Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The End Specialist

I have one question regarding The End Specialist: why isn't this book on a front table display in Waterstone's?  I managed to find it tucked away in the back corner of my local branch, with both the cover and title piquing my interest.

2019. Humanity has witnessed its greatest scientific breakthrough yet: the cure for ageing. Three injections and you’re immortal – not bulletproof or disease-proof but you’ll never have to fear death by old age.

For John Farrell, documenting the cataclysmic shifts to life after the cure becomes an obsession. Cure parties, cycle marriages, immortal livestock: the world is revelling in the miracles of eternal youth. But immortality has a sinister side, and when a pro-death terrorist explosion kills his newly-cured best friend, John soon realizes that even in a world without natural death, there is always something to fear.

Now, John must make a new choice: run and hide forever, or stay and fight those who try to make immortal life a living hell.

 A fantastic take on a dystopian future, accompanied by a plot that was never predictable.  With each page turn I kept wondering if I had the option, would I take the cure?  While they are mentioned throughout,  Magary doesn't dwell too long on political issues that arise and their implications.  I found this, as well as the setting of a not too distant future, provided the text with an overwhelming sense possibility. 
The protagonist, John Farrell, shouldn't be sympathetic but by keeping The End Specialist firmly about John Farell's experience, and the eventual consequences of choosing to never age, the text never becomes too pretentious.  If Magary had chosen to elaborate even further explanations of how 'the cure' would affect the world, departing from the direct influence on everyday life, I don't think I would have had the same reaction to the book.  A Stellar debut novel that is worth searching any bookshop/library for. 

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