There are several theories as to just how the beautiful blue ball we all travel on each day will end. Asteroids, earthquakes, volcanoes and nuclear wars dominate book shelves, in both the fiction and nonfiction sections all over the world and the web. There is a less talked about, but nonetheless serious, situation that many believe is on our doorstep in reality.
Economic and political turmoil rocks our world every day. Examples of the death and destruction due to wars and violent protests drown out the few remaining sentiments of good news that seem to exist. There is a questions that many of us have always wondered, just how those innocent people trapped in these situations live their day to day lives.
The end my Friend by Kirby Wright answers that question, in its own way. The story follows Tony, a simple man living a simple life with his wife Evo in California. The two built a normal life as two 'normal' middle-class Americans. That whole life is slowly brought to an end during a slow down slide of the American economy, and the uprising of an Army that slowly decimates the West Coast.
Luckily for the couple the military march passes there community without making their near their home .Unfortunately, however, for the couple the neighborhood slowly becomes a place of martial law ran by a makeshift militia. Each day that ticks by is full of love inside their home, all the while the world outside is slowly slipping into chaos.
Finally the choice is made for Tony and Evo as the neighborhood becomes a makeshift war zone and escape is the only opportunity. Packing only the necessities, though the little extras Tony allows Evo gives you a little insight to the couples relationship and just how much the two rely on one another.
Through their travels they're confronted with everything from gangs of wondering children, looters, thieves, and gangs of thugs that want nothing more than to take Evo for themselves and to take Tony out of the picture. One man in particular wants Tony's head so bad he travels hundreds of miles to track him down to the one place Tony and Evo were able to call a real home for weeks after leaving theirs.
As everything comes to a head Tony, Evo and the others all must decide whether to stand and fight, or run from the embodiment of the chaotic world around them. No matter what the decision they make the world is in a downward spiral, and this challenge is just one of many that the group will surely face in the near future.
This is a story of real 'what would you do' type story; with each stop along the way making you question just how you would behave while the world crumbles around you.
This story had a lot of pros for me, here are just a couple:
- Wright's writing style is very down to earth, and gives you the impression that you're being told this story by somebody you know. That's not to say the writing style is 'amateurish' in any way, more along the lines of a relaxed style that makes for a comfortable read.
- You constantly are turning pages throughout this story. It moves over a long span quickly, but doesn't feel like it skimps on the details in any way.
- The love between Tony and Evo is really palpable, and it draws out that emotion as it leaps off of the page at you.
- The story does seem to move a bit quickly at times.
- The characters, this doesn't include Tony and Evo, seem flat. Though the intense fight scenes are filled with raw emotion, outside of that they just seem to lack a little depth.
Overall I'm going to give The end my Friend by Kirby Wright a 7/10 based on:
7/10 for readability - As I mentioned above for the bulk of the story I'm a big fan of the laid back tempo throughout the story. Each transition is smooth and you'll find yourself turning the page, hoping that each encounter will find Tony and Evo unscathed and together.
6/10 for characters - Tony and Evo are two very well done, strong characters that play off each other well with strong dialogue and emotion. The ancillary characters, however, seem to fall a bit short; this is probably contributed to them being side by side with two strong main characters.
8/10 for story - There have been many apocalyptic style stories written in the past. While many are about large scale wars/acts of nature that rock the foundation of the world all at once, some are 'calm before the storm' style books and still others follow situations that are so gradual everything sort of sneaks up on the characters. This story fits somewhere between the second and third styles, and does so well. Each stop on Tony and Evo's journey pits them against some unknown that you really can see in the world Wright created.
8/10 for realism - Wright does an amazing job capturing how, in my opinion, people would really act if the situation presented itself. During a collapsing economy, and amidst a marching army, I would expect some people to take up the mob mentality, while others I could see just doing their best to get by and live their lives as normal as possible. This realistic aspect had to be my x-factor for this story for the skill needed to construct such a perfect world falling so imperfectly.
A huge thank you to Kirby Wright for allowing me to review The end my Friend. It really was a great read and I recommend it to anyone, even the romance fans will enjoy this read.
If you would like to pick up a copy for yourself, simply click here.