The White Plague


Jun 26, 2010
Anyone read this book?

It's not really sci-fi/fan in the sense that it takes place on earth and everything that occurs is entirely possible but its got to be my favourite FH book by far/

The basic premise is that a microbiologist who's wife and children were killed in a terrorist bombing in Ireland decides that the world is a sick mad place etc and subsequently designs a virus which will kill every woman on earth. He does not hate women specifically, he just wants to entire world to feel his pain more or less, and of course to doom it in a way that it will have a generation or so to appreciate how f***ed it is.

I've never met anyone else who'd read it so I thought maybe I might find someone here and would be curious to hear your responses :D
Yes, though not for some years (decades?), and yes, I found it very powerful.

But I would say it is entirely science fiction; I can't see what element of it is non-genre, nor what essential it lacks.
I had read of this some time ago and do want to read it as it did seem an unusual premise for an End of the World story. I never picked it up though, but i shall try and find it.
I read this, like Chris, many many years ago and always meant to re-read it, but never got around to it.

I can remember really enjoying it at the time and particularly liked the ending!
I've read The White Plague several times and enjoyed it every time. I credit this book with pointing me in the direction of Biochemistry. I still haven't set up my own lab with equipment made from B&Q yet though.
Very different. It's set in the then current time of the 80s and hijacks the Troubles with an American focus. An IRA bomb in London kills an American scientist's wife and children and he gets revenge by creating a virus that was supposed to only affect Ireland but went global.

Put aside the fact that Herbert should have written it from the Irish perspective it's still a very scary and engaging book. Still quite relevant today, I think.
Great story, but it has been 30 years since I read it. At the time I was reading everything Herbert I could find - and still re-read many of his books today.

Put aside the fact that Herbert should have written it from the Irish perspective
Why should an American author have written his book from an Irish perspective? I would imagine Herbert only picked Ireland because it had terrorism AND is an island.
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Because it would have been a chance to highlight the fact that most of the violence during The Troubles was affecting many innocent Irish people and families. It doesn't lessen my enjoyment of the book but I think it was a missed opportunity.

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