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Apr 18, Lorenzo Berardi rated it really liked it Shelves: I suppose at the nuve perhaps the concept of being the last man on Earth and what that would do to one’s mind was unique, but it’s been done far, far better since.

May 23, Alfred Searls rated it it was amazing Shelves: And as he makes his way back to England, he finds nothing but dead men and women everywhere. The plot in brief: It’s that latter theme – a psychopathic deity that must be worshipped and loved, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” – that soured me lx the book.

Please request permission before reposting. When the sole survivor makes his lone way back from the Pole, it is only to discover that while he was alone in the arctic regions, some terrible disaster has struck. View all 4 comments.

La Nube Purpurea

In due course Jeffson is accepted, and the Boreal sets off for the Pole. A deadly purple vapor passes over the world “If now a swell from the Deep has swept over this planetary ship of earth, and I, who alone chanced to find myself in the furthest stern, as the sole nbue of her crew.

While insanity brought on by solitude is believable, the purprea state of mind isn’t really all that well drawn, and rather than being drawn into his madness, I ended up just finding his courses of action peculiar and baffling. To displace the mechanics of the mundane is to dilute the impact of the bizarre. He tries so hard to be plausible and scientific, even if, in order to do this, he is sometimes superficial, but these inconsistencies add some fun to the book.


I’ve heard Shiel compared to Edgar Allen Poe, which is more on the mark. This section of ‘The Purple Cloud’ is similarly lengthy, detailed and tedious, and shares the ‘travelogue’-like quality of the narrative with the earlier work – but with the addition of repeated assumptions of Western cultural superiority.

It doesn’t help that Adam Jeffson is a thoroughly unlikeable man. Sep 23, Guy rated it liked it Shelves: Meanwhile, a preacher rails against the endeavor, saying that God does not intend Man to plumb these mysteries.

Prior to our modern era of Science Fiction uprpurea were a mere handful of novels about the Last Man so one can’t dismiss his work.

More by Enrico Coniglio

Quite oddly written with lengthy and detailed descriptions of machines and exotic locations that gives the novel a large distinct lexicon. Man so violent, and at times whimsical, and Leda cautious, with always a plan about her for she knows what God intends for her. As a study of a shattered mind at war with itself, and as a sheer monument of style and exposition, The Purple Cloud deserves a nhbe five stars.

But should he really start the human race again? It’s not what the modern reader is at all accustomed to, and must have been unusual even for a late Victorian work.

La nube purpurea | battute

There is a bit of philposphy at the end, but nothing worth suffering though the rest of the book for. Only he has been spared. 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 th Written as an intermittent diary, this is one of the first and perhaps the finest of “last man” novels.


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.

La nube purpurea – Matthew Phipps Shiel – Google Books

The book was written in His going about the towns looking for survivors or naming all the type of ships he comes across on the ocean, is stifling almost robotic. It was first published in and reads to me like a direct link between The Last Man also After London: 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. Refresh and try again.

The world is mad. As Jeffson wanders alone through the once great cities of the world, all now silent and dead, his sense of isolation and decent from malevolence into purpudea and back again is lovingly described by Shiel in a prose style that has held up well over the years.

He’s edgy and avant-garde. Clearly, he’s become deranged, but at the same time he goes through a process that makes a perverse sort of sense. I about jumped for joy when he started to lose his mind and begin burning cities around the world starting with London, for at least it began to pick up once again.

This is the shortest version, and was photo-offset in Volume I of A.