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Purple Cloud

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By: (1865-1947)

Purple Cloud by Matthew Phipps Shiel is a captivating and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novel that follows the journey of a man who discovers he is the last man alive on Earth after a catastrophic event wipes out all of humanity. The protagonist, Adam Jeffson, experiences a range of emotions as he grapples with his loneliness and the immense responsibility of being the sole survivor.

The novel is beautifully written and vividly captures the desolate and eerie world that Jeffson now inhabits. The author expertly explores themes of isolation, madness, and the ultimate fate of humanity. As Jeffson travels the globe in search of other survivors, he encounters breathtaking landscapes and encounters various challenges that test his mental and physical strength.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Purple Cloud is the philosophical questions it raises about the nature of humanity and the fragility of civilization. Shiel's exploration of these themes is both complex and thought-provoking, making the reader reflect on their own beliefs and values.

Overall, Purple Cloud is a mesmerizing and haunting read that will stay with you long after you finish the last page. Matthew Phipps Shiel's writing is powerful and evocative, and his depiction of a world devoid of human life is both chilling and mesmerizing. If you enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction that delves deep into the human psyche, then Purple Cloud is a must-read.

Book Description:
The story, a recording of a medium's meditation over the future writing of the text, details the narrator's (Adam Jeffson's) expedition to the North Pole during the 20th century on board the Boreal. Jeffson's fiancée, the Countess Clodagh, poisons her own cousin in order to secure a place on the ship for Jeffson, because the expedition was known to be one of the best ever planned. A millionaire, who died some years previously, had ordered in his will that he would pay 175,000,000 dollars to the first person standing at the North Pole. Before Jeffson leaves, he hears a sermon by a Scottish priest named Mackay, speaking against Polar research, calling the failure of all previous expeditions the will of God, and prophesying a terrible fate for those who attempt to go against God's will in this. The narrator at the same time remembers his meeting with a man who claimed that the universe is a place of strife between vague "powers", "The White" and "The Black", for dominance. Throughout the events of the polar journey, the narrator gradually discovers that his course has been, for many years, guided by these forces, all the way up to the point where he reaches the pole first. He finds a huge, clear lake of spinning water with a rock island inlaid with inscriptions. Upon seeing this, Jeffson falls into a faint. When he returns to his camp he, along with his dogs, feels nauseous after having smelled a peculiar peach-like odor. He also notices a moving purple cloud, spreading in the far heavens. During the progress of his journey, he discovers dead animals, all without the slightest sign of injury, and he gradually learns of the death of his entire crew on board the Boreal. The ship being fairly easy to operate, he sets out by himself.

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