Pandemic Thriller: Too Soon?


I don’t know about you but during the quarantine, I’ve not enjoyed reading fiction the way I used to back in ‘normal times’. Anecdotally, my friends feel similarly and someone explained to me that it’s just too hard to project yourself into fiction right now because there are so many other troublesome thoughts in our heads.

Some people are reading mysteries or “beach books” to pass the time, titles that require less brain power (if you will). Which is why I’m recommending something a bit out of my wheelhouse this month. A trusted author on a topic which is, perhaps, a bit too close to home. Lawrence Wright has the good (or bad?) luck to have written a book about a global pandemic and its being released this week.

If you’ve devoured all the pandemic books and films, this one is for you.  I listened to it all the way through, and really did enjoy it – it didn’t stress me out, and it was eerie to hear all the tropes of the pandemic (social distancing, masks, contact tracing) from a guy that had done his homework years earlier. So, I trust this guy’s brain so even in the eye of the storm, appreciated this novel by one of our generation’s greatest journalists.

Wright has a Pulitzer and wrote The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Here is a great podcast with Wright and The New  Yorker’s David Remnick (his boss). The book has been optioned for film  by Ridley Scott.