Today I’m delighted (although highly emotional!) to be sharing my review of The Last Act of Adam Campbell by Andy Jones.
What’s this book about?
What did I think?
I’m broken!! Completely and utterly broken!! Andy Jones what have you done to me?! The Last Act of Adam Campbell is a wonderful book and I loved every single page.
Adam Campbell is dying. He’s probably not handling this very well but then again, no one knows how they are going to cope when they have to face their own death. And maybe those who do appear to be coping well are just lying to themselves? Although death is inevitable, as a species we seem rather reluctant to accept it. Adam ends up going to group therapy with other terminally ill people and it’s here that he becomes involved with Pat, Tom and a colourful host of characters who end up putting on a play written by teenager Laura. My favourite characters were Tom and Laura and I loved all the Shakespearean references as their relationship changed and developed. But I also adored Adam, Heather and Mabel. When Adam chose to attend Parents Day at Mabels school I completely crumbled!!
This author has a natural insight and a much envied (by me especially!) talent to evoke strong emotions in people and I felt as though the narrative were speaking directly to me personally. It’s a beautifully written story that will wring many emotions from you as it’s a story of love, loss and regret that explores the complex relationship we all have with death. There’s humour and sadness, there is also a great deal of anger but at the centre of it all there is friendship, the great gift of human kindness and hope.
I loved how the author explored the similarities between physical and emotional pain and how we deal with these differently when staring down death. Nothing is swept under the carpet here, there’s no point when time takes on a life of its own, slowly absorbing and digesting your final weeks, days, hours…
I’ve probably made this wonderful book sound a bit depressing but it’s far from it! It’s a life affirming story, uplifting and funny but, yes, it is also tear jerking in it’s honesty. I liked the epilogue(s) which I felt were the perfect epitaphs to a wonderful book. I laughed, I cried, I planned the songs for my own cremation whilst in the zone and I gave thanks for everything I have. This thought provoking book is just stunning and I loved absolutely every single moment of reading it.
In fact, i haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I finished it and so it’s one I know will be hard to beat when it comes to my favourite books of the year list at the end of 2020 (and yes I do realise it’s only the second week of January!).
Very highly recommended by me!
Who’s the author?
In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn’t until he was well into his thirties that Andy stared writing fiction. If he could write a letter his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it.
Andy lives in London with his wife and two little girls. Chances are, he’s writing something.
Find Andy on Twitter and Instagram @andyjonesauthor, and Facebook /andyjonesauthor.