The End Specialist by Drew Magary [Book Review]

Who wants to live forever?

What would happen if we found a way to stop ageing?

That is the question Drew Magary tries to answer in this debut novel. Immortality is a fun concept for science fiction. At a glance it looks wonderful but if you think about it for a while there are obvious drawbacks as is made clear in this story.

John Farell gets the cure in the beginning of the book and we get to follow him and society as the consequences manifest. He starts out as a Lawyer and bums out for a while before becoming a certified end specialist who helps people who want to die.

I am impressed by Drew’s imagination and he presents good arguments for how immortality affects marriage, economy, work life and more. The unavoidable anti movement is also well portraited.

John is well developed as a character even if I feel a certain distance at times but it feels like that was intended. The reader is there as the observer. The other characters are more of a support cast. Even so I greatly enjoyed this novel.

The End Specialist lives high on idea and ambience. It has a grim humor that might not be for everyone but fit my mood like a glove. The characterization could have been better. You have to decide for yourself it is a deal breaker. It wasn’t for me. I am keen on reading more by Drew Magary in the future.

And who isn’t secretly interested in living forever? This novel might change your mind.

Book Information

The End Specialist by Drew Magary (Harper Voyager 2011) – review copy – Amazon US | UK

Alternative title The Postmortal.

A gripping, compulsive thriller set in a future where the cure for ageing has been discovered… to devastating consequences

“You got me. I don’t want to die. I’m terrified of death. I fear there’s nothing beyond it and that this existence is the only one I’ll ever possess. That’s why I’m here.”

(An excerpt from the digital journal of John Farrell, cure age 29)

2019. Humanity has witnessed its greatest scientific breakthrough yet: the cure for ageing. Three injections and you’re immortal – not bulletproof or disease-proof but you’ll never have to fear death by old age.

For John Farrell, documenting the cataclysmic shifts to life after the cure becomes an obsession. Cure parties, cycle marriages, immortal livestock: the world is revelling in the miracles of eternal youth. But immortality has a sinister side, and when a pro-death terrorist explosion kills his newly-cured best friend, John soon realizes that even in a world without natural death, there is always something to fear.

Now, John must make a new choice: run and hide forever, or stay and fight those who try to make immortal life a living hell.