Friday, 25 July 2014
A virus has wiped out 95 per cent of the world's population in just a few weeks, leaving the remaining 5 per cent to stay alive in a world devoid of the most basic amenities - electricity, transport and medicine. The few survivors of the human race are forced to fall back on the most primitive skills in order to live and re-establish some semblance of law and order. Abby Grant, widowed by the plague, moves through this new dark age with determination, sustained by hope that her son, who fled his boarding school at the onset, has survived. She knows she must relearn the skills on which civilisation was built. With others, she founds a commune and the group return to the soil. But marauding bands threaten their existence. For Abby, there's a chance for a new life and love when she encounters James Garland, the fourteenth Earl of Woodhouse, who is engaged in a desperate fight to save his ancestral home. But more important, she must find her son.
This is the novel that sparked the 1970s TV show and the terrible remake from a couple of years ago. It’s good too.
I’ve read lot’s of these immediate aftermath post-apocalypse things over the years. They’ve become a sort of SAS survival guide for me; John Christopher’s ‘Death of Grass’, ‘The Earth Abides’ by George R. Stewart and ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy are the most recent. I know for certain that I’d be terrible in such circumstances. I’ve no useful practical skills whatsoever.
The book concerns the life of one small group of people as they band together and attempt to survive the aftermath of a pandemic. The plot here almost exclusively deals with the practicalities of life. There are some perfunctory nods towards some sort of conflict with a newly formed autocratic society nearby but they are sparsely featured.
I picked this book up early today out of curiosity and finished it late this afternoon so a light read yes but still enjoyable.