Updated: 4 days ago
During this crazy time, we are realizing just how relevant some of our favorite books and movies are! Here are five books about pandemics for you to check out during this seemingly apocalyptic time...
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Of course we have to start off with a zombie book! Written by Max Brooks and published in 2006, World War Z describes the variety of international crises that result from an outbreak of a virus that turns people into bloodthirsty zombies. What is unique about this version is that rather than the undead being creepy and slow, they are fast and work as a unit resembling a vicious horde. There is also a movie adaptation of this book that is worth checking out. It came out in 2013 and stars Brad Pitt. Coincidentally, the outbreak in this book also originated in China and continued to spread throughout the world.
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
Described by Scientific American as “Science writing as detective story at its best,” this book takes an academic approach to examining outbreaks and their origins. Published in 2012 and written by David Quammen, Spillover explores various diseases and their origins. The book was relevant during the 2014 ebola outbreak and has once again come back into the spotlight. As is the case with coronavirus, Spillover stresses the fact that infections can and do frequently spread from animals to humans.
Stephen King is one of the most popular authors alive today and is known for his great contributions to the horror genre. While many of his books focus on supernatural frights, The Stand is horrifying because something like it could actually happen in reality. This 1978 post-apocalyptic novel follows a fatal form of influenza intending to be used as a biological weapon. It escapes its research facility and ultimately kills over 90% of the world’s population within one month. Check out “The Complete and Uncut Edition” for the longest and most thorough version of this doomsday story.
Published in 1947, The Plague is the oldest book on this list. It was written by the French author, Albert Camus, who was known for his contributions to the philosophical stance of absurdism. The book starts with thousands of rats dying in the streets of Oran, a French-Algerian town. When humans collect their bodies to cremate them, they contract the disease which happens to be the bubonic plague. From there, the town is placed under quarantine and the book follows the lives of its various residents. The Plague is widely considered to be an existentialist work although that was not the intention of Camus.
The Andromeda Strain
Finally, the last book on our list is The Andromeda Strain written by Michael Crichton who is the author of other beloved classics such as Jurassic Park and Westworld. It was published in 1969 and centers around an extraterrestrial contaminant that came to Earth on a military satellite and has crashed in Arizona, killing everyone in the nearby town of Piedmont. A movie adaptation was released in 1971 and although Crichton passed in 2008, a sequel to the novel called The Andromeda Evolution was written by David H. Wilson and published last year.
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