Sean Meriwether's Reviews > Survivors. Terry Nation

Survivors. Terry Nation by Terry Nation
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Aug 11, 11

bookshelves: humans-get-their-asses-kicked, dystopia
Read on August 05, 2011 — I own a copy

I’ve been reading up on pandemics both real and imaginary to prepare to write my own book and I ran across the recent series Survivors inspired by this novel. While the BBC version was a lot more entertaining and satisfying, the novel touches on a number of "what if" concepts that the show never even attempts to approach. The novel kicks off with patient zero, a man who has died on a London-bound plane and is carrying a flu with a mortality rate of 95%; it spreads rapidly. London is plunged into chaos and services break down completely within a fortnight. Mind you, this is a book about the survivors so the extinction of billions is covered in a few short pages, and being English, those who don’t make the cut are very polite in the face of certain death. The main point Mr. Nation raises throughout the novel is that our modern society is completely ill-equipped to rough it. We do not know how to manufacture something as basic as a candle because we have learned to completely rely upon mass production and food delivery. Left on our own we will become scavengers up to a point, but in order to really survive we must reaquire the basic skills taken as common sense by our ancestors. The author’s hero is Abby, a middleclass mother searching to recreate a new way of life based on sustainable agriculture and bartering with other survivors. The novel read quickly and while I enjoyed the book, I came away wanting something more than a high-level sketch as this book covers more than a decade of post-flu survival. The ending was also an extreme letdown after a gripping adventure.
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