Friday, 22 May 2020

Book Review - The Last Act of Adam Campbell by Andy Jones

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Title: The Last Act of Adam Campbell
Author: Andy Jones
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 28th May 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

A year can go quickly. Particularly when it's your last.

Adam had a good life: a job he enjoyed, a nice house, a loving partner and a bright six-year-old daughter. Then he cheated on his partner. Then she kicked him out of their home. And then he was given approximately twelve months to live.

Despite the devastating news, Adam is determined to turn his life around before it finally runs out. Help comes in the form of an ex-junky, a cantankerous train driver, a nun experiencing a crisis of faith, and a teenager intent on losing her virginity - all living on borrowed time, all desperate to feel alive before their time is up.

I'm really not sure what to say about this book.  Don't get me wrong its incredibly well written, and given the way it ends I'm feeling oddly uplifted (which based on the epilogue possibly shouldn't be the case),  but at the same time. I thought it was a book with its ups and downs. 

I loved the beginning third, and the last quarter or so, but the section in the middle of the book, honestly just dragged for me, coupled with the in depth details of all the various symptoms the characters have, of their side affects from the medication, and I felt ill in parts just reading it. 

For its a book that centres around a group of people who are facing their own impending mortality, all diagnosed with Cancer, and with limited amount of time left to live.   They first meet in a support group to deal with this, but it progresses from there into so much more. 

I loved seeing how the group came together and just what they were working on even if some of the Shakespeare quotes and references went over my head completely. 

As warped as this may sound I kept reading to see just how many of the group would be alive by the end of the book and just how things would turn out in all of their lives.    Such a varied group of people, and we get to also know their families too, it just shows that Cancer takes no prisoners, it's not selective and can affect anyone. 

I really did care for some of the main people, and there were moments of light relief, bits to make you smile, as well as potentially be quite emotional. 

Certainly a well written book that has crept under my skin more than I would have anticipated, even while reading it, and a change in direction from what I recall the authors previous books to be. 

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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