Due to my mentioned internet diet I had a lot of time between fishing, cooking and making fire for cooking (and sauna of course) to finally read some books again. While two of them where more or less nonfiction books, but nevertheless very entertaining, and the third one was a new part of the latest Star Wars series, hence very nerdy, the fourth one was kind of in between and really hit me hard.
It‘s titled Black Out by Marc Elsberg and currently only available in German, as it seams. As one might guess it deals with the scenario of a black out. Well not the typical one for some minutes or hours – because then the book would probably not be as good or better as disturbing as it is. Rather it confronts you with a European wide loss of electricity over the period of about two weeks. And I bet you have no idea what this really means, like I did not before I read this book.
Sure, we all know that our society is addicted to the magical source of power build in our walls. We hear it and we talk about it day in and day out. But at least I never thought about what exactly would not work or better what would still work – not much as it turns out.
No water, no working toilets, no gas, no internet, no telephone, no banks, no heating … for days.
The beauty of the books is that it more or less takes a dry report from the German government (it is actually based on that one) and transforms it into a vivid image of a catastrophe. The scary part is, that not only it describes the expanding catastrophe along the path of several main characters but it interlaces a lot of events that happened lately, like the long running "cyber attacks" (Flame and Gauss) or the nuclear GAU in fukushima together with technical details. I think its also worth noting that the central character is a haker (who uses windows but that is the only flaw I found in that regard).
Well, might be a good book – but disturbing?
I do not want to spoil too much of the story. But believe it or not I seriously think about a food reserve for emergencies. I already printed out the list of what is recommended by the German government. And I did start to read the news a bit more carefully about attacks on the power system.
So running for the hills everybody.
But take this book with you – it‘s a good one.