A book about one man living by himself in post-apocalyptic California, where some sort of unknown plague has turned people into a sort of vampire-zombie hybrid.
The victims’ skin turns pale white, they go into a deep torpor during the day and have to stay out of sunlight (or else they die), and at night they come out looking for human flesh. They all congregate around the protagonist’s house from dusk until dawn as they know he’s inside.
The book is written sort of like a journal, just following this guy’s day-to-day life of doing chores and repairing his house, hanging fresh garlic and so on every day after the the vampire-zombies pull boards off his house and whatnot.
The book’s timeline is dated in the early to mid 1970s, and that’s what it felt like when reading. I was shocked to read the publication date of 1954 after I was finished - the book seems to me to be ahead of its time for the kind of zombie survival genre that would later become popular.
Later in the book there are some intelligent vampire-zombies who learn to cope with their “illness,” and it raises some interesting thoughts about humans fundamentally changing and what that means for society.
From the current year’s perspective the mind can’t help but draw parallels to technological accelerationism and the way humans are changing right now (in the occident anyway). The rapidly increasing prevalence of autism and gender spectrum-ism, nuclear families being replaced by antinatalist dogmoms/dads (atomized technocapitalist fodder) and the fundamental changes to human communication via social media that are causing flash crashes of age-old societal norms.