I dug this one out for a change of pace. I'd looked it over before, but hadn't read it. But I'm usually desperate for new reading material, so I decided to give it a try.The basic plot is that a crazed scientist develops a plague designed to infect and kill women. It gets worldwide distribution, and so all of womankind faces the possibility of extinction - soon to be followed by all men, of course.It's set in the modern day, or possibly in the near future - but so near that there's nothing to distinguish it from the present. Well, the present as of 1982, since a key plot point is the Irish Republican Army.The book was surprisingly riveting - it was almost impossible to put down until I was about three-fours of the way through. And it's a LONG book. But towards the end the whole thing began to pall. With most women dead, and the major character in an incredibly bleak situation, the book became awfully hard to read towards the end. And I found the ending itself quite unpleasant. Herbert was an incredibly gifted and intelligent writer, and I cannot make any criticism of his technique in this book; I just don't like what he had to say. Not everyone would feel the same way, obviously.