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The End of October

av Lawrence Wright

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3182160,235 (3.66)27
"In this propulsive medical thriller--from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author--Dr. Henry Parsons, an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees. At an internment camp in Indonesia, within one week, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When the microbiologist and epidemiologist Henry Parsons travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi doctor and prince in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city. Matilda Nachinsky, deputy director of U. S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic. Henry's wife Jill and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta and the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions--scientific, religious, governmental--and decimating the population. As packed with suspense as it is with the riveting history of viral diseases, Lawrence Wright has given us a full-tilt, electrifying, one-of-a-kind thriller"--… (mer)

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I like Lawrence Wright's writing. God Save Texas was great. I liked this, too, but it is too close to real life right now. We are living in dystopia and this novel runs too near the nightly news. ( )
  Mark.Kosminskas | Nov 13, 2020 |
I'm reviewing this in the Covid-19 epedemic. I have also read Skin by Liam Brown which I'd recommend.

I came into this in a roundabout way that was not directly related to, or in response to this epidemic, it was just on the list from before now.

OK, I am in that much older, vulnerable age group and I live in New Zealand so we have had an easy ride of it. I am so deeply grateful that I don't live in Boristan or Trumpistan or any other dystopistan.

Reading this book you can only think "prescience" or more accurately "PRESCIENCE" in very big letters. Irrespective of where you live, you will also be grateful that this virus is relatively benign.

The book deals with a deadly virus with a very high fatality rate. It doesn't dwell on the expected anarchy that you would get in a typical post-apoclyptic novel but the sequence of implosions is so unnervingly realistic, it is chilling.

Reading this, you wonder how much of it is already in place, and I am not talking about preparedness by adminstrations, (we've already seen how that would pan out in a more serious scenario) but preparedness by bad actors. That is either the Americans, Russians or Chinese depending on where you live, and it was here that I found it the most chilling. Having seen The Trump's spewing of lies and misdirection to cover his ineptitude you get a very real sense of how things would pan out.

But, I think the biggest thing it brings across is the sheer fragility of the systems that support us, systems that we not only take for granted but have no real idea how they work.

Having lived through the Christchurch Earthquakes, we had no power, which meant no mobile phone coverage,no ATMs, no petrol, and no water. Irrespective of how clever you and your neighbours may be, your first imperative is food, heat and shelter. I have read that London only ever has 7 meals on hand, the days of huge warehouses full of supplies is long in the past, the days of Just In Time (JIT) deliveries is how we live now.

There nothing earth shattering here, it's not literature (whatever that may be) but it is a very good book for the times we are living through now and will inevitably live through again, especially if this virus repeats what other viruses have done in the past by appearing first in a mild form, then coming back to really kick arse.

Also, let's not forget that the "Spanish Flu" began in Kansas but the power of disinformation has lasting value. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
I purchased this book from @bookofthemonth to read. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 The End of October by Lawrence Wright. Reading about a pandemic during a pandemic did little to calm my anxiety, but reading this opened up a whole new set of eyes for all the conspiracy and political mess that comes with a pandemic. When 7 people are pronounced dead in Indonesia of a hemorrhagic fever, epidemiologist Henry Parsons travels there on behalf of WHO to investigate. What he discovers is a deadly disease that needs to be quarantined immediately, but officials in Indonesia won't hear of it and soon it becomes a global pandemic. Retracing the virus and finding the point of origin becomes Henry's obsession. While Henry is in the middle east chasing the virus his family is back in the US trying to survive what has turned into an all out war. Politicians think this was Russia, the Middle East thinks this was a terrorist attack, some believe this is nature's way of resetting the balance and taking back what humans ruined, rumors are flying that Putin is behind the whole thing, but what Henry discovers will shock the world and as a reader shock you. While this is a fiction book it feels very real to the situation we are in now with Coronavirus. A state of constant fear and conspiracy theories everywhere but no real answers. Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Library Thing, Twitter @jason_stacie, Facebook, www.goodreads.com/stacieboren Amazon, and my blog at readsbystacie.com ( )
  SBoren | Sep 14, 2020 |
Strange reads for strange times. Powered through this faster than most books lately.

At first, eerily similar to today’s situation, especially an ignorance from the government to confront our problems. Diverges into a scarier ending, where we thoughts things could be going back in March, but still resonant.
  densign01 | Aug 4, 2020 |
Lawrence Wright’s pandemic novel The End of October was published on April 28, 2020, meaning that it was probably pretty much written, edited, and in the hands of his publisher by the time our own real-world COVID-19 pandemic was really hitting its stride. If that assumption is true, the first half of Wright’s novel rather uncannily tracks what we’ve gone through with COVID-19, including even our silly arguments about the effectiveness, or non-effectiveness, of face masks. But that should not really be as surprising as it may at first glance seem to be because Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker who, beginning with 1979’s City Children, Country Summer, has produced a string of ten carefully researched nonfiction books. In the process, Wright won a Pulitzer for 2007’s The Looming Tower and a National Book Critics Circle Award for 2013’s Going Clear. Wright used those same research skills in preparation of The End of October, and it shows.

“Disease was more powerful than armies. Disease was more arbitrary than terrorism. Disease was crueler than the human imagination.” (Page 22)

Dr. Henry Parsons first hears of the Kongoli virus at a “parliament of health officials” in Geneva, Switzerland. The next-to-last presentation of the last day of the conference focuses on an unusual cluster of forty-seven bloody deaths in a West Java refugee camp (although it turns out that the camp is actually a prison for Muslim homosexuals). Parsons does not believe the official Indonesian government explanation of the deaths, so he agrees to collect samples from the camp for further study before heading home to Atlanta. But as it turns out, he will not see Atlanta, his wife, or his two children again for a long, long time.

Within hours of his arrival in the squalid camp, Parsons is convinced that an unidentified virus is responsible for the horrendous deaths – and that he has made a terrible, perhaps fatal, mistake by not quarantining his driver before the man could drive away on his own. By the time the driver could be tracked down, he was on the hajj to Mecca along with millions of other devout Muslims. And now everything that can possibly go wrong, is about to. A highly contagious flu virus with a death rate of close to 50% is about to be unleashed on the world.

The second half of The End of October (which is a reference to the expected timing of the second wave of the virus) is more dystopian than the first half of the book. Just about the time that the virus seems to have passed its peak (the old flattening of the curve theory we are all so familiar with by now), “the lights go out” in the United States because the dictators in Russia, Iran, and North Korea (and perhaps others) decide that this is the perfect time to launch an all-out cyber-war against America. But as catastrophic as this second scenario is, it all feels a little rushed and somehow fails to pack the punch provided by the earlier part of Wright’s story.

Bottom Line: The End of October is one of those thrillers (cliché warning) pulled from today’s headlines and, as such, it can be nerve-rackingly scary to read this one at times. Wright’s story also includes concise accounts of the major pandemics that have plagued the world in the past and how those were either dealt with or played themselves out. It’s impossible to put a happy face on this one. ( )
  SamSattler | Jul 17, 2020 |
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"In this propulsive medical thriller--from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author--Dr. Henry Parsons, an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees. At an internment camp in Indonesia, within one week, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When the microbiologist and epidemiologist Henry Parsons travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi doctor and prince in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city. Matilda Nachinsky, deputy director of U. S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic. Henry's wife Jill and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta and the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions--scientific, religious, governmental--and decimating the population. As packed with suspense as it is with the riveting history of viral diseases, Lawrence Wright has given us a full-tilt, electrifying, one-of-a-kind thriller"--

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