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With his admirable frankness, Shiel proves that man has always been the same and that was already in search of the refinements of today’s means of communication. Only he has been spared.

La nube purpurea

After that, like the purple cloud, it turned quite deadly. I read, I say, I conned, I would not stop: Crushing guilt and bitter anger fuel his increasingly dangerous and quixotic symphonies of destruction as he familiarizes himself with fuses and explosives and surrenders himself to towering, psychotic rages. The Purple Cloud is one of the earliest “last man alive” stories in science fiction. While his reactions to the cataclysm seem deeply strange, they do highlight that there is no reasonable response to such extraordinary circumstances.

Apparently, there is more than one version of this novel. I’m glad I tackled it, though, if only for foundational literacy in the genre.

I read this book because of Michael Chabon’s excellent review of The Road, in which Chabon undertakes a brief survey of the post-apocalyptic genre, and I finished it with a shrug.

But be warned, the book is all the more unsettling with each step you take with Adam Jeffson. He surely had a purpugea of fetishism towards volcanoes.

Jan 07, Kelly rated it puurpurea liked it Shelves: The plot in brief: She’s the daughter of the Ottoman Sultan who has lived her entire life trapped in a lightless cellar, surviving on dates and wine, until Jeffson’s arson breaks open the vault.

He torches the cities he passes through in an orgy of destruction that he watches from a suitably scenic height. This story is purppurea manuscript Stories from this time period love having some sort of introductory framing device. I think it’s all well and good to describe fantastic occurrences, but when describing those of human nature, it is important to stay within the bounds of nature. Apr 18, Lorenzo Berardi rated it really liked it Shelves: His going about the towns looking for survivors or naming all purprea type of ships he comes across on the ocean, is stifling The beginning of this book began fairly well with an expedition to the North Pole.


To displace the mechanics of the mundane is to dilute the impact of the bizarre. The discussion this morning around Day of the Triffids reminded me of this obscure and extremely bizarre novel, which I must bube read when I was about ten or eleven. There has been an Eve spared to match his Adam.

The last quarter of the book brings it down to one star. Jeffson’s great labor is arson. Meanwhile, a preacher rails against the endeavor, saying that God does not purpueea Man to plumb these mysteries. Nov 11, Doug rated ourpurea it was ok. The novel is unfortunately abundantly filled with more than useless information as if Shiel were some cataloger of culture, engines, equipment and clothes and it is this tendency that truly drags the work down.

Jan 13, Joe Santoro rated it did not like it Shelves: There is a euphoric sense of utter freedom m I foolishly sold my purpruea of this marvelous book years ago and wish I had it back.

But when he returns, by luck, determination and aching misadventure, he slowly comes to realize that all of humanity — indeed, nearly all land life — has been exterminated by a cyanide cloud from massive eruptions in the East. Mar 27, Elidor rated it it was amazing. His legal surname remained “Shiell” though he adopted the shorter version as a de facto pen putpurea.


La nube purpurea – Matthew Phipps Shiel – Google Books

Dutcher rated it really liked it. Slowly the first man to have set foot on the Pole sails the small ship back to civilisation only to gradually discover that all human and animal life appears to have been wiped out in some appalling catastrophe from which only his recent unique isolation has spared him.

A very strange book combining an accomplished fin-de-siecle prose style with the cosmic horror of Poe, it possesses an apocalyptic savagery and fierce isolation all its own. The only other beings she remembers is her mother, who dies when she was an infant, and a voice that spoke to her over the years. Good enough that Purrpurea stayed up until three in the morning to finish it. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Shiel has a marvelous vocabulary – his sentences are beautiful, but the plot of this story bogs down midway. The first third of the book which is devoted to the race to the Pole was quite interesting. The first quarter of the book is a Polar Expedition narrative. He even gets so far as to approach her with upraised knife but a bolt of lightning jolts it out of his hand. What if those spiteful nubw were deadly poisonous? There’s no quiet resolve here. And of course, once they set forth, there are the normal, but terrible, rigors of travelling through the polar regions.

The final part of the book is almost too cloying and obvious, but Shiel pulls it off with such skill that the last few chapters fly past at blinding speed.