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The Culling

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Carl Sims, a young virologist, discovers a plot hatched by a group of international scientists to cull, in a matter of weeks, two-thirds of the world's population - some 4.5 billion people, by releasing a deadly virus that kills two thirds of those it infects. Their goal is to reduce Earth's population from an unsustainable seven billion to two billion. What is he to do? T ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 24th 2014 by The Permanent Press
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Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There’s a strong clear message in Robert Johnson’s The Culling, but there’s a strong clear storyline too, and neither overwhelms the other. It’s appealingly different to read about plausible scientists, speaking real science, giving well-reasoned arguments, and backing them up with facts. These scientists have genuine character too—their relationships aren’t glued onto the message to turn it into fiction, and their arguments aren’t imposed on the adventure to give it weight. Instead a thread of ...more
Natylie Baldwin
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
*Review origianlly published by the New York Journal of Books*

Robert Johnson's first novel tackles an issue that most in the media, the arts, and entertainment industry—even the environmental community—are afraid to discuss directly: overpopulation.

The fear of offending powerful individuals who profit in the short-term either culturally or monetarily from the nonstop propagation of our species is strong.

This thriller explores various angles of the problem, including this reluctance to challeng
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Written in the present tense to add a sense of immediacy, and including frightening information about the world's population, climate, resources and the crushing poverty that increases every day, it's also full of philosophical questions.

What if the only way for a population to survive were to cull the herd? We do it already with animals - should we cull the human herd too? Dr. Carl Sims is faced with an impossible choice, where neither option is desirable and both outcomes are terrible. Our wo
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A possible plot to cull the Earth of 2/3s of its human population using a deadly virus? Oh the intrigue!

As I read the first couple of chapters, I felt like I was watching a movie: the way the characters speak to each other, the way their first adventures are set up. A little later, I read the author's biography and lo and behold, the fellow writes screenplays!

This book was a thought provoking read! Lots of food for thought. I actually found myself making notes of things to look up online to see
Renee Hall
I don't like the idea of rating something I haven't read all the way to the end, so I'll leave the stars off this one and just give a brief explanation of why I'm abandoning it. I made it to about page 100, but the story hasn't grabbed me and the prose itself is grating on me.

For one thing, I've never been a big fan of third person present tense. I love present tense in first person, where it can provide a sense of immediacy and intimacy, but in this case the third person usage felt like I was
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program, I was able to get a early preview copy of The Culling by Robert Johnson. Similar to Michael Crichton and James Patterson, Johnson takes a stab at entering the world of technological thrillers, mixing both high tech science and technology with storytelling to create a high-stakes roller coaster through something that doesn't seem too far off from reality. I really enjoyed The Culling and the message of creating a sustainable environment for futu ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it

In this book, a young virologist named Dr. Carl Sims is sent to China by the CDC to obtain samples of a flu virus. He is to assist a famous epidemiologist, Dr. Jenna Williams, and her two interns. Their search leads them to a small village in Laos where they encounter a particularly vicious virus that infects everyone who encounters it and kills two thirds of the afflicted. Carl discovers that the viral outbreak is part of a plan to cull the worldwide population.

Carl is the son of a man whose mi
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is, by no means, a feel-good read. It is filled with fascinating (though terrifying) scientific facts and data and opens up a whole new world of the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization that most of us are never privy to.

The driving storyline revolves around Carl, a virologist with the CDC, who discovers a plot by other scientists to release a virus on the world at large. That alone would make for a fast-paced thriller, but what makes The Culling a unique story is the
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-books-read
I received this book from Goodreads Giveaway & boy, am I glad to have had a chance to read it! Carl Sims (the protagonist) is virologist with the CDC in Atlanta. He lost his father at a very young age while his father was overseas trying to convince the world that the rate at which the population was growning would result in more poverty, more CO2 production, resulting in the mass extinction of plants and animals, and eventually humans themselves. His message was that people should voluntari ...more
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
"The Culling" by Robert Johnson is a fictional tale told about a very real concern, the overpopulation of our world. The premise is that our world can effectively sustain a population of approximately 2 billion people but we are already hitting the 7 billion mark. Many species of plants and animals are becoming extinct as our population destroys more and more habitats for these species. In effect, man is the main culprit in its own kinds coming extinction. This story portrays the not unimaginabl ...more
John Johnstone
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
The title tells all but what is doesn't say is the magnitude of problem facing the human race. This is expertly described within the storyline by Robert Johnson. With the worldwide population increasing beyond comprehension Dr Carl Sims of the CDC finds himself at the centre of a plot to dramatically reduce the planet's populace, to allow it to recover from the decades of over exploitation and pollution. Carl's father had originally highlighted the problem by establishing population clocks in ma ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
compelling, riveting, frightening..could not put it down. hollywood grab it quickly..would make a great movie. overpolulation will be our demise..not an enviromental demise. it is fiction but at the beginning has quotes from ronald reagan,dali lama, jacque cousteau, stephen hawking and others agreeing with that..once you get into it you find it thoroughly absorbing...5 stars +.
March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
Realistic horror in a novel whose potential horrors are factual and scientifically documentable, "The Culling" stands on a scientific foundation which renders its implacability all the more terrifying. Forget zombie apocalypse and nuclear war; it seems now environmental apocalypse lurks at our doorstep.
David Marshall
Dec 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
A dire book which desperately tries to reinvent the terrorist release of a supervirus trope.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I recieved this book for free from Goodreads. Scary and fascinating at the same time. Tough decisions that had to be made. Startling and educational information.
Shaun Ryan
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Story-wise it's a 4. Got the fifth star because it took balls to tackle this subject, and no one else really has, neither as directly nor as in-depth. Well researced.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
See the rest of my review here

The title alone drew me in to this little gem of a novel. Yes, some of us are very aware of how overpopulated the planet is, but culling the herd is most def an inhumane way to go about it. This novel takes a look at scientists who are looking at the bigger picture. Save the earth by taking out a good percentage of the reckless population who can't seem to stop breeding.

This actually got me thinking about deer. How every year we have a season where hunters are allow
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Culling by Robert Johnson had all the earmarks of a great novel choice for me.
Deals with a plague/virus/outbreak - check
Main characters work for the CDC - check
Action packed and includes sound scientific facts - check
A team is exhuming the graves of flu victims in Alaska - check
Sadly, despite all it had going for it, The Culling needed culling for me - a so-so novel

In The Culling by Robert Johnson 27 year old Dr. Carl Sims is a buff doctor with the CDC who aspires to work with the lethal Bio
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Although this book incorporated some interesting ideas, it was not very original, and had a very predictable ending(view spoiler). Some of the events were random and did not add to the ambiance of the book or the main storyline(view spoiler).
This book could have been thought-provoking, but did not leave anything up to the reader's im
Jul 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, kindle
This book is an entry level Michael Crichton story. Very straightforward plot with one-dimensional characters. Could be a screenplay. The story: a group of scientists are convinced that only by significantly reducing the world's population can humans survive. So they set themselves out to infect the world with a potent virus. I like Dan Brown's population explosion solution in The Inferno better - that book is better too.
Ken Schloman
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
I do not like getting preached at when I read a novel, even if it is one that contains a lot of good science that I happen to agree with. The basic plot is familiar and the story line developing the plot seems weak. Characters are not really likable or well developed. Again, I have to come back to the preaching tone of the novel. It just does not work for me.
Debby Dimeglio
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
this was the first book I've read that i won on goodreads. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed.
It took me a while to get into this book. I thought the characters needed more development and the story was pretty much predictable. About page 200 it did get more interesting and held my interest a little more. It was a book i could put down and not rush to keep reading as I usually do.
Subrina Anderson
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was a surprisingly good book. I haven't read to many medical thrillers dealing with viral weaponry. This suspenseful thriller gave me a lot of food for thought about what extreme measures would people take to save the planet from overpopulation....I plan on reading more books by Robert Bloch.
Linda Mays
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Listened to the audio version of this book during a recent road trip. It was interesting, and I liked it fairly well. Not one I would consider 'great' though.
This is a good, not great, book about the very real fear/concern of overpopulation on a planet already over-consuming natural resources at a fatal rate.
Jan 04, 2014 added it
Shelves: need-to-read
Can't wait for this to go to e-book format
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Just could not get into this book.To be fair I was also in the middle of a trilogy I really loved so this book may deserve more credit than my attention was willing to stretch.
Kathleen Benefield
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2015
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