Fever, written in 2016, is a post-apocalyptic tale that rings eerily close to home these days. The population of the world has been decimated by ‘the fever’ and the survivors find themselves in a struggle to survive in the most dire and harsh conditions imaginable.
Written by Deon Meyer and translated from Afrikaans by K.L. Seegers, Fever takes place in South Africa. The subtitle reads, ‘The memoirs of Nicolaas Storm, concerning the investigation of his father’s murder’. And so the story begins, with Nico recounting how he and his father, both survivors of the fever, endeavour to find a way to survive while facing constant danger from wild and dangerous elements both animal and human.
On their journey to find safety, Willem, Nico’s father devises a plan to create a new settlement populated by a disparate group of survivors who are also seeking safety and security in this grim reality in which they find themselves. The new community becomes known as Amanzi (meaning “water” in Zulu and Zhosa languages) and, over the course of a few years, becomes a fully functioning town built on the ingenuity and expertise of people who were drawn to Willem’s simple premise and promise. The stories of some of the new town’s citizens are recorded for historical purposes by Willem Storm and it is through these lenses that we are able to observe the creation of the town and how its own survival was endangered through greed and fear.
This is a great story and it underscored for me the incredible ingenuity of the human spirit and its ability to survive and overcome adversity. The healing power of community is the underlying thread and it continues to be a lesson for us in these challenging times in which we find ourselves.
— Nancy C.