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The Last Canadian

Like many librarians, I also have a large collection of books at home made up of favourites that I return to again and again. An early addition to my own collection was a book I stole from my mother's bookshelf when I was twelve (sorry Mom!). The Last Canadian, written By Willam C. Heine (former London Free Press editor), is different than the majority of titles I own. It never won a Giller or was nominated for a Booker, but it's a mesmerizing adventure page turner despite some flaws. The movie "The Patriot" is very loosely based on the novel.

Imagine that you are one of the lone survivors on the continent after disaster strikes and most of the population dies. This is the situation in which Gene Arnprior finds himself. The narrative follows his struggles to survive - to save his family, to find other survivors and to punish those who have caused the disaster. The plot twists and turns and kept this reader up till the book was finished. Flaws? Written in the 1970's, women in the book are viewed as potential sex partners and are not strong characters. The main character is not developed as well as he could be thus the potential for some interesting, introspective perspective is lost. Despite these flaws, I believe it is still worth picking up and reading (or reading again).  Reviews on Amazon are split - some loved it and some hated it. Why not give it a try and see what you think?

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