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Preview — The White Plague by Frank Herbert
The White Plague
The White Plague, a marvelous and terrifyingly plausible blend of fiction and visionary theme, tells of one man who is pushed over the edge of sanity by the senseless murder of his family and who, reappearing several months later as the so-called Madman, unleashes a terrible plague upon the human race---one that zeros in, unerringly and fatally, on women.
Not cience fiction in the bastardized form we see today, but a true "speculative fiction" page-turner. A well-written story of bio-terrorism that gets out of hand that not only deals with the detective story of how to stop the plague, but what effects will society and politics see out of it as the targeted disease breaks out of the Middle East and ravages all corners of the world?
I am g...more
Good thing I realised it at the middle of the book, when I took another look to see who wrote this amazing story, and I was like : "oh. now it makes sense. now you tell me....more
This novel has another great idea, that of a man-made pandemic. It delves even deeper than a typical end-of-the-world story, though, by setting the villian and a few other characters on a long, quiet walk through what's left of Ireland, showing how the plague has warped life. He also manages to show how Ireland is so immersed in its...more
What I liked: The disease. I liked that the invention and distribution of the disease was described as the investigators figured it out rather than as the Madman was doing it. I liked the idea of the targeted disease. The politics. The way the different countries failed to come together in the face of a world-wide catastrophe was plausible. The turn against science... while only briefly touched on, the way the angry masses turned on scientists was believable.
The basic plot is that a crazed scientist develops a plague designed to infect and kill women. It gets worldwide distribution, and so all of womankind faces the possibility of extinction - soon to be followed by all men, of course.
It's set in the modern day, or possibly in the near future - but so near that there's nothing to di...more
This is a very long novel, but the best section features John O'Neil, the biologist, and the terrorist who planted the bomb, playing an endless game of psychological 'cat and mouse' while on a trek across Ire...more
John O’Neill wasn’t an evil man. But kill his wife and children as collateral damage in an IRA terrorist attack in 1970s era Ireland, and he will morph into something unrecognizable. He will work tirelessly, drawing from a genius in molecular genetics, being fueled by rage and pain, to concoct a bacterial vector for the most destructive virus in human history. It’s target: women, without which humans cannot...more
След като политическа лудост, водеща до безумен тероризъм, отнема най-близките същества на микробиолога Джон Роу О'Нийл, той в знак на отмъщение разработва опасно биологично оръжие, наречено „бялата чума“, покосяваща само жени.
Основно действието представлява един дълъг и мрачен преход, осветяван от размисли и разговори, ко...more
A bit over-written at times -- par for the course for Frank Herbert, I guess. The premise of the story is quite compelling, if frightening. It's a rather pessimistic view about morality and mankind, but it is entirely too reasonable. I wanted to be able to find something that I could point too and say, "That couldn't really happen." But people can be just selfish and horrible, and Herbert illustrates that well.
My main problem with the book is Herbert's treatment of women. The...more
"What did I expect? He wondered. Not this."
Several issues examined:
+If the world faces major calamity, will the governments fail and basic brutal survival prevail and the veneer of civilization disintegrate?
+Nature and critique of terrorism and the purpose and distortions of revenge.
+Do people consider the ramifications and ethics of science?
+Church's role in society.
+Tedious replication of retribution and the endless double-thinki...more
Even though I liked the plot, it occurred to me after reading this that I do not like Frank Herbert's style. I didn't mind the constant jumping of scenes, but I...more
The book could probably have been a bit shorter, part of the story was drawn out probably more than it needed to be. But overall, a good book, with some suspense in it, wondering if any women would survive for there to be a world in...more
I was not a big fan of Frank Herbet's Dune (I know blasphemy). But I loved this book.
The characters were flat, unlifelike and none incited any sympathy in me. The story would have looked vaguely interesting on a chalk-board, but was not fleshed out interestingly.
The book read like it had never been read. By the author. Full of idiotic verbosity.
I loved the entire Dune series: perhaps my expectations were too high. Or perhaps his style of political generalities and semi-religious drama was transformed into, or revealed as, vapid vague...more
The premise of the book is fascinating -- and scary. A molecular biologist creates a plague that causes men to suffer some symptoms, but kills women with what seems to be 100% mortality. Men are also carriers of the disease. The result is a worldwide breakdown as the fabric of society is completely torn apart. The entire world is affected politically, geographically, socially, and genetically.
I very much enjoyed the first third of "White Plague," from John O'Neill's descent into madn...more
A fascinating "what if?" character-driven story. Much of the novel takes place in Ireland, and Herbert does a...more
The story is about a man who is in Ireland fo...more
The White Plague. Summed up: a likable novel with enough intrigue, depth, intricacy, plot turns, and the pacing to keep anyone interested, and little enough of them to be memorable. An amusing albeit disposable work. The premise: a man's family is killed as innocent bystanders in an IRA bombing; he goes mad and develops an infectious plague that kill...more
There are a lot of fascinating themes in this novel and it functions great as a thriller as well. The way that the history of the Irish is presented is just brilliant. It is not a stereotypical view of the Irish. He really goes into the dept, exploring frust...more
This book contains some great points for conversation:
- The importance of bio-medical ethics, namely the importance of Christians actively engaging in the medical profession.
- How epidemics have the potential to massively redraw cultural lines, sociological structures, and morality.
- How Machiavellia...more
I found the book riviting, and commend it if you're into a bit of a dark future.
He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classi...more
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That was the end of holiness for both churches.”