It’s 2072, sixty years after the scarlet plague has depopulated the planet. James Howard Smith is one of the few survivors of the pre-plague era left alive in the San Francisco area, and as he realizes his time grows short, he tries to impart the value of knowledge and wisdom to his grandsons. Through his narrative, we learn how the plague spread throughout the world and of the struggles of the handful of survivors it left in its wake.
This little novella is surprisingly interesting, in parts. This is not an adventure nor does it have much excitement, the story is after all an old guy telling about the days of his youth. This story includes the coming of the Scarlet Plague a disease with a near 100% fatality rate and kills within hours of first showing symptoms.
He describes how society rapidly fell apart, and how a group of people he fell in with tried to survive the plague. It really is a story told, rather than one lived. I had hoped this might have been a story along the lines of "The Trffids" but it is far too short and the real human story is glossed over by the old man as he tells the story.
So in the end, I can't rate this highly, but it did fill some time and caught my ears some places while getting a little dull in others. The reader was good, but even his excellent skills couldn't raise up this story.
Total Score 5/9
Download it from Librivox
Listen to the first chapter