After the Last Day

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
The world descends into murderous chaos after a global economic disaster. This is the story of progressive people in the Great Lakes basin banding together to survive. Resisting evil dictatorship and internal dissent, they struggle to create local territories that promise a livable future unencumbered by the shadows of the past. More

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About Don Hayward

Don Hayward was born in Sudbury Ontario in 1946. He grew up at a hydro-electric generating site on the Spanish River, surrounded by the natural world of the Canadian Shield hard rock country. During 1970 – 71 he backpacked and worked in Australia. Returning to Canada to study photography, Don met his wife Diane in Toronto and after ten years living in the city, they moved to Dufferin County Ontario. The family ran a small part-time farming operation as Don commuted to his job in the electrical industry. Don was active in founding a renewable energy co-operative, and that led him into the issues of peak oil, developing resource scarcity and the instability of the global financial system. Don retired in 2008 and drives a wheel-chair school bus. He is involved in community and family activities. Diane and Don have five children and fourteen grandchildren. They reside in Goderich Ontario

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Reviews

Review by: gjh42 on June 15, 2015 :
Gripping story, and all too plausible. There are no plot points where one says "no, that isn't possible"; more like "OMG, that could really happen"...
The only real quibble I have is that the dialog tends to be stiff, and the book really needed a good proofreader, largely for continuity errors of spelling and some typos. On the whole, highly recommended. Prepare to have your thinking about society provoked.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
Review by: resonant on July 24, 2014 :
Awesome epic book. It doesn't just deal with a collapse, but follows society for several generations, from the viewpoint of multiple characters.

"Words: 432,670" isn't a typo. This is HUGE, and it's not fluff and padding.

This is a unique story in that it includes people with disabilities, people of various First Nations, people who are immigrants, people who are visible minorities, and people of widely varying backgrounds, ethnic heritages, political views, and religions beliefs, and treats them as actual people with stories rather than background decoration. This gives so many more opportunities to develop the story, and the author fully takes advantage of it. After reading this, I realized how much it gets repetitive reading books where the same generic heroic man fights to survive, with kids and womenfolk only there to cheer him on. I think this is the first post-apocalyptic book I've read where more than half the narrative is from the viewpoint of women.

Anton Chekov wrote, "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off.". In this book, the wall would be destroyed by a train driving through it. The author keeps things interesting by setting up the story so you expect one thing, but then knocks the legs out from under it. For example, a community develops its own currency to replace the nearly-worthless dollar, using some old store coupons they found. The characters carefully sign each one, keep track of how many are issued, monitor the relative value of the coupons to available food resources, and secretly mark the coupons to prevent duplication. You expect that they will soon have problems with counterfeit coupons, or hyperinflation. But, just like real life, events take place that invalidate your predictions.

This is really, really, really good value for the money. A lot of good story for your dollar.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

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