A fascinating and gripping, yet heartbreaking, page turner!
The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird
Published 29th April
Glasgow, 2025. Dr Amanda Maclean is called to treat a patient with flu-like symptoms. Within three hours he is dead. This is how it begins.
The unknown virus sweeps through the hospital with deadly speed.
The victims are all men.
Dr Maclean raises the alarm. But by the time the authorities listen to her, the virus has spread to every corner of the world. Threatening families. Governments. Countries.
Can they find a cure before it’s too late?
This is my second book I’ve read this year which explores what happens when a killer virus spreads across the world and I have to say The End of Men is my favourite – which is a strange thing to say I’ll admit!
Let me begin by saying that the author wrote this book before the COVID pandemic and I’m in awe at how similar some of the scenarios were. I think living through a pandemic now helps to relate to some of the things that happened during the book. I had a better understanding essentially and could relate a lot more to how the characters were feeling (although the virus in the book is a hell of a lot worse than our current situation).
It’s told from a number of different characters point of views which I thought was going to get a little confusing at times but in the end I think it worked brilliantly. Each chapter gave the reader a glimpse into the life of someone else, in a different part of the world with different circumstances and I think this is what helped to really see just how this virus was affecting everyone. I also liked how the author explored how the virus affects those afterwards, especially for those men who do survive and who are now essentially a minority in the world.
I won’t lie, some parts are devastating.
As a mother to two boys myself, my heart broke when reading the chapters from Amanda. I was convinced children would survive but this book doesn’t shy away from the tough subjects, after all this is what would happen if a deadly virus wreaked havoc around the world. Whilst these parts were devastating to read there were also some moments that actually made me laugh too and I think the author got the balance just right.
Yes this book is hard hitting, especially as we’ve all experienced something similar, but it’s not just a book about the devastation of man kind. It’s a story of love, hope, community and rebuilding lives. It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a timely reminder that even after the hardest of times there is a way out from everything and those lost will never be forgotten.