Newest Review: ... want his blood literally. Hoke finds a few people to hook up with along his survival route and some are nice and some turn out to be na... more
One man and his dog
48 - James Herbert
Member Name: katyj10
48 - James Herbert
Advantages: Kept me on tenterhooks!
Disadvantages: Bit gruesome in places
This is a review of the 1996 book '48 by James Herbert. I've never read any of his books before but I believe this one is different from his usual material. I can honestly say this is the best book I've read in ages. It was like watching a film the writing was so vivid and descriptive. The storyline reminded me a bit of the Will Smith film I am Legend in that it centres on a man and his dog in a devastated world.
The book follows Ex American pilot Hoke in the year 1948, three years after the second world war. They are battling with Hitler's final act of vengence, a killer virus that makes people die of 'the blood death' unless they have a certain rare AB blood type. Hoke is fighting the blackshirts who want his blood literally.
Hoke finds a few people to hook up with along his survival route and some are nice and some turn out to be nasty. One German survivor rubs Hoke up the wrong way and Hoke needs to resist the constant urge he has to kill him.
I loved this book. The pace is fast and never lets you rest up, it's constant survival, page after page. The one night Hoke gets to rest he finds himself with a woman and has to satisfy her urges (several times lol). This book is not graphic but has a bit of something for everyone. The weapons are described in detail and the 1940s London buildings and sights are all explored by Hoke.
If you are a fan of 'the world is ending' or zombie films you will love this book. Hoke is a good lead character and how can I not mention his faithful pooch Cagney! Hoke rescues Cagney from a
Raven attack (near the Tower of London) and Cagney stays by his side for all his adventures.
Being a survivor in an apocalyptic world is tough but Hoke makes the most of it and prepares many safe zones, escape routes and weapon and food stores to help him live. He is generous with his time and resources and looks after others using his natural instinct to survive.
I did wonder how some of the other survivors lived for the past three years safely without running in to trouble as they rely on Hoke far too much to get by. They were out of the City where the world was obviously more peaceful but surely would have more experience of those dying from the blood death (some went more slowly than others).
I would say the genre of this book is quite 'horror' as the corpses are described and quite scary if you imagine how many dead people died on the spot in this fiction book. Herbert explores a scenario that people were partly expecting in the second world war, with Hitler's dirty bombs and gas masks the talk of that time.
Hoke the lead character slips into his American accent in some of the dialogue then not at all at some times. He strikes me as a bit grubby (not much running water around) and sexy at the same time, which is why I would have liked to see a film version of this book.
I would watch this if it were a film and will look out for more books by Herbert. The cover says 'Herbert's best yet' - Daily Mail but I don't have any other books to compare it to yet. It gets a full 5 stars from me.
Summary: If you like a good scare, read this!