FREE BOOK ♞ Then ☥

Tried to read and enjoy but failed, a hard book to get into Very disappointed with what it was promising Not much information on how the apocalypse occurred, a bit too cerebral for me Others may like this book but I have already got rid of it to a charity shop, a rare fail for me London, and a curious apocalypse has befallen the city One February day, the temperature soared At first, Londoners basked in the unseasonal warmth, but as buildings began to erupt into flames, exuberance turned to panic Then the temperature dropped again and snow began to fall, plunging Britain into a frozen permafrost return return The tale is related by a narrator who struggles to remember what happened, or who she is Holed up in an office building in the City with a small group of strangers, she experiences flashbacks and begins to catch small glimpses of her life as it was before Eventually, the truth is unveiled and the collision of personal tragedy and collective disaster comes to light return return I love a good disaster movie, and the meteorological catastrophe underpinning this story hit all the buttons for me Myerson s descriptions of a familiar city in crisis were evocative and, at times, moving return return The characters are excellent Each earns their own place in the story, and Myerson has created a story with no or no fewer characters than were required to carry out the plot In particular, I thought the narrator s voice was very well written, with stark confusion and misunderstanding pervasive throughout return return My only gripe is that it takes a long time to get going The first few chapters are entirely disjointed, which is vital to understanding the narrator s state of mind, but I felt this part of the book was longer than it needed to be If you start to lose patience halfway through don t Persevere, and it gets much better towards the end You ll be glad you did. FREE BOOK ♭ Then ♷ It Was , The Moment When Everything Stopped First There Was The Burning Air, Then Came The Darkness, The Fire, And Finally The FrostNow, In A Frozen, Wasted London, A Woman Uncertain Even Of Her Own Name Is Fighting To Stay Alive Along With A Small Group Of Fellow Survivors, She Takes Refuge In An Abandoned Skyscraper In What Was Once The Financial Centre But Spectres Stalk The Empty Offices And Endless Corridors, And Soon Visions Of A Forgotten World Emerge, A World Of Broken Love And Betrayal, And Horrific, Shocking Mercies A World Traumatic Even Than The Desolate Present Then Is A Novel Of Singular Invention And Bravery With It, Julie Myerson Has Created An Echo Chamber Of The Heartbreaking And The Terrifying, And An Enduring Apocalyptic Vision I m going to give this 4 stars for now For the first part of this book, I was a bit confused as was the protagonist who is largely without memory, and living in an office high rise, after what would appear to be the end of the world as we know it Outside everything is frozen or on fire There is no electricity, no communications, and it would seem, very few people left alive This is the stuff nightmares are made of.I m going to say little else about the actual story here, other than the fact that I am in AWE of the bravery of this author to have written this story To have explored this scenario as she did Sadly, I was away holidaying with other people when I read this and this is a novel where the horror of what s coming creeps up behind you, slowly, like a murderous lover You know it s coming, but you just can t turn around and make it stop The sort of book that really, really needs to be read where you know you will not be interrupted.As the final scenes in this book were tearing my heart out and smashing it, forcibly against the wall, and the rock in my throat was beginning to choke me someone entered the room and noticed I was a tad traumatised And they commented God, you get way too involved in the books you read they are meant to be escapism , and the moment was lost for me Damn it It s a bloody good book if I m involved It s what I lust after books that offer engagement, inspiration, insight, heart breaking, gut wrenching bloody INVOLVEMENT God damn it, don t waste a tree otherwise So, whilst I read it then, I need to read this again Soon Because it deserves to be felt again, deeply I don t have children, and this book has haunted me for over a week now I can t say what this would be like for a mother to read.And I can t imagine ever liking a moment of winter, ever again. I think this is an extraordinary book When I first read it and got to the end I wondered what it was all about and went right back to the beginning and started again I asked my friends and family to read it so I could discuss it with them and it even impelled me to find a local book club which I ve been enjoying immensely for the past 18 months or so.This month it was my turn to choose so I chose Then One meber said it was the worst book he d ever read but the rest of us enjoyed arguing over what really happened.All of us agreed that the writing is vivid and conjures up the frightening images of post apocalyptic London in a way that engages every sense.Warning if you like a definite story that goes from a to b to c this isn t for you also it has some very graphic descriptions of difficult matters including childbirthBut it s definitely the most memorable novel I ve read for several years. A maternal counterpoint to Cormac McCarthy s depiction of indefatigable fatherhood in The Road, Then is, if possible, even less fun Like The Road, Then is also hard to put down, despite the relentless parade of sleep shattering horror We re talking real horror here, not of the supernatural or cartoon slasher type, but of the realisation of the terrors all parents have, the kind of cold, black, oily weight on the heart fear that makes you want to check on your own offspring as they sleep We ll leave it at that Izzy struggles to survive in a frozen London Her perception of time is unreliable She cannot, at first, remember her own name Through a Memento like trickle of flashback and recollection, Myerson unleashes an uncompromising picture of marital betrayal, the end of the world running in parallel to the end of a marriage a lesser catastrophe, maybe, but nevertheless as devastating Myerson weaves past and future, cause and effect together, hinting at multiple versions of the same events playing out over and again Izzy could be dead the ice and fire motifs of the apocalypse have a certain hellish precedence A concrete indication of what s really going on may have helped us here, but maybe not as a portrait of the struggles between home, heart and head, Then is astonishingly powerful, haunting and disturbing, its occasionally frustrating sense of confusion fortifying Izzy s sense of dislocation in the reader s mind Horrifyingly compelling.Did you know Myerson s books all concern her experiences of motherhood, so much so she fell out with her son Jake over one of them. A very, very difficult book to read There are all sorts of factors that make books hard to stick with Narratives that bounce from past to present, where characters memories are undependable, where characters deliberately withhold information from each other and the readers, where incomprehensible events have occurred, where these events may or may not have occurred in the real world and all of these make up Julie Myerson s Then The novel succeeds in throwing is into the middle of a post climate catastrophe London, but fails to allow us to make any sense of what has happened, or what is happening to Isobel, the protagonist I had no problem with not understanding what the great cataclysmic event was I did have a problem with not understanding most of what had happened in Isobel s life Many better post apocalyptic novels out there. I was excited by the idea of this book, a post apocolyptic London and one woman s struggle to survive in this strange new world I was utterly disappointed I am not sure what this book was trying to do Was it an observation of the frailty of the human memory or just trying to be a clever book Whatever it was trying, for me it did not work I am sad I wasted three hours reading it, at least it was not. Then is not a post apocalyptic survival story The apocalyptic event, which is never fully explained, that led to London becoming a frozen wasteland sets the scene for the story, but this is far a literary mystery than a story of survival.The writing style itself is quite difficult to get used to it s quite bleak and time shimmers between the past and the present from paragraph to paragraph this is a book that I had to pay real attention to, otherwise I would have been constantly lost.Isobel has survived the event, simply described only as an unseasonably hot day that after a flash of light turns the world cold, and is sheltering in an office building with a man, and three teenagers Having lost her memory, and continuing to have some kind of amnesia, she initially has no recollection of the event, or even of what has occurred just hours before She is not particularly likable as a character, mainly because she has no memories to form a personality, likes or dislikes, and as she cannot remember nor really even distinguish between dreams and reality, she has an almost ghost like quality.Other characters fade in and out as the story progresses, and the whole book has a very ethereal but disjointed feeling The ending is particularly poignant, but this book has no real resolution, which almost makes it a little bit too clever for its own good This is not a fun read, nor action packed, but I did like the ghostly, discombobulated feel Yep, I ve been waiting years to use that word Read of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie With a sense of place so immense I was pulled in from the very start The story tangles and then unfurls on almost every page in a rapid mesh of half events, conversations and time but I was never lost Julie s writing is superb, adept and unflinching in this novel Read it Quickly, go