Nick Holdstock

How do we deal with the aftermath of catastrophe?

It’s ten years since a deadly pandemic swept the globe, and five years since the last new recorded case. Society came close to collapse, but now there’s a vaccine – though not a cure – people are only dying in the usual ways.

Lukas, along with several hundred other infected people, is quarantined in a camp on a mountain of Central Asia. With nothing to do, and no future to speak of, the inmates pass the time drinking, taking drugs, joining a cult, making are or having sex with whoever they can.

Rebecca is a scientist who worked on the vaccine that saved the world. Having lost her partner in the years of chaos, she keeps testing the vaccine against mutations of the virus, because it seems inevitable that there will be a next time.

Quarantine is a thrillingly intelligent novel about how we – as individuals, and as a society – deal with the aftermath of catastrophe.


ISBN: 9781800751002

Published: May 5, 2022


ISBN: 9781800751026

Published: March 23, 2023


ISBN: 9781800751019

Published: May 5, 2022


Reviews for Quarantine

‘Holdstock stealthily explores the ways in which we react to circumstances of extreme pressure‘ – Claire Allfree, The Daily Mail

‘One of the most thought-provoking and arresting novels of the year’ – Scots Whay Hae!

Arresting … It’s a novel which will make you think … An immediate and immersive read, and it has a humanity and honesty at its core, which portrays hope, even in the darkest times … Sensitive and sensual’ – Alistair Braidwood, Snack Magazine


Nick Holdstock

Nick Holdstock is a China expert who now lives in Edinburgh. As well as three non-fiction books on China, including two on Xinjiang, he has written for the Guardiann+1, the LRB, the TLS and elsewhere. Quarantine is his first novel to be published in the UK.