Book Review: American Fever by Peter Christian Hall

A young libertarian flu fighter huddles at home in New York’s East Village, blogging about a devastating avian flu pandemic as he sells masks, gloves, and goggles over the Internet. An intriguing, vexing woman stalks him while he delves into the mysteries of influenza and serves up colorful commentary on the chaos swirling around—and within—his world. When 'Count Blogula' gets involved with some lively community flu activists, he collides with a government bent on controlling Americans as if they were viral intruders. With the U.S. staggering through a kind of national Katrina—Chinatown a smoky ruin, Atlanta evacuated, Houston blown up—he must fight both the system and the contagion to save his life and love.



REVIEW:

When the world is struck with a raging virus, one man takes his opinions, research, and eye-witness accounts to the internet. A personality known only as ‘Count Blogula’ ships personal protective equipment to people looking for salvation from a deadly flu virus. He begins his blog by offering advice, brief history lessons, and a variety of links that take you to the information that he talks about. But eventually, the world falls apart before his eyes as the virus breaks down his friends, the city that he lives in, the government, and eventually him.

FROM THE BOOK:
We need to infect society with rational fear. We need to go viral – no less than H5N1 has done. People far from New York must prepare.  It’s not too late! Yet.

American Fever doesn’t read like a book, but exactly like the story intends: a blog. It’s filled with the random musings of a man as a deadly virus begins to wiggle its way in to his life, and the narration grows more personal every day. It’s a dairy of the madness that the world would become if we were consumed with an epidemic.

I enjoyed this book, but I’m not sure how I would perceive it in paperback. Normally I can rate how much I like a story by how quickly I read it - this was an exception. I read American Fever on my Kindle Fire, and found myself constantly sidetracked by the hyperlinks that were posted within. The narrator offered informational links to videos and websites that made the story extremely interactive.

Toward the end of the story, I found myself reading it on the actual blog. That’s right, the author actually has a blog that contains all of the posts, and you can read the whole story as originally intended online. I enjoyed see the photos that were posted in the blog that didn’t transition over to the download. I’m curious if they made it to the printed version.

You could easily get lost in this, or the hyperlinks, whichever fascinates you more. Overall, I was impressed with the amount of research that Peter Christian Hall invested into creating this… book?

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