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The Scarlet Plague

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  3,344 Ratings  ·  380 Reviews
'An old man, James Howard Smith, walks along deserted railway tracks, long since unused and overgrown; beside him a young, feral boy helps him along. It has been 60 years since the great Red Death wiped out mankind, and the handful of survivors from all walks of life have established their own civilization and their own hierarchy in a savage world. Art, science, and all le ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published March 7th 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1912)
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Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Siempre me atrajeron fuertemente los cuentos o novelas apocalípticas o post apocalípticas. He leído algunas como La Guerra de los Mundos de HG Wells, Los huevos fatales de Mijaíl Bulgákov y El eterno Adán de Julio Verne, y me faltan otras como El último hombre de Mary Shelley (a la que busco desesperadamente), La carretera de Cormack McCarthy o el Diario del Año de la Peste de Daniel Defoe.
En el caso de esta nouvelle del gran Jack London, es una relectura porque hacía mucho que quería volver a r
Simona Bartolotta

"Some will fight, some will rule, some will pray; and all the rest will toil and suffer sore while on their bleeding carcasses is reared again, and yet again, without end, the amazing beauty and surpassing wonder of the civilized state."

Please take my rating with a grain of salt. It is mostly due to the fact that, being The Scarlet Plague the perfect epitome of the classic imagery we all have, nowadays, of a post-apocalyptic world, I felt that the book had nothing new to say to me. Of course,
Jason Reeser
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had trouble reading this and believing that Jack London wrote this one hundred years ago. I kept expecting to discover this was a different Jack London, one who wrote in the late 1950s or 1960s. This was far too evolved to be something written by a man in 1912. However, it supposedly is Jack London (it really is, but I can't seem to rid myself of the doubt). So with that in mind...

Wow, this story is perfectly told. A tight, fun read about the end of civilization. London's futuristic view of th
Natalie Vellacott
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Every once in a while I dip into something outside of my normal genre and in the public domain. This short book caught my eye due to the other books by the author.

It is some time in the future. A primitive grandfather and his two wild grandchildren are forraging for food or more accurately eating crabs as this is the only food available to them. A grizzly bear wanders around. The picture is of remote wasteland, hopelessness and destitution. The grandchildren aren't really interested in the tales

Jack London

Intelligent men are cruel. Stupid men are monstrously cruel.

JACK LONDON, The Star Rover
Coos Burton
Es la primera vez que leo a este autor, y la verdad es que quedé muy satisfecha con este título. Se trata de una novela post apocalíptica (iniciando por ahí, debo admitir que esos temas me suelen dar más miedo que cualquier otro de índole paranormal), en la cual nos encontramos con un anciano que sobrevivió a la peste escarlata, y sus nietos, a los que educa y les cuenta la verdad sobre el mundo antes y durante el caos mortífero que azotó al mundo. Conoceremos las desventuras de alguien que vio ...more
Maryam Hosseini
،نویسـنده در این داسـتانها آیـنده جهان را پیـشبینی میکند
.و آن را بسیار تاریک و سیاه میبیـند
مضـمون مشترک همهی داستانها بیعـدالتی، نابرابریهای اجتماعی، پیـشــرفتِ عــلم و نقــشِ آن در جـنـگها و تسـریعِ ویرانیها و کشــتارهاســت؛
.و آرزویش برقراری یک نظام جدید برای برپایی صلحِ جهانیست

.راننده موجودی بود بدادا و بدخــلق و نادرست"
در حیرت بودم که چرا باید چنــین آدمی زنده بماند و هــزاران هزار نفر در سراسر زمین از طاعون ارغوانی بمیرند
،گویا بر خـلافِ تمــامِ مزخــرفات اخــلاقی و فلســفی
"...چــیزی که در دن
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Tutto ciò che è fugace si scioglie come la schiuma (...) tutte le opere dell'umanità sul pianeta non erano altro che schiuma"

Racconti (pubblicati tra il 1899 ed il 1918) al cui centro ci sono eventi straordinari e dove l'uomo di London esprime un indole malvagia.
L'uomo di scienza, in particolare, indaga in modo forsennato i misteri della vita e della morte e per raggiungere i suoi scopi e dichiarare che non esistono scrupoli morali.

La raccolta comprende:
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: feral grandchildren, old men who like crabs, post-apocalyptic college professors
Did you know that Jack London wrote a post-apocalyptic novel? I didn't!

"The Scarlet Death broke out in San Francisco. The first death came on a Monday morning. By Thursday they were dying like flies in Oakland and San Francisco. They died everywhere—in their beds, at their work, walking along the street. It was on Tuesday that I saw my first death—Miss Collbran, one of my students, sitting right there before my eyes, in my lecture-room. I noticed her face while I was talking. It had suddenly tur
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By the time Jack London released his post-apocalyptic novel "The Scarlet Plague" in 1912, the author was 36 years old--just four years shy of his premature passing in 1916--and yet had already managed to cram in more incident and adventure into those three dozen years than most folks do in their lifetime. Since his birth in San Francisco in 1876, he had worked on a sealing schooner, done a stint as an oyster pirate, participated in the Klondike Gold Rush (in 1897), played the part of a war corre ...more
Teresa Proença
Uma história escrita em 1915, acerca do fim do mundo a acontecer em 2013. Muito interessante.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La peste scarlatta è un racconto breve, di appena 82 pagine, ma essenziale nella sua trama e nella sua riflessione.
È cupo, angoscioso, oscuro, ma anche prolisso, complice il modo in cui il protagonista/narratore racconta la sua storia.
È la storia dell'unico uomo sopravvissuto alla peste, una epidemia che ha decimato la razza umana. Siamo in un mondo post apocalittico (molto simile a La strada di McCarthy), dove ci si ciba di cozze e granchi, dove non esiste la luce, dove "la civiltà sta crolla
Jakk Makk
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Atypical story choices abound. I appreciate knowing who is the narrator-- telling the story to whom. However, the boys are dense cruel primitives, so why does this telling matter? What is the goal and where is the tension? Humanity's race has run. Consider the reverse of this, like when Savannah and the Wildboys are keen to preserve what little knowledge the children possess in, "Beyond Thunderdome," it gives a sense of desperation and feels like things matter. Skip this.
Benjamin Duffy
So short as to barely even qualify as a novella, The Scarlet Plague still manages to be slow-moving. There's almost no action, as 90% of the book is the aged protagonist rambling on to his four grandsons (all of whom are filthy, illiterate post-apocalyptic savages) about how the world was before and immediately after the titular plague. London commits one of the cardinal sins of speculative fiction - making his characters speak in weird pseudo-futuristic jargon, which always always always just e ...more
Francisco Campos Lima
Este livro põe o homem no seu devido lugar. Não somos nós que temos as rédeas deste magnifico cavalo, ainda que por vezes tenhamos essa grave ilusão. Basta um pequeno furacão para tomarmos consciência da nossa fraqueza. No caso desta história um surto de peste foi o suficiente para deitar tudo por terra, quase extinguindo a raça humana.
Neste cenário apocalíptico as hierarquias sociais desabam e é a lei do mais forte que prevalece. Longe de repressões sociais e de qualquer tipo de censura, as pe
Ahmad Sharabiani
Histoires des siecles futurs, Jack London
عنوان: طاعون ارغوانی، نویسنده: جک لندن، مترجم: محمد مجلسی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، دنیای نو، 1388، در 159 ص، شابک: 9789641720423؛
عنوان: طاعون سرخ - شاهکار جک لندن، نویسنده: جک لندن، مترجم: گیو آقاسی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، انتشارات بنگاه آرمان، 1350، در 224 ص؛
Doreen Petersen
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I really loved this one! It was short and sweet. Definitely check this one out!
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
London si confema un ottimo narratore.
In questo libro piccolo piccolo, ipotizza il futuro di un'umanità decimata da una malattia letale capace di uccidere nel giro di pochi minuti. Il vecchio narratore si ritrova a raccontare gli eventi ai suoi 3 nipoti che vivono in uno stato nuovamente primitivo.
Suggestive le descrizioni di come l'umanità reagisce all'avvento della nuova peste tra fughe, incendi, ubriachezza e pistole.
Da notare come il mondo civilizzato per London fosse il solo Nord America e
Иван Величков
Покрай рождения ден на Джек Лондон скоростно си препрочетох някой негови произведения, но все не ми остава време да си събера мислите и да изложа бурята от емоции, които ме затиснаха – спомени от детството, новопоявило се разбиране за величието на този човек, новоткритите в произведенията му революционни идеи и много други.
Сборникът „Алената чума“ е една чудесна подборка, която ни показва една, хем по-различна, хем съвсем привична страна на писателя. Тук той използва фантастичното в сатирични ме
Andrew Leon
Jack London is a writer I greatly admire, as much (or more) for his work ethic as for anything he ever wrote, though I did love both The Call of the Wild and White Fang when I read them as a teenager. In fact, they started me off on months worth of reading books with animals as central characters. Which I eventually moved away from, because, the farther you got from London, the worse the books got. But I digress...

We often think of post-apocalyptic literature as being a new phenomenon but, reall
Amy Rae
Well, this was certainly a book. It's more interesting as a footnote about Jack London than a story in its own right--did you know that Jack London wrote a post-apocalyptic novel as well as all those damn dog books? Fascinating, huh? No, don't bother reading it, just know that he wrote it.

The premise is interesting, and there's a mild tang of zeerust to it, since it's a writer envisioning in 1915 the downfall of humanity in 2013. (We survived the Scarlet Plague, everybody! Pat yourselves on the
Ed Mestre
On a recent visit to Jack London Square in Oakland, CA I realized I hadn't read any Jack London works since adolescence. So, I checked into it & found one that wasn't in the Call of the Wild mold, a short novella format, with an interesting premise. The Scarlet Plague surprised me in that it's setting is the very familiar cities & locales around me in The San Francisco Bay area, but in the post apocalyptic year of 2072. It is a grandfather telling his rude & savage goatherd grandkids ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, sci-fi
My reading of The Scarlet Plague is quite timely. Set in the year 2013 (!), the story tells about a plague that kills so swiftly and spreads so efficiently that in just a matter of days humanity is nearly wiped out from the face of the earth. The event is narrated by Granser, a professor of literature, who seems to be immune to the plague. Through his story to a group of children he tells of how mankind plummets from its high culture to primitive conditions during and after the coming of the pla ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
It was slightly jarring to read this in 2013, the year the Scarlet Plague is supposed to wipe out mankind. It reminded me of reading The Stand a few years ago when Swine Flu was all the rage.

The storytelling is fairly descriptive and provides an interesting take on post-apocalyptic society. It portrays the resulting society as far more primitive than most other stories in the genre. It was interesting to see London's guesses at the technology existing in 2013. Some of the things he described vag
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
3.5 estrellas
Un libro post-apocalíptico que se acerca bastante a nuestra realidad. Sorprende la tríada cronológica: 1912, el año en que fue escrito; 2013, el año en que la peste escarlata afectó a la humanidad, y 2072, el año en que se encuentra el narrador de la historia, un abuelo que aún recuerda aquel mundo que sucumbió a la peste.
El autor ofrece una visión muy cercana de nuestro mundo, tanto que asusta. Pero no sorprende lo que ocurre en el año 2072: la humanidad, con suerte, es una especie
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The scarlet plague was a very interesting, creative book. It told the tale of a plague that killed most of the population in 2012, and a survivor (a few decades after), educating his grandsons and telling them about life before and during the plague. It was enjoyable and intruiging to to hear and see our world in a new light, and a new decade. I was surprised to see the grandsons not do basic things like count above ten, or know what restaraunts are, but after thinking about it, I realised it wa ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is the ancestor of a whole genre of post-apocalyptic fiction. A quick and interesting read with alarmingly accurate predictions for the future. It was written in a pre-Ebola world so the devastation caused by the illness was not as gory as it usually is today (think The Hot Zone).

It's short and it's one of those novels with no copyright restrictions, so it's easily accessible as an ebook. There's no excuse not to read it.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is Jack London, but it’s ancient science fiction.

I’m listening to it this time; that first sentence refers to a reading. It’s strange how differently it strikes when heard. It is much much better heard, for me, and it even strikes chords of fear and worry in me as I consider London’s apocalyptic vision. It’s too much like today.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
العالم ما بعد الكارثة..
هل يستطيع الناجين من الطاعون اعادة الحضارة البشرية؟
واذا عادت هل ستختلف عن الحضارات السابقة؟
فكرة الرواية تتلخص في :كم هي هشة الحضارة البشرية!وكم هي متشابهة علي مر الأزمنة!
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
London can be a little uneven in his writing, and this is not one of his best. However, the idea is really good and I'm glad he had a crack at the dystopian novel.
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Play Book Tag: The Scarlet Plague by Jack London - 4 stars 9 17 Apr 15, 2017 11:41PM  
  • After London: or, Wild England
  • Level 7
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Jack London was an American novelist, journalist, social-activist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers. Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.
London drew heavily on his life experiences in his writing. He spent ti
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“The human race is doomed to sink back farther and farther into the primitive night ere again it begins its bloody climb upward to civilization.” 9 likes
“من أفواه حفنة من الأطفال خرجت حكمة كل الأزمنة؛ البعض سوف يقاتل .. والبعض سوف يحكم .. والبعض سوف يصلى .. أما الباقون فسوف يتجرعون الكدح والمعاناة، وينزفون فوق جثثهم، مرة تلو مرة بلا نهاية .. يا جمال الدولة المتحضرة المدهش !” 3 likes
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