Word Spelunking

The Last Three - Almon Chun-San Chu,  Alina Kli. I spend most of my time with my nose in a YA or MG book, so I don’t often read books like Almon Chu’s The Last Three. Then again, there really aren’t many books out there like The Last Three.As a short novella, this is a very quick read, but it isn’t a story that will leave you quickly. Within the span of less than a hundred pages, Chu has managed to create a deeply powerful story and explore the very honest and captivating unraveling of one man. Not easily categorized, The Last Three is set in a world that is both dystopian and familiar, and could even be called modern noir.The story Chu lays out for readers is not a happy one, but it is a real one. The Last Three is narrated by its main character Jon, a young man struggling financially, romantically, emotionally, and maybe even psychologically. Jon has spent the last three years living his life around a lie, a lie he discovers far too late. A lie that proves to be his undoing. The modern dystopia Jon lives in is vividly described. Chu uses Jon’s simple observations and musings about his surroundings to build this world in the minds of readers. This creates a very personal and intimate relationship between readers and this world, creating a feeling that one is not simply reading about this world, but is intrinsically a part of it. This is a bleak, harsh world, but its gritty realism and dark essence make it electric and impossible to ignore.The slow unraveling and descent of Jon’s happiness, sense of security, and reassurance is, at times, relentless with its heartache and pain, but there is something almost captivatingly beautiful about it as well. Chu’s writing is simplistic in that sentences, dialogue, and even descriptions are often short or clipped, but as a whole they create a powerful onslaught of images, emotions, and experiences that flow effortlessly. This is a book that will leave you thoughtful and moved, but won’t leave you entirely. Almon Chu proves to be a great new literary talent and I look forward to reading more of Chu's work. This is a MUST read novella for older, mature readers.

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