The Third World War (novel)

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The Third World War
The Third World War cover.jpg
Author Humphrey Hawksley
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Apocalysm
Publisher Pan Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 514 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBN 0-330-49249-7 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 54784780
Preceded by Red Spirit
Followed by The History Book

The Third World War is an apocalyptic novel, published in 2003 by the British journalist and author Humphrey Hawksley, portraying the modern world as it deals with the ever-worsening geopolitical situation.

The book follows various world leaders from across the globe, as they try to act in their national and personal interests. Focusing mainly on the Indian, Pakistani, North Korean, American, Russian and Chinese leaderships, it also focuses on various military and civilian characters.

The novel portrays a world not unlike today, with various small-scale crises seemingly unconnected: bombastic threats from North Korea, Pakistan and India trading threats, and geopolitical competition between Russia, China and the United States.

As the novel goes on, several crises (Pakistan initiating a nuclear strike aimed at India, a rogue North Korean general announcing that he has biological weapons and many other threats), that are at first seen as containable regional problems, suddenly each get more serious, and connections between them appear ever more vivid.

Eventually, these seemingly small-scale crises begin to overlap and snowball, triggering a nightmarish World War III scenario involving nuclear and biological weapons, the world leaders powerless to put a halt to the growing insanity.