The Gory Delights of Influenza and Bubonic Plague

Last year I read “Year of Wonders:  A Novel of the Plague” Geraldine Brooks, which is a story about a Bubonic Plague in the mid-1600s in England. A wonderful plot and gorgeous writing.

Last month I read “The Last Town on Earth” by Thomas Mullen, which is a novel about a small town in Washington state that shuts itself off from the rest of the world to try to avoid catching the 1918 influenza. (The quarantine was not successful.) Despite its grim subject matter I really enjoyed the book, very well written despite the fact that the author is younger than me (gulp). The protagonist of the story is a young boy who is just a wonderful character to follow.

Anyway, I then got to thinking that I’d never read “The Plague” by Camus, so I dashed to the library and there it was. I’m now about half done with the novel and I hardly know what’s “really” going on. By this I mean that the book is known to be a re-telling of France’s inability to prevent Germany from rolling over France during World War II. So while the novel appears to be about Bubonic Plague, it’s really about politics and war and (probably) some pretty specific historical events of which I have no knowledge. I can appreciate the book, but I just wanted to read about the Plague!

Now it’s time to stop being shallow and get back to the book.

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