Peter May used to be a screenwriter, and he later turned to writing novels. In 2005, he wrote a dystopian novel titled “Lockdown” woven around a global pandemic. Already ringing bells? However, publishers rejected the requests to publish the novel for its unrealistic nature. And now, fifteen years later, the novel was published on Thursday.
Lockdowns, pandemics, dystopia; these define our current “normal”. The novel cannot get more realistic than it is, because that is what we are experiencing right now, globally.
The novel is based on British and US pandemic preparedness documents from 2002 as much as on May’s creative imagination. He used details from those documents to increase the realistic element of the novel as much as possible.
The setting of the thriller in London, which is also the epicenter of the pandemic.
“At the time I wrote the book, scientists were predicting that bird flu was going to be the next major world pandemic,” May told.
Since the novel was rejected, May put the book away so long that he forgot he even wrote such a thriller. However, he remembered it when he was requested by a fan to write a novel with the current COVID19 situation as the backdrop.
“I thought about it for a minute before I realized that I’ve kind of already done it,” May said. “I told my publisher about it and my editor just about fell out of his chair. He read the entire book overnight and the next morning he said, ‘This is brilliant. We need to publish this now.'”
It’s interesting how things turn out, isn’t it?
If you want to get the book on your hands now that you have much time to spare, why not read something you can relate to, big time? The book is available in Kindle format on Amazon UK. Give it a go! You will also be able to purchase the paperback and audiobook version on APril 30.
I have been a passionate reader, writer and language learner since a child, and I ended up graduating from University of Peradeniya with a BA (Hons) in English. I am also a JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level N2 holder. I have 5+ years experience in content writing/editing, and also 5+ months experience in official/business translation in Sinhala Japanese and English Japanese.
Anyway, the boring stuff aside, during my free time, I sing, play a little bit of guitar, read, draw/paint, bake and play video games.