The Last Town on Earth
The year is 1918. America is fighting a war on foreign soil that has divided the nation. Meanwhile, rumors of the spread of the deadliest epidemic ever are causing panic on the home front. The uninfected town of Commonwealth, Washington, votes to quarantine itself, and two young friends are asked to guard the town entrance and keep strangers out.
One day, a starving, cold—and seemingly ill—soldier comes out of the woods begging for sanctuary, and the two guards are confronted with an agonizing moral dilemma.
So begins The Last Town on Earth . . .
Best Debut Novel of 2006
Listen to the interview with Thomas on National Public Radio
Winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Excellence in Historical Fiction
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
One of the Top 50 Books of the Year and One of the Top 10 Debuts of the Year
"The Last Town on Earth wraps the reader in its quiet power. As the characters become trapped by their town, we become increasingly trapped by our own fears and hopes. Thomas Mullen's debut is stirring, classic storytelling, with a deep resonance between the book's moment in history and our own times."
-Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow
"Like the best historical fiction, The Last Town on Earth illuminates a place and time not our own . . . Mullen's novel [also] could not be more timely or relevant, and eerily so. I promise you, while you're reading The Last Town on Earth, the mere sound of a cough will be enough to raise the hair at the back of your neck."
-Larry Watson, author of Montana 1948 and Orchard