“Do You Think It Will Happen Again?”

The two main characters of The End of Men meet on p. 261!

Catherine: “Do you think it will happen again?”

Amanda: “Just because your husband left you doesn’t mean your house can’t catch on fire. In other words, tragedy doesn’t immunize you against further tragedy . . . The vaccine we have should be effective, yes, and we can use it to adjust to new strains. But in theory the Plague could mutate, allowing the vaccine to be ineffective.”

Catherine: The End of Men

There’s a vaccine. It’s finally happened. It’s taken nearly two years but for a long time it seemed like this day would never come. I thought I would feel ecstatic but I’m furious. I’m incandescent with rage. I actually threw a plate this morning. Why now? Why were they able to discover it now? Why not before? The statement from the woman who discovered it, Dr. Lisa Michael, makes it sound like it was a breeze, like she was noodling around for a bit in the lab and then it just sort of appeared.

The End of Men, p. 246

Halfway, The End of Men

This is a really, really interesting book. It’s a first novel, too. WOW.

As the Plague has killed off most men, the US Army is circulating calls for volunteers.

Faith, whose husband (deceased) was a soldier, is one of the first to sign up.

A Plague That Kills Only Men

Self admits, the plot did seem a little far-fetched when she first heard it, but Christina Sweeney-Baird explains why about halfway through, and it is not completely out of left field.

Lucy, who’d only been a midwife for fifteen months when the Plague hit: “Of the two-hundred eighty-four boys I’ve helped to deliver in the last six months, twenty-nine have survived.”

Readers attend a live birth on p. 209, and everyone in the delivery room (including this reader) is painfully holding her breath until the determination of sex is made.

Sentence of the Day, 2nd Wednesday of September 2021

Almost every man in Moscow has died but Mikhail.

The End of Men, p. 182

And Mikhail, unfortunately, is a wife beater. Almost every day, his victimized wife goes to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and prays for her husband’s imminent demise. But God does not hear her prayers.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: The End of Men, p. 155

For a while, self was starting to get lost in the welter of points of view, but now that the Catherine point of view has returned (at least twice) and seems “stable” (i.e., Self can rely on its returning, on a regular basis, till the end of the book), she is good.

This could be the end of the human race entirely. I know that around 10 percent of men seem to be immune, but that’s not enough for humans to maintain a population. Without a cure, 10 percent of the world’s men can conceive 10 percent of the number of babies they previously did. Half of those babies will be girls. Only 10 percent of the 5 percent will be immune. The numbers don’t add up. This may be the end of all of us.

The End of Men, p. 155

New Point of View: Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a CDC research scientist flown in from the US to meet with her counterparts in London. She wonders if she’ll be able to return to the U.S., seeing how chaotic things are becoming in Europe.

As she’s typing up her initial report to her superiors at the CDC, it hits her.

I’m trying to convey how unbelievably bad this is going to get and as I’m typing, I catch my breath.

My dad. My dad is in Jackson. It’s not close to Europe, sure, but this virus is going to make its way to the US soon if it hasn’t already. There have already been a few reports of the occasional case and surely it’ll mushroom in the next few days.

The End of Men, p. 56

Feels like Christina Sweeney-Baird correctly predicted EVERYTHING about the way this would go.

The Virus, London

Catherine’s husband and son are still alive, as of p. 46.

  • I stopped taking Theodore to nursery weeks ago. The idea of it made me shiver; putting him in a big room with thirty other children and adults who could have been anywhere, touched anything, be carrying it but not know. Anyone could have it.The End of Men, p. 46

The pandemic survival rate is 3.4%. Catherine and her husband “spend as much time as possible together . . . We sleep entwined like otters.”

p. 44, The End of Men

Anthony is still alive! As you all know (if you’ve been paying attention to this blog), Anthony is the nice husband of Catherine. Nice husbands — or any kind of husbands — are in short supply right now, as there is a virus that is killing off only men.

Catherine tell us, on p. 44:

  • Anthony hasn’t gone to work all week. I wouldn’t let him.

If self were married to Anthony, she wouldn’t let him out either! The man is too good: he decorates Christmas trees and smiles touchingly at his wife while at it. Self feels like yelling at Catherine: Woman, you must keep him alive, at all costs!

Meanwhile, Catherine shops for food:

  • I go out to get food, briefly and carefully as late as possible in the quiet of nighttime, touching no one, standing near no one . . . interpreting the smallest cough as a sign that it is here.

Catherine is self. Self, too, interpret the smallest cough as a sign that “it” is here. So does the friend she sees most often.

The other day, we were watching “Respect” in the Century 20 and self had a coughing fit. She tried her best to squelch it, but no, the coughs erupted. Self’s friend first twitched, then crossed her legs, then leaned as far away from self as possible. Not surprising: she’s had cancer and her immune system never recovered. Self is amazed this woman can go out and about at all. If self were her friend and was recovering from cancer while simultaneously trying to hide from a pandemic, she’d spend all her time at home, under a blanket.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“They tend to plan it better”

Self is absolutely enthralled by this book. Especially by the Amanda point of view.

In the course of my career I’ve seen over a hundred girls, boys, men, women who’ve killed themselves in minutes, brought to the hospital still warm by parents and spouses who never imagined they would kill themselves. The ones who everyone was worried about go straight to the morgue. They tend to plan it better. My sons are alive because I have somehow kept this awful disease out of this house and away from them. But they are starving for my care and affection and I cannot give it to them. I don’t hug them. I don’t cook their food. I don’t go near them if I can possibly help it. I cannot be too careful when their lives are at stake.

The End of Men, p. 38

Except, now self has gotten vested in Amanda’s fate. And that is typically bad news for the character (or her husband. Or her sons). She was so vested in Sawyer’s fate in Record of a Spaceborn Few. And she was vested in Buddy Lee in the last book she read. It’s like she has a homing instinct for tragic characters. And those are the ones she lets into her imagination. Maybe she belongs in Scandinavia, in those chilly scenes of winter.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries


The blogging challenge keep you motivated and start the new year on the "write" track!

Photos by Jez

Taking the camera for a walk!!!

Cath's Camera

life through my lens

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon


welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust & Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.


fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum