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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  84 reviews
In 1945, Hitler unleashes the Blood Death on Britain as his final act of vengeance. Hoke, an American pilot and one of a tiny minority with a rare blood group unaffected by the deadly disease, has survived alone among the debris and the dead of London for three years. Now, in '48, a slow-dying group of Fascist Blackshirts believe their only hope is a complete transfusion o ...more
336 pages
Published 1999 by Presses de la Cité (first published 1996)
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The Rats by James HerbertThe Fog by James HerbertLair by James HerbertThe Dark by James HerbertDomain by James Herbert
The best of James Herbert
7th out of 24 books — 22 voters
The Rats by James HerbertThe Fog by James HerbertFluke by James HerbertThe Secret Of Crickley Hall by James HerbertLair by James Herbert
James Herbert
6th out of 14 books — 9 voters

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Andrew Light

This story is set, as the title suggests in the year 1948 shortly after the end of the second world war. Hitler has released the "Blood Death" which is a genetically modified disease that wiped out the majority of the population. It is also indicated that the disease spread and wiped out most of the world, the only survivors being those who belong to the rare AB negative blood group.

The story follows Hoke, a survivor of Hitler's deadly attack living in the city of London. He is trying to lay low
Slowly but surely working my way through back catalogue of the late great James Herbert. '48 was a departure for him, not so much horror as a dystopian alternate history. As the title suggests, set in the post WW2 England (London to be specific), the plot follows an American pilot who has been surviving in the war ravaged city. He comes across a group of fellow survivors and they struggle on together against the remainder of british fascists. The twist here is that although Hitler did lose the w ...more
First of all let me say how much I loved the setting in this book: silent and almost empty London in 1948, three years after Hitler's ultimate biological weapon extinguished almost all life on Earth, leaving buildings intact. Only a handful of people survived, and they are either sick or crazy or both. Among the ghostly remnants of civilization, a group of fascist bad guys (Blackshirts) is trying to round up all uninfected humans, including our superhero, the American pilot named Hoke, and steal ...more
I was drawn to this book as I'd always wanted to read a book by James Herbert and the fact this was post - apocalyptic added to the attraction.

I won't deny the book started at an intense pace and Herbert clearly has a great skill at being descriptive of the situation. However, as the book progressed the storyline slowed and his descriptive style got tedious as it proved ineffectual in advancing the overall story. I got bored and it become a chore pick g it up to read, I just didn't feel gripped
Claire Fun
Eh, it was alright. Macho man with issues saves some people in an almost post-apocalypse type London in 1948, after Hitler ended the war by unleashing a genocidal disease. I thought at the start I'd love it (post-apocalypse! Places I recognise!) but ended up being about the characters, which is *usually* what I want in a book, but I didn't really care for these characters. Huge pile of cliches. The dog was alright but underused ;). The main narrator was awful. Must kill. Uh. Pretty woman. Must n ...more
I had never heard of this book but fell across a copy and I was intrigued by the idea of an alternate ending to World War II so I gave it a try. The book tells the story of Hoke, a WWII pilot three years after the end of the war in a world that has fallen victim to a last gasp biological weapon deployed by Nazi Germany.

The weapon attacks peoples blood coagulation and kills around 97% of the worlds population. It is in this setting that Hoke struggles to survive in post-war London. The novel only
Well, to start with the plot certainly is quite poor: what if the Hitler's V2 rockets that felt upon London were equipped with a biological device? All the population would have died that is, all apart from whose having a blood-type predisposing them against certain death. Hoke, an American pilot, is lucky enough to have such blood-type; less so for being thus the target of the Blackshirts, those leader doesn't and therefore is after him for an hopeful transfusion. Poor and naïve, yes! However, ...more
-Pulp modernizado y disfrazado.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. La Segunda Guerra Mundial terminó en el año 1945 y ahora, en el año 48 y en Londres, los pocos supervivientes de la plaga aguda conocida como Muerte Sanguínea, que llegó a Gran Bretaña desde Alemania acompañando a la tonelada de explosivos de las ojivas de las V2, tratan de capturar a los escasos inmunes gracias a su sangre tipo AB negativo para experimentar buscando una cura a la versión crónica, pero igualmente letal, q
'48 is set in London, after WW II. In the story, the war ended when Hitler unleashed a biological weapon on the earth. The only survivors are those who are slowly dying, and those who are immune due to their blood type. Hoke, our hero, is an American airman eking out an existence, while hiding from the Blackshirts, a group of Nazi sympathizers. Accompanied by his faithful pooch Cagney, he spars with the Blackshirts on and off, until one day he comes across other survivors. As usual James Herbert ...more
Paul Elsy
My most favourite book of all time, one of the first full novels I ever read. I must have finished it upwards of a dozen times now.


The second reading of this book was as enjoyable and entertaining as the first time. From the very first page, our hero is running and hiding, dodging bullets, beating up the bad guys and rescuing fair damsels, until the James Bond like ending with lots of explosions, cliff-hangers and falling bodies.

This is an alternative history of 1948. Three years ago, Hitler realises that he has lost the war and so unleashes a virus. The Blood Death causes almost instantaneous death to most of the populatio
M.G. Mason
The year is 1948 and London is devastated by disease. Prior to final defeat in 1945, Hitler release an arsenal of V2 rockets as a revenge attack against the allies. The rockets were carrying a disease, The Blood Death, which killed millions in the most gruesome way imaginable.

Our protagonist is an American pilot, an ABneg (blood type immune to the disease) being pursued by an army of Blackshirts who want to drain his blood, believing it will cure those in their ranks afflicted with The Slow Deat
Nicola Muzsla
Mar 02, 2011 Nicola Muzsla rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The very first time I stumbled upon James Herbert,I read his novel "Nobody true" and was thrilled enough to give him chance several more times although nothing ever matched that first excitement - in fact,I noticed a certain sameness in his work so approached "48" with caution,ready to give up upon first negative character who happens to be big fat woman menacing the world. To my biggest surprise,this one turned out to be gripping read - in fact,action is happening so fast that I didn't have tim ...more
I really don't like admitting this but the last three James Herbert books I've read or started to read I've found mostly to be a chore when they should be enjoyable. I mean, this guy penned my favourite book of all time: Others. Along with that title, three of his other books have been real stand outs for me over the years but with 48 along with Once I found I was forcing myself to pick them up to continue reading. Although both very different, neither gripped me enough to rate them higher than ...more
48 reminded me of the book "I am legend" by Richard Matheson. The novel was a alternative history of the 2nd world war. In James Herbert version Hitler used a V2 rocket to drop a chemical agent on England as a revenge attack. This agent sent a plague which wiped out almost the whole population, apart from a group of indivuals whose blood type has a natural resistence to the disease. Much like "The Day of the Triffids" which is also set in a post-apocalyptic London, much of the novel describe the ...more
This book opens with a bang, an exhilarating near-capture of the protagonist, Hoke, an American pilot living in war-ruined London amongst hundreds of thousands of time-charred corpses. In this novel, in 1945 Hitler unleashed a virus that decimated all blood groups except for AB type. Hoke has AB type blood, and he’s been on the run for three years from a slow-dying group of crazies known as Blackshirts… they want his blood for their leader (a blood transfusion which they believe will save his li ...more
Joe Stamber
48 is a mix of Alternate History and Post Apocalypse. A defeated Hitler uses biological weapons as a last throw of the dice and kills all who don't belong to the rarest blood group. An almost deserted London in the aftermath of this horror is an excellent setting. If you like the sound of that and enjoy a fast-paced, easy to read tale without too many thrills then 48 may fit the bill. If you expect anything else you will probably be disappointed. As a James Herbert fan since my teens (a long tim ...more
Survivors of the blood plague released by the Nazis in the dying days of the war fight it out in ravaged London.
It was, as the star rating indicates, OK. The story itself is quite slight for its length, the protagonist is a crazy as a bucket of frogs and the bad guys do everything but twirl their moustaches and cackle. But it gets the job done and rattles along from set piece to set piece with gusto if without subtlety.
Kit Forrest
Survivors of a German super-disease vengeance weapon battle the last dying and deranged infected in London. It could have been good.

From the affected speech the UK author gave the American protagonist to the frequently silly devices driving the plot forward to the predictable paperthin characters, there's not much reason to waste your time. I wish I hadn't.
Set in post-apocalyptic London in 1948, three years after the end of WWII and Hitler's final act of war releasing the Blood Death across Britain, which kills all except those who are AB positive, Herbert combines the chilling sensation of a quiet empty London with the terror of the chase with the Fascist Blackshirts in an action packed thriller that keeps you reading until the very last page. The detail and descriptions of London, it's streets and buildings add to the realism of the book and Her ...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
From the very first this story throws you into danger. You quickly build up a picture of where you are, and why. The world has changed. Hitler did something very stupid and destroyed the majority of mankind three years ago. Now a small group of desperate, slowly dying survivors are hunting you down... for your blood. In a London where the majority of the population died within minutes, a London cluttered with traffic stilled in the panic, a London littered with dehydrated corpses, you have to li ...more
Jota Houses
Esta novela tiene lo que le faltaba a Metro 2033, ritmo, acción, tensión y clímax. Es un poco primaria, a lo videojuego de tiros en primera persona. Pero se lee con interés que, al final, es lo que cuenta.
Bastante malo. La historia podría haber estado bien, me gustan las ambientaciones postapocalípticas, pero se desarrolla bastante mal. Que tengan tanta suerte me parece sospechoso, lo de los grupos sanguíneos AB- es una gilichorrada sinsentido, no entiendo por qué los Camisas Negras siguen vivos (ni por qué hay tantos)...

El libro no es aburrido, pero es una mierda. Personajes muy planos (y egocéntricos), narrador bastante cansino (repite obviedades una y otra vez) y trama con mucha acción pero p
First published in 1996 and running for 320 pages, '48 received a great response from the public, with its terrifying post-apocolyptic storyline that throws you into a world of carnage and destruction. With only a few survivors left, Herbert brings you some rather predictable characters who come together for no other reason than survival.

Herbert off-loads piles of blood soaked action in this non-stop action novel. Difficult to put down from the start, '48 is a fantastic return to form for one of
Warren Stalley
I must admit when I started this book I hadn't read any James Herbert books for a long, long time. The last one I consumed was Others and that was excellent. This novel reminds me of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson but given a very British spin on things. It starts with an extended chase sequence and the pace never seems to let up. The words fly by and a very skilled writer takes you on a journey through a hellish London. James Herbert put a lot of research and effort into this novel and it show ...more
A very fast paced book- the action never stops from start to finish!
It can, at times, be a little hard to keep up with and the rate Herbert kills off the characters is a bit much to handle at times.
I only rated this book a 3 however as I found it startlingly similar to Domain, the final book in the Rats trilogy- both focus of a post-apocalyptic London, ravaged by a war, with few survivors trying to survive the enemy... Obviously in Domain it's the rats but in 48 it's the Blackshirts.
Still, a dec
Snippet; I have read romance and chick novels galore, but no book has made the tears stream down my cheeks as much as '48. I could not put the book down!
When my heart wasn't racing as the hero was chased through the London underground I was crying at the depictions of the lives lost, not only because of the disturbing way their remains had been left behind, but because of the eerily beautiful way Hoke travels through their streets and homes and can almost feel their presence.

Full Review; http://
Revisionistic history of post WWII London. Lots of chase and fight.
I liked it . Kind of an I Am Legend feel, with Nazis
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his nineteen novels have sold more than forty
More about James Herbert...
The Fog The Rats (Rats, #1) The Dark The Secret Of Crickley Hall Haunted (David Ash, #1)

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