May 20 , 2011

The Last One

A Novel


For readers of Station Eleven and The Passage comes a dazzling and unsettling novel of psychological suspense. In Alexandra Oliva’s thrilling fiction debut, survival is the name of the game, as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself—and one woman’s mind and body are pushed to the limit.
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Testing My Patience

Muffy Montgomery returned to his town in Calabasas as the mayor after almost eight years after he left for New York. He had disappeared following a scandal. He had gotten a twenty-one year old lady pregnant and due to the shame, he had left to the town.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show.

Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all of her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will either be her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.

Advance praise for The Last One

The Last One seamlessly melds two of our contemporary obsessions—the threat of global catastrophe and the staged drama of reality TV—into a fiercely imagined tale of the human psyche under stress. This is an uncompromising, thought-provoking debut.”—Justin Cronin

“Haunting, moving, and remarkable . . . Alexandra Oliva’s debut novel is clever in its concept and gripping in its delivery. This propulsive book is for everyone who ever thought reality television signaled the end of the world.”—Karen Joy Fowler

From the Hardcover edition.
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