasure in self-titillation by playing with the things we fear; one member related the story of a grandchild being told threatening evil spirits lie in ambush under the heating grates on the floor.

We hunger for laughter again
The club members are beginning to yearn for some humorous books a la Terry Fallis, ‘No Relation’ and Jonas Jonasson, ‘The 100 Year Old Man Who Jumped Out The Window.’ But no humorous books are on the horizon.

As one member underlined, the large size of our club skews its dynamics in unexpected ways. There is a broad range of tastes, of genres liked or disliked. An additional wrinkle with large club size is that staying on task of discussing the book is a challenge. With such a large number of thinking adults, the deviation and delving into philosophical discussions is inevitable, less favoured by some, very much enjoyed by others. The Last Policeman afforded us this sidetracking also: discussion of suicide; consideration of our own reaction to the impending doom; knowing the specific date and time of one’s own death vs. knowing how one will die. These are not the most tasteful topics for discussion; more like picking at a scab to be titillated by the zaps of painful irritation.

The final word
Whether The Last Policeman was liked or not, the members did agree that membership in the book club presents each of us with opportunities of reading book genres which lie outside our regular interests.

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  1. Why did our detective keep working at his job when so many others abandoned theirs for their ‘bucket list’? Would you keep working ? Would you runaway?
  2. Might you consider suicide ?
  3. What is the purpose of the dog Houdini?
  4. How does Hank Palace compare to your favorite fictional detectives?
  5. If THE LAST POLICEMAN were made into a movie who would you cast as Hank? As the director?
  6. How/Why is money seen as a motivator in this novel ?
  7. Why sell drugs for money when soon money and whatever it could buy will be non-existent?
  8. If you had to choice which would you want to know and why ?
  9. WHEN you would die ? Or HOW you would die?
  10. This book is the first part of a trilogy -your thoughts ?

And finally….big thanks
All of us thank this month’s moderator, Margaret, for the delicious caloric treats. Instead of doing the theme of the book, Margaret gave consideration to the upcoming holiday. The Christmas cake was yummy and the chocolate coated puff biscuits were scrumptious. No wonder I can’t lose weight…I read on my butt and eat like goodies like a chunky Scottish terrier….ok ok, but I don’t think there is a breed of Polish terriers!

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