A searing blast of pain and fear which drives its victims into writing paroxysms of anguish...a raging plague for which the only cure is death! They tried everything: isolation institutes; screamer pickup squads stalking the streets; emergency sedation kits whose plunging hypodermic needles set off pitifully wailing sirens that could be heard for blocks. But the epidemic continued to grow....
©1968 Bantam Books, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I like the fact that Audible is recording some obscure titles like this one. I picked it up at a 2nd hand store cause it looked odd and then it popped up on the site. I like to take a chance on non main stream writers now and then.
That being said: I like the first half or so the most. The society of the "plague years" is interesting, and there is an element of PKD type paranoia and conspiracy and "what is real?". There is also a hint of Clarke's Childhood's End in where humanity might be headed. and there is a dash of Bester's Demolished Man and esp. However I think where the novel could have gone is more interesting ultimately.
SPOILER: the 2nd half or at least last 1/3 devolves into a pulp scifi type capture-escape-capture-escape scenario that gets repetitive and ends suddenly in a Star Wars type attack on an orbiting space station that threatens Earth. I think the removal of the alien story line, concentration on the plague and how it affects humanity and the confusion over "reality" and maybe the conspiracy angle and the societal adjustments to an altered humanity would have made for a far more compelling novel that might have become a classic. I almost wish I had stopped the novel near the middle, about where the Paris episode is, and imagined the rest for myself.
Keep hoping Bester's Demolished Man and Stars My Destination will show up on Audible. 2 of the best all time.
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