The Kongoli virus in the book is much more deadly than COVID-19.
Kongoli kills hundreds of millions. Leads to world wars.
But, for the most part, readers are shocked at the many parallels between this fiction and COVID-19.
It’s a cautionary tale. And an excellent book.
The central figure is an American microbiologist named Henry Parsons. His personal story is engaging.
Henry tries to discover whether Kongoli arrived naturally like past viruses, or if humans (Putin) had been experimenting with bioweapons.
Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law.
In 2007 he won a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. A book about Islamic terrorism.
The End of October is fiction.
Wright’s fictional tale is about a mysterious virus that starts in Asia, sweeps across continents, cripples the health care system, wrecks the economy, and kills people worldwide.
“I knew from talking to all these medical experts that something like this was going to happen,” Wright says. “They all knew it. They just didn’t know when.”
Wright began writing the novel in 2017 and turned in his final draft in the summer of 2019.
Wright had started thinking about this plot line after Ridley Scott asked him what kind of disaster could cause what happened in the Cormac McCarthy novel The Road.
Netflix is among the studios considering making The End of October a film.
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