219 of 229 people found the following review helpful
A Tale of Horror,
This review is from: The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus (Mass Market Paperback)
Richard Preston is not a horror novelist, but this will be one of the scariest stories you've ever read. The cause of all this terror is from little beasts that are only microns in size, filoviruses. "Hot Zone" discusses four of these viruses, Marburg, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Zaire, Ebola Reston. I first came across Preston in his New Yorker article, "Crisis in the Hot Zone" which is basically the cliff notes to this book. It piqued my interest and eventually led to me reading this book.
Everyone knows that they should be afraid of Ebola. The Zaire strand only kills 90% of those it infects, in just a matter of day, in the worst way imaginable. Filoviruses are hemorrhagic viruses, causing those unfortunate enough to be infected to crash and bleed out. Preston goes into grisly detail about how these viruses work, and the symptoms that occur in humans. He traces the history of these viruses from their discovery. These are just set up for his main topic, the discovery of Ebola in Washington D.C. A monkey house in Reston Virginia is full of dying monkeys that apparently are infected with Ebola. Preston tracks down the mystery behind this domestic infection.
This book does bring up an all-important point; we are only an airplane ride away from the outbreak of a pandemic. It is very possible that a highly contagious disease may break out and cover the earth in a matter of days leaving a large portion of the population dead, making the premise behind Stephen King's novel "The Stand" not so far fetched after all. These filoviruses are very interesting, and Preston reveals them in such a way that you want to know more about them. The only hint I have to offer is, to avoid Intern's Disease, don't read this when you have a cold.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 4, 2014 1:26:40 PM PDT
I read the entire book someone uploaded via a PDF on the internet. Considering the growth, spread, of Ebola in Africa right now reading this book truly is nightmarish.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2014 1:16:00 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 20, 2014 6:10:05 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2014 1:28:32 PM PDT
G. Barnes says:
You couldn't purchase it legally?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2014 1:30:26 PM PDT
I could have, but the entire book was uploaded to a site and I just kept reading.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2014 1:46:45 PM PDT
G. Barnes says:
You can still order a copy or the e-book version so that the author who researched and wrote this book gets compensated for his hard work.
Posted on Oct 15, 2014 7:13:11 AM PDT
I remember reading this book when it first came out many years ago. I told people about it andf they were all like, "what the heck is Ebola"? Now it is all over the news!
Posted on Oct 21, 2014 1:04:21 PM PDT
Except that he IS a horror novelist. There are certainly elements of truth in this book, but there's also stuff - like his implications about airborn transmission or the fact that many cases DON'T result in the hemmorhagic stage, that moves this more into the realm of historical fiction. That, and the fact that the death rate is much lower than 90%, depending on the strain, and with treatment to prevent dehydration can be made lower still.
It's a scary disease if you get it, but not as scary as portrayed, nor as easy to get.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›