Book Review: ’48 by James Herbert

The year is 1948 and London is devastated by disease. Prior to final defeat in 1945, Hitler release an arsenal of V2 rockets as a revenge attack against the allies. The rockets were carrying a disease, The Blood Death, which killed millions in the most gruesome way imaginable.

Our protagonist is an American pilot, an ABneg (blood type immune to the disease) being pursued by an army of Blackshirts who want to drain his blood, believing it will cure those in their ranks afflicted with The Slow Death (a less virulent form of the disease).

Though this is very similar to I Am Legend, it doesn’t feel like a rip off. The dangers are different, the theme is different and it is less harrowing in that there is not so much focus on the loneliness of the protagonist. When he meets a group of fellow ABnegs, the focus shifts away from one man’s survival to conflict within the group. There is a German spy in the group and Hoke for obvious reasons takes an immediate dislike to him.

This is another of my favourites from James Herbert and serves as a great introduction to his work.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: ’48 by James Herbert

  1. Andy

    Read many a review about this book all touching on similarities with the film I am legend and reviewers saying the book borrowed or is a rip off of the film. How can it be when it was published some years before the film was released. Get it right.

    1. mgm75

      I am Legend was a novel published in 1954 by Richard Matheson.

      ’48 was published in 1996. Ergo I Am Legend was published 42 years before Herbert’s novel.

      I did get it right and I’m guessing so did the other blogs and reviews that you read. A little research never goes amiss.

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