Monday, April 27, 2020

Lawrence Wright's novel "The End of October" overplays the virus


There is a new novel “The End of October”, from Knopf, by Lawrence Wright, to be released April 28, as reviewed by Dwight Garner today in the New York Times.  

The novel describes an Ebola-like virus that wipes out 7% of the world’s population and leads to complete societal breakdown, with people defending their homesteads with guns.

The novel has a scientist, or microbiologist, as a protagonist.
  

There is a major episode involving the hajj in Mecca.

The question is, did the author come up with the plot before the real coronavirus became public? Probably so.  Sci-fi authors can often predict how viruses will behave ("The Stand") with chilling prescience, enough to make one wonder if an enemy could try to replicate a fictitious virus in a lab. 
   
It is external shocks that take people off pedestals they have never earned their rights to live on.

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