The two pillars of the post apocalypse fiction world are Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank and Earth Abides by George R Stewart and every other book in the genre owes some debt to one or the other. Alas, Babylon deals with the aftermath of a nuclear exchange, and Earth Abides deals with the aftermath of a plague which wipes out a chunk of humanity.
Illwinds falls mostly into the Earth Abides camp, telling the story of what happens when microbes intended to eat oil spills end up eating all petroleum based products on the planets. Airplanes fall from the sky, the combustion engine is useless and the infrastructure of the world just seems to fall apart.
I don’t recall much from the book aside from the plot other than I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed most of the books in the genre that I read at the time. There were a few that I read and didn’t really get or like. With some of these books that I recall liking and some that I recall fondly I wonder if they would hold up for me. I was a different kind of reader then, I was living a life that had different expectations and a different perspective on life. I have to admit that I have some fear of opening one of these books and finding that I have changed too much, or worse yet finding that I haven’t.
Anyway, Ill Winds was once worth reading for me, and if you are looking for something to follow up The Stand or Swan Song, it might just fit the bill.