Thoughts on The Survival Of Tom
Review: The Survival Of Tom by M.J. Brierley
This is a very strange blog post and review to write, as the author is Mr Thoughts Of A Wandering Mind!!! So whilst, this is not an add as there are no links and is by no means a paid promotion (he even made me buy the book myself), however, I know it would make him very happy is someone bought his book, hence the disclaimer. Don't worry this is still a very honest post but its important to declare my involvement with the book.
'Like a virus, mankind would never entirely die out. They would come back from this to wreak their second wave of destruction on the world through another age of globalisation, industrialisation, greed. (The Survival of Tom: M.J. Brierley).
**Trigger warnings: Murder, violence, rape, graphic imagery**
The story follows Tom as he lives through a viral outbreak (very apt at the moment) that sweeps across the world. We follow Tom's journey as he fights to survive both alone and with a group and respond to the threats that present themselves, including starvation, dehydration and the other survivors themselves. We read his story as he battles along and follow his decision making in his quest to live within the environment he is in.
What others have said
This is a completely self published and self promoted book via Amazon which Mr Thoughts Of A Wandering Mind has funded himself. This means that there has not been any formal book reviews completed. But there are some Amazon to read, if you would like to check them out.
What did I think?
So the first thing to say, is this is not my type of book (too much violence for me, although it is not too shocking). However, I have to say and this is not because I am emotionally attached to Mr Thoughts Of A Wandering Mind I actually quite enjoyed it.
I think its important to note that I am not the target audience for the book and at times that really showed. I found that it was typically masculine in its style of writing and by that I mean not too much description of the relationships between characters or their personalities themselves, but with more focus upon description of the environment and the movements of the characters. I have already provided the feedback to Mr Thoughts Of A wandering Mind that I wanted more detail on the background of the characters and their emotional response to the situation. However, this is something I always want from books, maybe its the social work background as well - I always want to know why people respond as they do, rather than what action they actually took.
It strikes me how worryingly realistic the book was and at times as I was reading it during lock-down it felt uncomfortable given that a virus was currently sweeping all around us. It was also interesting to see how easily in theory our own sense of society could all crumble if things escalate. That's the joy of a dystopian novel and why I do love them (Margaret Atwood being a personal favourite) as they show what our world can become. I also felt that as the book went on, it got better. The writing style and the story seemed to develop further and I began to invest in the characters and their experiences.
So in summary, I enjoyed the book and I think its worth a read. For me its not one I will pick up again and whilst, I think there are some profound moments in it, I feel there could be some further development in the characters and the emotional aspects of the books. What I must say is that I feel great admiration for Mr Thoughts Of A Wandering Mind, not just because he is my partner but I think its incredibly brave to work as hard as he did to write this alongside working a full time job and then to put it out there into the world yourself and see how you get on!! I think a lot of people would not be brave enough to do that, but he did because he had an aspiration - maybe there is a lesson in that for everyone.
Star rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
Will I read it again?: No, it just isn't my style of writing and I need to learn more about characters to allow me to fully emotionally invest.