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FTN reviews The End Specialist by Drew Magary

February 22nd, 2012 by Paddy 1 Comment

“I don’t want to die. I’m terrified of death. I fear there’s nothing beyond it and this existence is the only one I’ll ever possess.”
Those three sentences uttered by John Farrell, the main protagonist of The End Specialist sum up the ethos of the stunning debut from Drew Magary.
The End Specialist is a powerful study of man’s nature that reads like a post-apocalyptic George Orwell tale.
Set in the very near future, John Farrell is only 29 when he take The Cure. A new found cure for aging that means that you never grow old and can’t die from natural causes.
At first this seems like the answer to all of life’s problems, but as the years progress Farrell becomes cold and alone as he realises the futility of immortality.
At the same time society begins to crumble as religious fundamentalists declare war on the newly monikered Postmortals, who are the vast majority of the population who have opted out of dying.
Farrell becomes so disenfranchised that he takes a job as a government sanctioned End Specialist, a fancy name for what is essentially an exterminator of people who have decided they have had enough of life.
The End Specialist works best as an allegory for our own obsession with materialism and the growing levels of isolationism and loneliness that social networks are creating.
It’s a wry look at the way society is going and Magary deserves immense credit for creating a tale that isn’t afraid to ask difficult questions, regardless of the consequences of the answers.

***** Paddy Ryan

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Paddy Ryan, like Buck Rogers, is a man out of time. He's a loose cannon haunted by his past who, when he's not making painful attempts at humour, is busy watching as many geeky films and TV shows as possible. An avid reader, he has vowed one day to start that novel he's been talking about for years. Born in the late 70s, he's an 80s kid at heart who sees nothing wrong with spending hours upon hours watching season three of Robin Of Sherwood. Jason Connery wasn't that bad you know! He's got a million ideas for comic books but thankfully doesn't know anyone with the time to draw them and call his bluff on that one! The Empire Strikes Back is his favourite film, Doctor Who is his TV show of choice and when it comes to books ... well that's a whole other story! I'm Paddy Ryan and you're not...