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Arthur Leander, a thrice-divorced fading movie star, falls dead of a heart attack while performing as King Lear on the Toronto stage. Within days, most of humanity is wiped out by the highly contagious Georgia flu. Thus begins the story of survival for the people who were lucky enough (or not?) to be spared. Switching between post and pre-flu times, most of the characters' lives have some connection to Arthur's. While dangers abound, including many from the cult led by the "Prophet," most people are trying to make their way, by hunting, growing, and foraging in abandoned houses. The Traveling Symphony group moves from one area to the next, performing Shakespeare and symphonic music, and a community has formed at the Severn City airport. Older survivors swap stories of what it was like with cell phones, the Internet, and airplane travel, not to mention electricity and running water. This is not a post-apocalyptic story of warriors but rather a thoughtful character study and a questioning look at what makes a civilization. I loved it! -Cynthia






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