If you loved The Stand and are looking for other post-apocalyptic tales, take a look at these fabulous gems:
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
From the Publisher: “We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost?
Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z, a #1 New York Times bestseller and the basis for the blockbuster movie, is the only record of the plague years.”
If you’re wanting not just a post-apocalyptic narrative, but one with a lot of bite (pun intended), look no further than World War Z.
Arguably one of the most influential zombie narratives to make it into the modern literary canon, you’ll get the same immersion and thought-provoking situations that The Stand gave you.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
From the Publisher: Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The entire population has been obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of everything that has happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him constantly. He must, because perhaps there is nothing else human left.
I Am Legend was a major influence in horror and brought a whole new thematic concept to apocalyptic literature. Several humanistic and emotional themes in this book blend the horror genre with traditional fiction: we see Neville as an emotional person, and observe as he suffers bouts of depression, dips into alcoholism and picks up his strength again to fight the vampiric bacteria that has infected (and killed off) most of humankind. Neville soon meets a woman, Ruth, (after three years alone), who seems to be uninfected and a lone survivor. The two become close and he learns from Ruth that the infected have learned to fight the disease and can spend short amounts of time in the daylight, slowly rebuilding strength and society as it was.
The novel was adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, as Omega Man in 1971 and finally as I am Legend in 2007, starring Will Smith.
Considered to be one of the classics that paved the way for future dystopian and post-apocalyptic works, I Am Legend stands the test of time with its thought-provoking narrative about humanity pushed to the brink of extinction. It contains some eerily relatable issues that’ll make you wonder if Matheson had a time machine.
My Dead World by Jacqueline Druga
From the Publisher: When a mysterious outbreak occurs in India, Nila’s brother, Bobby, a virologist with the CDC, places the family on a precautionary alert to be ready to bug out.
Unlike anything he’s ever seen, the rabies-like virus is not only deadly but causes extreme violent behavior in anyone who becomes infected. Following her brother’s advice, Nila begins to stockpile.
After months of preparing, just as it seems the virus is over, everything implodes and Bobby informs them to leave the city. With her family, Nila heads to the mountains and to her father’s isolated cabin. There she is eventually joined by friends and strangers, all hoping to safely stay clear of the virus that grips the world.
So, I just finished My Dead World and it is definitely a must-read for fans of quick-moving, richly drawn zombie tales. It is very well written! Graphic, funny, and even poignant at times, the story is believable and utterly unique.
The Taking by Dean Koontz
From the Publisher: In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of page-turning suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears—and best dreams. In The Taking he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankind’s darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of The Taking.
Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in perspective, The Taking is an adventure story like no other, a relentless roller-coaster read that brings apocalypse to Main Street and showcases the talents of one of our most original and mesmerizing novelists at the pinnacle of his powers.
Koontz, known for his suspense, has works that constantly crosses paths with King’s works, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a Koontz book on a King list. With The Taking, Koontz gives us suspense with a great dose of horror and a splash of science fiction. The combination will have you keeping an eye on the dark corners of your house.
Infected by Scott Sigler
From the Publisher: Across America a mysterious disease is turning ordinary people into raving, paranoid murderers who inflict brutal horrors on strangers, themselves, and even their own families.
Working under the government’s shroud of secrecy, CIA operative Dew Phillips crisscrosses the country trying in vain to capture a live victim. With only decomposing corpses for clues, CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya races to analyze the science behind this deadly contagion. She discovers that these killers all have one thing in common – they’ve been contaminated by a bioengineered parasite, shaped by a complexity far beyond the limits of known science.
Infected is closer to the traditional narratives of science fiction with viruses, aliens, and conspiracies, but don’t let its conventional mask deter you from picking this book up. As much as it is steeped in traditionalism, Sigler’s story stands on its own. It’s thoughtful, memorable, and very well done.
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I am always on the hunt for other stories in the post-apocalyptic genre that are well-written and provide a unique spin. I really enjoyed all of these books and hope you do, too. Check out our latest ebook deals for other great free and almost-free horror reads!
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