Reviewing Adrian J Walker’s The End of the World Running Club

I really wanted to read this book because it is the perfect mixture of two of the things I love most – running and books.

Edgar Hill, unsympathetic husband and half-hearted father, finds himself in a hopeless situation. Despite all his best efforts, he hasn’t managed to keep his family together. In fact, they are further from him than ever – 550 miles to be precise.

And in a world near annihilated by a terrible disaster, leaving the UK harsh and brutal, uncrossable by car or bike, his journey to find his loved ones will be fraught with challenges.

His best option is to run.
But what if your best isn’t good enough?  

I found this book going straight to the top of my TBR pile (To Be Read pile) because it just sounded so absorbing and so perfect for me. It seems as if my life revolves around running and books so reading about a man running was all kinds of perfect.

When I was younger I loved apocalyptic future / dystopian future books and used to read so many. And then I became bored so when I started reading The End of the World Running Club it has actually been a really long time since I had read anything about a future where mankind is all but destroyed.

The apocalyptic event happens right at the beginning of the story. The earth has been hit by a lot of somethings and the Northern Hemisphere has been particularly affected. We never find out exactly what happened and this was one thing I really wanted to know. If the Southern Hemisphere survived better what has happened there? Since The End of the World Running Club is told from the point of view of the main character we only get to know what he knows, and what he knows isn’t much. This isn’t his fault but there is little to no way of communicating with the outside world so my curiosity had to be satisfied by my own imagination.

The main character is Edgar – Ed – and as the blurb above says he is far from the idea hero. I think this is probably why I loved him so much. He was so flawed it was brilliant. But when he finds himself separated from his family (he is in Edinburgh and they are in Cornwall) he girds his loins, gives himself a mental telling to, and does whatever he needs to before it’s too late. There are boats taking people to Cape Town – his wife Beth and their two children are there, ready and waiting. He on the other hand is still in Edinburgh. Initially he along with other survivors try and get South using whatever transportation they can find, but that quickly loses all its viability and running is the only option.

So they start running. Running and walking, running and walking all the way down. This is when I was gripped and couldn’t stop. Ed isn’t a runner so when he starts running it’s painful. The rest of the book is about how he survives all the running but this quickly becomes secondary as we meet some of the other survivors. Not all of them want to help Ed get to Cornwall and all of them have had to do things they never thought they would to survive.

I can’t tell you all how much I enjoyed reading The End of the World Running Club. I was so absorbed in Ed’s story and couldn’t wait to find out if he reached his family in time or not. The running aspects I especially loved because I could relate to them (well apart from the whole world dying and wife on the other side of the country thing) and the plot had been turning pages as quickly as I could. I recommend The End of the World Running Club whole heartedly – it’s fun and gripping and the ending completely surprised me, which doesn’t happen all that often.

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The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker is out now as an eBook and will be on sale as a paperback from May 2016.

I was given this book for free. My review is definitely my own and neither it nor my opinions haven’t been swayed by the free book swag.

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