The Late Bloomer
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The Late Bloomer

3.88 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The world experiences an abrupt and unthinkable cataclysm on the morning of October 29, 2018. Kevin March, high school band trombonist and wannabe writer playing hooky, is witness to its beginning. To stay alive, Kevin embarks on a journey that promises to change everything yet again. On his journey, into a digital recorder he chronicles his experiences at the end of his world. This book is a transcript of that recording.

Depicting an unspeakable apocalypse unlike any seen in fiction-there are no zombies, viruses or virals, no doomsday asteroid, no aliens, no environmental cataclysm, no nuclear holocaust-with a Holden Caulfieldesque protagonist at his world's end, The Late Bloomer is both a companion piece to Lord of the Flies and a Bradburyian Halloween tale.

The Late Bloomer is harrowing, grim and poignant in the way of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Told in Kevin March's singular and unforgettable voice, delivering a gripping narrative with an unsparing climax as moving as it is terrifying, The Late Bloomer defies expectations of the genre and will haunt those who read it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 25.4mm | 340.19g
  • California, United States
  • English
  • 1947856545
  • 9781947856547

Review quote

Acclaim for The Late Bloomer
"Falkin synthesizes multiple, unnerving apocalypse scenarios into something entirely new in this horror novel."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"I fell deep into the postapocalyptic and addictively complex world of The Late Bloomer and didn't want it to end. Not only is it a wonderful, binge-able story, but the voice of the central character had me hooked from the beginning, and Kevin March became a person I cared about, thought about, even after the last page was finished."
-Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will

"Like a sharp, winding staircase that narrows as it turns, the claustrophobic world of The Late Bloomer hems the reader in page by page."
-Tal M. Klein, author of The Punch Escrow

"Harrowing, unsettling and exquisitely written, The Late Bloomer is part War of the Worlds, part Twilight Zone, and part Shirley Jackson. It is an unforgettable, unforgiving vision of the end of the world, of those who attempt to survive and those who wish to stop them. The images conjured here will haunt you long after putting it down. Good luck, dear reader."
-Louisa Luna, author of Two Girls Down

"We classify some prose as genre, some as literary, and `never the twain shall meet.' The Late Bloomer is both. Falkin gives us all sorts of Stephen King (story), meets the oft-mentioned William Golding's (character), Lord of the Flies. Experimental in its style, protagonist, writing protege Kevin Gabriel March, possible future guide of the new world, dictates the old world's ending into a stolen voice recorder. Establishing a Stand-like setting, The Late Bloomer morphs into full-on textbook lit, like, for the ages literature. Like man versus all seven narrative conflict themes. Like drilling deep for symbolism and allegory. Yes, literary devices and shit. This novel overflows with rich language and divine sentences. The Late Bloomer is giving me everything! After the end someone must tell the tale, dear Reader. Why not our Kevin Gabriel March?"
-Teffanie T. White, African American Literary Award-winning author of Dirt

"An apocalyptic coming-of-age tale the likes of which you've never seen, Mark Falkin's The Late Bloomer channels the heart of Ray Bradbury, the sensibilities of Rod Serling, and the grim despair of Cormac McCarthy, all wrapped up in Falkin's unshakable, inimitable style. Both beautiful and horrific, this is a young adult novel that even the most case-hardened fans of speculative fiction will find riveting and deeply moving. Highly recommended."
-Ronald Malfi, author of Bone White and Little Girls

"With dark humor and taught prose, The Late Bloomer takes the reader on an apocalyptic journey that is hurried, furrowed and in Mark Falkin's skilled hands, all too real. Literary horror at its finest."
-Bethany Hegedus, author of Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

"If you're a fan of dull, weary storytelling with characters you've seen a million times doing the things you've seen them do a million times until you pass out from boredom, then this isn't the book for you. If, on the other hand, you're into roller coasters, laughter, fear, surprise, and characters who keep going against all odds, then The Late Bloomer will suck you down its twisted literary throat through its very last word."
-Jason Neulander, producer, director and creator of The Intergalactic Nemesis

"With pitch-perfect prose, Falkin has penned an irresistible and audacious coming-of-age novel that plumbs the depths of adolescence and global cataclysm in equal, page-turning measure. I predict The Late Bloomer will take its place on the post-apocalyptic bestseller list, next to Station Eleven and The Stand."
-Will Clarke, author of The Neon Palm of Madame Melancon and Lord Vishnu's Love Handles

"With The Late Bloomer, Mark Falkin has created a visceral, classic adventure story updated for our dystopian times when many of us long to push the reset button. Read your Jackson, your Golding, your King, and your Falkin, and be careful what you wish for."
-Michelle Newby Lancaster, Contributing Editor, Lone Star Literary Life

"An apocalyptic tale unlike any other, The Late Bloomer is smartly written; with shades of Stephen King meeting Cormac McCarthy, a blistering pace and lyrical prose, it demands to be consumed. Falkin's take on the end of the world is intriguing, beautiful and tragic-a must-read."
-Kristen Zimmer, Amazon #1 bestselling author of The Gravity Between Us

"With The Late Bloomer, Mark Falkin has written a Blair Witch Project-kind of novel, a dystopian nightmare that sends his characters racing to escape a killer that always seems to be waiting just ahead of them. It's a gripping rush of literary adrenaline."
-Michael Noll, Program Director, Writers' League of Texas and author of The Writer's Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction

"Imagine nature itself seething with Holden Caulfield's rage at adult phoniness. Now imagine what happens when a decimated humanity inherits the planet. With The Late Bloomer, Mark Falkin combines an authentic portrait of twenty-first-century adolescence with a terrifying, and unsettlingly plausible, vision of the end of humanity as we know it."
-Christian TeBordo, author of Toughlahoma and director of the MFA Program and Assistant Professor of English at Roosevelt University

"The Late Bloomer is a standout novel-a contemporary end-of-days novel that grabs you by the throat and won't let go. Narrated in the unforgettable voice of Kevin March, the unlikely and resistant teenaged `late bloomer' whose prophetic dreams have marked him for leadership of those who survive a world apocalypse reminiscent of the great floods, The Late Bloomer is an important cautionary tale that will haunt you long after you've finished the last page. With themes of good versus evil, the horrors of mob mentality, and the necessity of human empathy, The Late Bloomer gives strong nods to The Hunger Games, The Terminator, and The Lord of the Flies, wherein the beast resides within us all. The story's unexpected climax is a chilling perspective of a political era where it may seem that only our youth can be entrusted with society's moral compass."
-Martha Louise Hunter, author of Painting Juliana and host of KOOP's Writing on the Air

"Imagine a dystopian vision in which Stephen King's The Mist meets Jeff VanderMeer's The Southern Reach trilogy, and Margaret Atwood's The MaddAddam Trilogy. This is the world Mark Falkin conjures up in The Late Bloomer. Like the best postapocalyptic novels, The Late Bloomer is a tale of horror derived from the stuff of everyday life. A dark menace haunts these pages, lurks in the shadows, and the beauty of this novel is that it makes you seriously wonder: could this happen to us? A smart, sophisticated YA novel, The Late Bloomer will grab you by the scruff and pull you along for a wild ride."
-Kyle Semmel, 2016 NEA Literary Translation Fellow and Executive Director of Writers & Books

"In The Late Bloomer, Mark Falkin's postapocalyptic young adult novel, the world as we know it has imploded. A small band of teenagers are the only ones left to figure out what has happened and try to piece some semblance of their world back together. Beautifully written and action-packed, The Late Bloomer is narrated by a teenager who is at once jaded and hopeful, a voice you're not likely to forget any time soon."
-Suzanne Greenberg, Professor of English at California State University and winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for Speed-Walk and Other Stories

Acclaim for Contract City

"In Contract City, Mark Falkin dreams up a near dystopian future that is already eerily upon us, where privatized services are becoming standard fare, where fear is now palpable and our sense of security comes with a price. I happened to come across this fine book in the fall of 2016, and in many ways it's been a sobering glimpse into the age of Trump."
-Oscar Casares, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas, NEA Fellow, and author of Brownsville and Amigoland

"Contract City is a firecracker of a story. Powerful, ambitious and compulsive, Mark Falkin's futuristic setting left me nostalgic for a world where I still live. Sara is one of those characters-real, raw, vulnerable-who I would follow anywhere, even down paths as dark as this one."
-Mary Helen Specht, Dobie-Paisano Creative Writing Fellow, professor at St. Edward's University in Austin, and author of Migratory Animals
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About Mark Falkin

Mark Falkin is the author of the novels Days of Grace and Contract City. Though he remains a card-carrying member of the Texas Bar, he is a literary agent by day and oftentimes by night. He lives with his wife and daughters in Austin, Texas.
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Rating details

26 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 35% (9)
4 31% (8)
3 23% (6)
2 12% (3)
1 0% (0)
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