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Adventure thriller about a single survivor in a post-pandemic world.
In this thrilling adventure novel about a man left alone on earth, Suter combines post-apocalyptic elements with an adventurous road novel. Alan, the hero of the story, is visiting Japan on business. After the outbreak of a pandemic, he finds himself to be the single survivor. The viral disease has wiped away his past life: Alan must fear injury, sickness and hunger - the food begins to decay in the stores. Yet, Alan swears to travel back to his family in Berlin, straight across Asia and some 10,000 miles. The hardships and landscapes (the Gobi desert, Siberia) are described in all ferocity. A few other humans have survived as well, some eager to use the disaster for their own purposes. Electrifying chapters describe the encounter with Somerset, a charming, yet psychotic warlord, who is assembling an army to conquer Moscow, if not the entire world. However, Alan remains determined to return to Berlin, by whatever means. An exciting, thought-provoking book, impossible to put down.
About 100 yards in front of the truck stood a male lion, staring straight at me. His eyes had tiny, adrenalin contracted pupils, just as if he was preparing to come bounding down the road any second.
For a few instances the two of us stared at each other. Then I pulled my head back very slowly, hoping that he had not yet seen me, only to realize that my naked legs stood out like a meat advert between the bottom of the truck and the surface of the street.
I froze with fear. Lions kill and kill quickly. They do it by instinct. They can’t help it.
My mind raced and I realized there was only one place to hide: inside the main cabin of the truck. I would have no chance in the countryside. I had to move up into the truck and do it quickly and quietly.
Slowly I stepped back, made a turn towards the truck, put my hands on the platform and pushed myself up. Lying on my belly, I slithered inside.
On the right stood the shower and the water pump. On the left was a pallet with water bottles. Behind those, a small corridor in the middle of the truck went all the way up to end wall. On either side of that small corridor stood stacks of boxes with food, clothing and gear, most not higher than a few yards and tied to the walls with ropes.
It was a very poor hiding place. Not only could a lion easily jump into the back of the truck; but there was no cupboard, box or cage for me to crawl into. I already could feel how the lion would fetch me, put its claws in my legs and pull me out onto the street.
I moved further into the container and turned around slowly to look out. The dogs were pretty far off now, perhaps 150 yards and still growling but in different directions. Bo was looking in the direction of the truck and the male lion but King was looking to the far left. I swore softly.
“Please don’t let it be true. Please don’t let it be true. Please, please, please.”
In the end it was the dogs that saved my life. They were in the middle of the road, close together and highly visible. Apparently this had pulled most of the attention away from me. Hadn’t I had the dogs with me - I would have been dead at that moment. Or worse: partially alive lunchmeat.