OK, most of the previous reviews here have been negative. Look folks, this ain't high literature. I believe some of the problem may lie in the expectation of this being a horror novel. It isn't. This is strictly a Alternate Reality/Science Fiction novel. So take it for what it is: light, escapist reading. This is the first (and so-far only) book by Mr. Herbert that I have read, and I found it to be lots of fun. It's the kind of summer beach read that is fun and doesn't require a great deal of grey matter exercising. Although only one other reviewer mentioned this, the only thing I may have against it, was also one of it's more attractive aspects: that of it's obvious similarities to Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. This is without a doubt one of my all time favorite Horror/Science Fiction novels, and reading '48 gave me the unique feeling of reading another take on the same story that you sometimes get in well-tracked genre pieces like this. In fact, I think the best way to review this book is to compare it to two of the film versions of Mr. Matheson's wonderful novel: First there is Charlton Heston's Omega Man released in '71. This was a fast-paced, action-packed Hollywood take on the novel. On the other hand, Vincent Price's The Last Man On Earth from '64 was a much better, darker and closer to the source example. Both are good in and of themselves, yet also different in their take on the story. That doesn't make either one bad, just different. When all is said and done, I must say that it is in fact a fun read, and perfect for summer reading. Pick it up and decide for yourself.