22.2.15

Book Review : The Last Passenger



How can one skip reading a story set on a Nazi cruise ship, afloat in the modern day Atlantic that dabbles in both the supernatural and kinda-sorta time travel? That in a nutshell is the 'The Last Passenger ' by Manuel Loureiro. The overly detailed descriotions, the history lessons, the presence of a supernaturally strong assistant,  - a deus ex machina  - everything takes me back to my days of reading a small, pulpy, fast paced thriller - to a point.

The writing is fairly quick and keeps you engrossed - no mean task considering this is a translation into English from the original in Spanish. The story is survival horror mixed with a bit of Nazis and ghosts thrown in for good measure. It takes an interesting historical background - Nazi cruise ships - and brings it into the modern day fairly seamlessly. The narrative is quite well structured and does keep the story moving along without getting hung up on big explanations - typical pulp. This is a page turner to some extent because it does a fairly decent job of following the protagonist around instead of fragmenting into mini stories.

All that said, don't go expecting a dazzling plot or a watertight narrative - there isn't one. The characters are all one dimensional and die in quite horrific ways in quite short order. The gory parts are pretty much just random blood letting. This is not a book strong with rational explanations and leaves you hanging with multiple questions.The resolution of paradoxes is bizzare, the menace portrayed feels farcical and forced and the central character is a cringeworthy cliche.

Verdict : If you are stuck at the airport or have to kill time on the plane, buy it. If you are home and cozy with all this snow we have in the Northeast US, wait for a Kindle sale. 2.5 stars for the World War 2 angle.