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The Last Conversation

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What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award–winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about identity and human consciousness. Imagine you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar room with no memory of who you are, how you got there, or where you were before. All you have is the disconnected voice of an attentive careta What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award–winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about identity and human consciousness. Imagine you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar room with no memory of who you are, how you got there, or where you were before. All you have is the disconnected voice of an attentive caretaker. Dr. Kuhn is there to help you—physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She’ll help you remember everything. She’ll make sure you reclaim your lost identity. Now answer one question: Are you sure you want to? Paul Tremblay’s The Last Conversation is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.


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What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award–winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about identity and human consciousness. Imagine you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar room with no memory of who you are, how you got there, or where you were before. All you have is the disconnected voice of an attentive careta What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award–winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about identity and human consciousness. Imagine you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar room with no memory of who you are, how you got there, or where you were before. All you have is the disconnected voice of an attentive caretaker. Dr. Kuhn is there to help you—physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She’ll help you remember everything. She’ll make sure you reclaim your lost identity. Now answer one question: Are you sure you want to? Paul Tremblay’s The Last Conversation is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

30 review for The Last Conversation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    The Last Conversation was the most "horror" of the Forward collection stories, which I guess is not surprising when you look at who the author is. It's an eerie tale that keeps us in the dark for most of the book, wondering what is going on, but knowing that something is definitely not right. The second person narration somehow makes it even creepier and more unsettling. I want to liken this story to a well-known movie, but that would give away a major spoiler. So let me just say: what goes on in this book The Last Conversation was the most "horror" of the Forward collection stories, which I guess is not surprising when you look at who the author is. It's an eerie tale that keeps us in the dark for most of the book, wondering what is going on, but knowing that something is definitely not right. The second person narration somehow makes it even creepier and more unsettling. I want to liken this story to a well-known movie, but that would give away a major spoiler. So let me just say: what goes on in this book is a nightmare. Not just what the MC discovers about his immediate predicament but what the ending implies for the future. Randomize by Andy Weir - ⭑☆☆☆☆ Ark by Veronica Roth - ⭑⭑⭑☆☆ Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin - ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆ Summer Frost by Blake Crouch - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is the spookiest, eeriest, most haunted, horrifying, chilling story of the Forward series. I know my husband is gonna get crazy when he realizes the increasing zeros at our electric bill because I will turn on the lights again as soon as he sleeps tonight. (Actually I plan to turn on entire lights of the house just in case not screaming after seeing something shapeless, spooky –like my sister in law who visits only for one week, stays in the guest room, don’t tell I called her shapeless, sh This is the spookiest, eeriest, most haunted, horrifying, chilling story of the Forward series. I know my husband is gonna get crazy when he realizes the increasing zeros at our electric bill because I will turn on the lights again as soon as he sleeps tonight. (Actually I plan to turn on entire lights of the house just in case not screaming after seeing something shapeless, spooky –like my sister in law who visits only for one week, stays in the guest room, don’t tell I called her shapeless, she may glue my books’ pages to avenge me!) So what’s so terrifying about this book? Let’s summarize: Ominous second person narration made you feel like you’re the MC of this book. YES! Dark, suspicious, questioning, mysterious, nerve-bending atmosphere made you not to know more about the main predicament of the guy and conclusion of the story. YES! Does it remind you of some weirdest Twilight Zone and Creepshow episodes! Hell YES! Nanananana! Is ending remarkable? Not exactly, it’s shaking, shocking but there are still unanswered ethical questions fly in the air. If it isn’t a short story, you may be really pissed off because of too much repeats slow the pace at some parts. As a summary: I think “Emergency Skin” is still my favorite of the series. But this book is fast pacing, intriguing, innovative, interesting, entertainingly terrifying so I really liked it. (I know something is wrong with me! I enjoy dark and mind bending story. Like Leonard Cohen’s song lyrics: I want it darker and I kill the flame –but still sleeping with lights on)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    This might be my favorite work of Tremblay so far.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    3.5 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: A person — whose name and gender are never specified, because that person is “you” — wakes up, alone in a room. You’re blind and in intense pain, and at first you remember nothing at all of your past. You only hear one person, Dr. Anne Kuhn, who instructs you through a speaker: testing you mentally, badgering you to exercise, and, little by little, giving you bits of information about your past life and about why you are where you are now. Gradu 3.5 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: A person — whose name and gender are never specified, because that person is “you” — wakes up, alone in a room. You’re blind and in intense pain, and at first you remember nothing at all of your past. You only hear one person, Dr. Anne Kuhn, who instructs you through a speaker: testing you mentally, badgering you to exercise, and, little by little, giving you bits of information about your past life and about why you are where you are now. Gradually it becomes clear that something disastrous has happened. The Last Conversation is an odd but compelling and ominous science fiction novella from Paul Tremblay. It’s reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode: strange, somber and slightly horrific in a slow-burn way, with a surprising reveal at the end (or perhaps not so surprising to a perceptive reader; there are some clues as to where this story is heading, though I didn’t guess it myself). Telling a story in second person — presumably to increase readers’ perception that they’re in the place of the main character — is a tricky thing to pull off well. Combined with the fact that the main character’s name is never given and there’s just a blank line in the text every time Anne speaks their name, it added to the general sense of unease. Perhaps that was intentional on Tremblay’s part; in which case, mission accomplished. The Last Conversation is a slower-paced work that steadily and inexorably moves toward its disturbing conclusion. Given the main character’s lack of memory and needing to relearn many physical and manual skills from scratch, Tremblay’s approach does make some sense, and the pacing didn’t drag enough to bother me because this was such a quick read. Still, it’s a good thing this is a short novella; if it were longer I think it would have collapsed under its own weight. The ending was a decent payoff, although it raised several unanswered questions. Anne’s motivations for their final, key conversation are somewhat murky, and the underlying science that is critical to the plot is extremely hand-wavey. The Last Conversation is part of the FORWARD collection proposed and curated by Blake Crouch. It’s a set of six stand-alone novellas, each by a different author, that explore the “effects of a pivotal technological moment.” The authors are Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Veronica Roth, Amor Towles, Tremblay and Andy Weir. The individual novellas are reasonably priced and available in ebook and audio form individually or as a set. Note: Some of the GR reviews give away the twist, so if you're planning to read this, you may want to avoid the reviews until you're done.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    BEWARE OF SPOILERS! And, obviously, the DNA sequences drawn on the cover are not a spoiler for most of readers, as I just found out. For me, it was and I sort of felt I was aware from the start what would happen later on. Well, anyway, if you are scared of spoilers just stay away from this review :) And from the book cover :) This wasn't too innovative or striking or anything. So, this gal's a scientist and the guy's a part of a long chain of something. Striking? No. They have this pl BEWARE OF SPOILERS! And, obviously, the DNA sequences drawn on the cover are not a spoiler for most of readers, as I just found out. For me, it was and I sort of felt I was aware from the start what would happen later on. Well, anyway, if you are scared of spoilers just stay away from this review :) And from the book cover :) This wasn't too innovative or striking or anything. So, this gal's a scientist and the guy's a part of a long chain of something. Striking? No. They have this plague and she needs the fence and it's all nearing to an end and, wow! it's not all ethical. The ground's still not shaking, though.

  6. 4 out of 5

    preoccupiedbybooks

    Creepy, chilling, unsettling and bleak....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Char

    THE LAST CONVERSATION is my second read in the Forward series from Amazon, curated by Blake Crouch. I'm familiar with the works of Paul Tremblay and just read his latest collection GROWING THINGS a few months back. I felt that this story was a bit of a departure from his horror works and it was a change that I enjoyed. Being more of a mystery/science fiction tale, I found the end to be an unexpected surprise- and I love to be surprised! Thanks to Amazon/Audible for the free reads and THE LAST CONVERSATION is my second read in the Forward series from Amazon, curated by Blake Crouch. I'm familiar with the works of Paul Tremblay and just read his latest collection GROWING THINGS a few months back. I felt that this story was a bit of a departure from his horror works and it was a change that I enjoyed. Being more of a mystery/science fiction tale, I found the end to be an unexpected surprise- and I love to be surprised! Thanks to Amazon/Audible for the free reads and the original premises upon which these stories are based!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This story is part of the FORWARD collection and a great addition to the series. The first book I read from this author was THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD which was an intense horror novel. This short story is different but as deeply scary and creepy as the novel I mentioned. Imagine you wake up in a dark room, very dark. You can't see anything at all and you don't know if it's because the room is dark or if it's because you're blind. But worst of all is realizing you don't know wh This story is part of the FORWARD collection and a great addition to the series. The first book I read from this author was THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD which was an intense horror novel. This short story is different but as deeply scary and creepy as the novel I mentioned. Imagine you wake up in a dark room, very dark. You can't see anything at all and you don't know if it's because the room is dark or if it's because you're blind. But worst of all is realizing you don't know who you are or why you're there. Take it from there. The story was absolutely captivating and suspenseful. I loved it, and recommend it to readers of science fiction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    "Dear" Paul Tremblay, I've just finished THE LAST CONVERSATION. I loathe second-person narration...so chest-pokey, so accusatory...but this story made me leak tears and gasp for breath and I do not ever want to be that lonely and how did you do that in spite of thumping my nose for 60 pages? Five stars. Bastard. Cheers RMD expendablemudge.blogspot.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    This Review ✍ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Actual Rating: 2.5 stars ★ I am on the fence about this one! I did not know the author prior to reading this one, I am not a fan of horror so I probably would have never have been exposed to his works. ★ That of course, does not mean that I wanted to dislike this or skip it, I wanted to like it but the author kept it very vague and the scientist kept saying maybe and you will understand later and I can't tell much. And since this is written in 2nd person POV, it/>Actual This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Actual Rating: 2.5 stars ★ I am on the fence about this one! I did not know the author prior to reading this one, I am not a fan of horror so I probably would have never have been exposed to his works. ★ That of course, does not mean that I wanted to dislike this or skip it, I wanted to like it but the author kept it very vague and the scientist kept saying maybe and you will understand later and I can't tell much. And since this is written in 2nd person POV, it felt like she was talking to us as readers! ★ For a story of 50 pages, it should not have been so confusing! I understood what was he trying to do at the end. I understood the story too but I think the way it was written did more damage than good. Still delivered a chilling ending but I would have done things differently. You can get more books from Book Depository

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    This was one delightfully creepy story. I'm still feeling the chill of this slow buildup and utterly fitting use of second person POV.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Do not read any reviews beforehand. You will get spoiled. A little creepy and a lot ominous. Psychological horror. Our protagonist wakes up blind, without memories, restrained to one room, with the embodied voice of a doctor telling him what to do. Slowly memories return. Desperation comes to mind, especially when the story and its secret begin to unravel. The audiobook narration was ok. So was the story overall. ★★★☆ Do not read any reviews beforehand. You will get spoiled. A little creepy and a lot ominous. Psychological horror. Our protagonist wakes up blind, without memories, restrained to one room, with the embodied voice of a doctor telling him what to do. Slowly memories return. Desperation comes to mind, especially when the story and its secret begin to unravel. The audiobook narration was ok. So was the story overall. ★★★½☆

  13. 5 out of 5

    TS Chan

    Disturbing and unsettling, this is another entry in the Forward collection that is written in 2nd person. It worked really well to convey a story about memories and identity. "To forget is to lose something that was once yours,that was once of yourself. But how could one lose something as expansive as an ocean in a dusty corner of one's mind? What if, instead, to forget is to open a door to a void; the memory is not retrievable because it is not there, was never there."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    4.5 stars . Chilling story that thoroughly engaged me despite the awful scenario.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Wow. This was a bang up short story in the collection. I loved it. It had a lot of horror elements I thought working for it too. The ending gave my goosebumps. "The Last Conversation" follows an unnamed person (we never find out if they are male or female which I liked) who wakes up slowly and cannot see. We don't know what has happened, except a person named Doctor Kuhn is the only person that the unnamed person can talk to via an intercom. The unnamed person is run through daily tes Wow. This was a bang up short story in the collection. I loved it. It had a lot of horror elements I thought working for it too. The ending gave my goosebumps. "The Last Conversation" follows an unnamed person (we never find out if they are male or female which I liked) who wakes up slowly and cannot see. We don't know what has happened, except a person named Doctor Kuhn is the only person that the unnamed person can talk to via an intercom. The unnamed person is run through daily tests and told hints and pieces about their lives, but finds their memory slowly coming back. They want to know though why they can't see Doctor Kuhn or be let out of their room. And when they eventually are, they may wish they never left. I have to say the unnamed person hit me in the feels. I felt claustrophobic at times in parts of this story. Not being able to see and just having a voice to guide you freaks me out. They are forced to walk on a treadmill, do memory association games, and the only person they can "talk" to is someone named Doctor Kuhn they cannot physically see cause "reasons." Doctor Kuhn is the only other person you get to interact with in this story which increases the feeling of claustrophobia. I thought the writing was very good. I liked how Tremblay takes away any sense of who the unnamed character is and even when Doctor Kuhn is supposedly saying their name you can't read it, it's changed to just this "____". It makes you feel as if you are reading a lab report. Which I assume was done for reasons the ending will make clear later. The flow was really good too. I wanted to find out more about this world and what went on, but once again you only have Doctor Kuhn's say so on things and if you are like me my "this woman is a liar who should not be trusted" feelers crept up. The setting to me is definitely dystopian based on what the ending reveals and I liked the horror elements as well. All of this book takes place in a room in a supposed infirmary type place. And then when the setting moves (no spoilers) I felt nothing but apprehension. The ending was definitely a gut punch and made me want to read more. That to me is the mark of a great short story when you don't want it to end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gerhard

    You’re awash in the sun’s fusion-powered glare and you close your eyes, cover your face with shaking hands. You listen to the wind echoing in the bowls of your ears. The smell of the air and how it feels on your skin, on your lips, and inside your lungs are beyond your abilities of description.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    More psychological than true horror. This is a good novella but I didn’t really connect with it, probably due to its sad theme. In all, I’m very impressed with the quality of all six stories, and yes, my firm favourite is Jemisin’s Emergency Skin!

  18. 4 out of 5

    nova ryder ☼

    this felt like an episode of the twilight zone. very strange. very weird. just enough of a story to make you feel unsettled.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dawn C

    Funny how the short story I liked the best of this collection was by the author whose book The Cabin and the End of the World I absolutely hated. Guess I may have to give him a second chance.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Quann

    Ah, damn, this one is a bit of a letdown. I really dug The Cabin at the End of the World and had high hopes for Tremblay's contribution to the Forward collection>. Alas, both my road trip companion, Alex, and I both agreed that this is the weakest story of the pack. It plods on for the first half with some pretty monotone audio narration of content which drags out a reveal we both thought was obvious. Tremblay's horror skills come into play during the last twenty-or-so minutes, but by then the story ha Ah, damn, this one is a bit of a letdown. I really dug The Cabin at the End of the World and had high hopes for Tremblay's contribution to the Forward collection>. Alas, both my road trip companion, Alex, and I both agreed that this is the weakest story of the pack. It plods on for the first half with some pretty monotone audio narration of content which drags out a reveal we both thought was obvious. Tremblay's horror skills come into play during the last twenty-or-so minutes, but by then the story had overstayed its welcome. If you had to skip one story of the collection, this should be it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anissa

    I liked this one and figured out fairly quickly what was going on. I felt for the main character, especially to be the charge of such a caregiver. By the end, I simply thought, monstrous.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This Amazon Forward Collection was definitely great!! I liked/loved all of the stories. This one was a sort of end of mankind story. Poignant, sad, excellent. 4 Stars Listened to the audiobook. Excellent performance.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    Another good one This is another very good story of the total of six in the Blake Crouch curated Forward collection. An engrossing and very suspenseful read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    B.A. Wilson

    The ending was good. I found the rest tedious, but I will confess to my frequent difficulties with 2nd person POVs. It really takes me out of the story, rather than puts me in it. The last thing I want to think about while reading, an escape, is myself. So while I've read and liked one book in 2nd person, most of them are a struggle for me. For this one, I kind of see why 2nd POV was selected, but not entirely. It was a gimmick that almost worked. The story would have been more readable if there The ending was good. I found the rest tedious, but I will confess to my frequent difficulties with 2nd person POVs. It really takes me out of the story, rather than puts me in it. The last thing I want to think about while reading, an escape, is myself. So while I've read and liked one book in 2nd person, most of them are a struggle for me. For this one, I kind of see why 2nd POV was selected, but not entirely. It was a gimmick that almost worked. The story would have been more readable if there had been an actual character to relate to, instead of the mythical "you" narrator. Pages: 56

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alec Lyons

    It's amazing how through conversation and thought alone, the world was built and formed around them, pulling you in for an isolating journey of unlocking oneself and the mysteries that surround the circumstances. All the while in a desperate attempt of healing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    The Behrg

    Tremblay's take on the Forward collection sets the reader immediately into the task of asking questions. The use of 2nd person and the disorienting nature of the story worked for me extremely well. While there isn't a lot of new ground covered here, the way its presented makes for a fascinating journey. This is one I thoroughly enjoyed. 4.5 stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aiden Merchant

    This story is a bit slow, but it's short and powerful. As always, Tremblay's style burns bright, increasing the emotional pull of this one. I would definitely enjoy a longer story in this vein, one that took us from the collapse through the tests and to a conclusion. But I also know Tremblay isn't much for concrete conclusions.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carla (Carla's Book Bits)

    I love Paul Tremblay, but I have to say, I was a bit disappointed by this one... I think the biggest reason may be that I just guessed what was going on really early into it.. And then the story proceeded to tell me what I already knew. If you like Paul Tremblay's writing style, his unique use of language is still in this story and going strong, so if my complaint doesn't bother you at all, I think this is still a good one to check out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shorouk Abd Elhamed

    2.5 stars This is my first read of the author as I don't like horror that much. The writing style was promising and I was interested. After a while ,I got bored and just wanted to know the idea. The ending was okay but nothing mind blowing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    A tedious work of suspense. A limping Armageddon. Boring.

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