The Down Days is about an African epidemic of laughter that quickly turns sour when it is found to be 100% fatal. It is based on a real pandemic of mass delusions that happened in Tanzania in 1962.
The Down Days seems like it is a news report from our present day pandemic. Unfortunately, the setting in the book has much in common with our own troubled times. Shortages, PPE, stay-at-home orders, home delivery, masses of bodies, and a feeling that life is never going to return to normal are all here. The only difference is we have people dying from too little oxygen and the characters are dying from too much laughter. The middle of the book is where we currently are—paranoid theories abound about what started the virus including their own government and foreign ones. I just pray that we don’t get hit with the twists at the end.
This tale was written by a South African author in 2019 or earlier. It is eerily spot-on about what happens during a pandemic. If you don’t mind reading a fictional tale based on a real pandemic in 1962 Tanzania, I believe you will enjoy this book. It is a compelling read with a surprising twist at the end. 4 stars!
Thanks to Skybound Books, Gallery Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.