The White Plague

Frank Herbert

Tor Books



Trade Paperback

448 Pages



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What if women were an endangered species?

It begins in Ireland, but soon spreads throughout the entire world: a virulent new disease expressly designed to target only women. As fully half of the human race dies off at a frightening pace and life on Earth faces extinction, panicked people and governments struggle to cope with the global crisis. Infected areas are quarantined or burned to the ground. The few surviving women are locked away in hidden reserves, while frantic doctors and scientists race to find a cure. Anarchy and violence consume the planet.

The plague is the work of a solitary individual who calls himself the Madman. As government security forces feverishly hunt for the renegade scientist, he wanders incognito through a world that will never be the same. Society, religion, and morality are all irrevocably transformed by the White Plague.


Praise for The White Plague

“Mr. Herbert . . .  serves up an intellectual disaster novel—a brilliant, brooding meditation on the war between man's tendencies toward self-destruction and his instinct for self-preservation.”—Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

"A tale of awesome revenge."—The Cincinnati Enquirer

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

May the hearthstone of hell be his bed rest forever!—Old Irish Curse

It was an ordinary gray British Ford, the spartan economy model with right-hand drive customary in Ireland. John Roe O’Neill would remember the driver’s brown-sweatered right arm resting on the car’s windowsill in the cloud-filtered light of that Dublin afternoon. A nightmare capsule of memory, it excluded everything else in the scene; just the car and that arm.Several other surviving witnesses commented on a crumpled break in the Ford’s left front wing. The break had begun to rust.Speaking
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