I've been thinking about this one all day. I normally write my reviews immediately after finishing the book, but today was different. For the past eight hours, I've been trying to find one good reason not to give this five stars. Not because I wanted to hate it, but because I try and reserve my fivers for stories I can read over and over again, stellar outings that simply rock my socks. My final subjective viewpoint on this is: The Last Mile was fucking awesome.
Tim Waggoner's writing is liquid, and oh, brother, does it flow. I read this in under an hour and a half, and shockingly enough, I'm not left wanting more. It was the perfect length, with just enough mysterious circumstances, action, and jaw-dropping grotesqueness that I felt as if I'd read a complete novel. Or perhaps a longer episode of The Outer Limits. The story was unique, one of the most atypical post-apocalytic stories I've ever read. Every time I thought I knew what was coming, Waggoner nailed me with a curve ball.
This one might be too bizarre for some, but I found the weirdness fresh and exhilarating. I read for fun, as an escape, and this one allowed me a brief respite from everyday life. Damn fun is what this book is. Not to mention, disturbing as all hell. A certain scene involving a pie server knotted my guts. I dig it quite a bit when a story incites a physical reaction from me. And the dude on the motorcycle was just plain cool.
Finally, to quote the cool kids...
That ending, tho!
In summation: This is my first Tim Waggoner read, and it definitely won't be my last. Highly recommended for fans of bizarre horror who have strong stomachs and are looking for an inventive take on the old End-o'-the-World trope.
(Side note: Dear Tim Waggoner, you had me at Sutter Cane.)