Fictional Pandemics On Readers' Demand
"Panic is highly contagious, especially in situations when nothing is known and everything is in flux." Stephen King knows everything about panic but how could he have known in his novel The Stand that there's something very similar we're going to experience in a real life instead of his literary fantasies?
When you're in panic, even literary predictions start to count. That's why publishers are already reporting a tremendous boom in sales of old novels telling about fictional epidemics. The above mentioned S. King's The Stand, according to Hodder, the publisher, increased its online sales up to 163% last week as well as ebook sales by 58%. Published in 1978, The Stand tells about a weaponized strain of influenza known as "Project Blue" that is accidentally released into the world from a secret U.S. base and consequently causes a pandemic, which kills almost the whole world population.
The other classic novel by Albert Camus The Plague was sold out on Amazon last week and now is being reprinted in English. Its sales shot up also in Italy and France. This famous book by French writer centers around a quarantined town of Oran in Algeria during the ravage of bubonic plague. And though the novel is allegorical in its essence, it still seems more than relevant to the readers in this time of coronavirus.
However, the most stunning experience is Dean Koontz's The Eyes Of Darkness. Many wonder how the writer who published the novel in 1981 could have been so clairvoyant. The deadly virus that is killing people in the book is called “Wuhan-400”. This coincidence is startling and therefore currently well-sold: according to the publisher Headline, ebook sales are up by 3,000% in only three weeks and last week the novel climbed to the third place in Amazon's chart.