Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #54: '48 by James Herbert

Number of pages: 330

This book is set in an alternate version of 1948, where Britain has been unleashed by a virulent disease, the "blood death", unleashed by Adolf Hitler at the end of World War II as his "final revenge".

The book's central character and narrator is Hoke, an American pilot, who is immune to the blood death, and has been living in what remains of London. Throughout the book, he and a group of other survivors fight to escape from the Nazi blackshirts, who are gradually dying from the disease and whose leader, Hubble, has a particularly gruesome plan to aid his own survival.

I loved this book's depiction of a post-apocalypic London, which showed in detail James Herbert's knowledge of the City. I wasn't entirely sure what to make of Hoke, as at times it felt like he was meant to be dislikable, mostly because of his behaviour towards another survivor, a German pilot.

I am fairly certain I read this before years ago, but I didn't remember any of it, so this came to me completely afresh. I found the writing in this book to be very similar to some of Stephen King's, mostly because of the gory scenes depicted throughout.

James Herbert was one of my favourite writers and I need to read some more of his novels.

Next book: The Wee Free Men (Terry Pratchett)
Tags: alternate history, horror, ominous, post-apocalypse, thriller

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