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The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus Paperback – Illustrated, June 15, 1999
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"Popular science writing at its best and the year's most infectious page-turner."
"A top-drawer horror story...the best literary roller coaster of the fall."
From the Inside Flap
appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
From the Paperback edition.
- Publisher : Anchor; Anchor Books ed. edition (June 15, 1999)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385495226
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385495226
- Lexile measure : 1030L
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.79 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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I plan to read the authors follow on book regarding the resurgence of the Ebola virus.
I really enjoyed how the author starts off this book, because it gives you, right from the start, a small dose of what lays ahead of you. After the first part of the book, you're holding on to your seat as you turn the pages, waiting for disaster or for some virulent disease to infect any of the characters and kill them in a very gruesome way.
The truth about Ebola is that the disease is horrible. Nature produced a life-form capable of liquefying tissues and bringing a most horrible death to its victims.
So why is this book more terrifying than a zombie book? Because it's real. Zombies are flesh eating humans gone wrong by some infectious agent or maleficent curse that got a hold of their bodies. Ebola is a potential threat for humanity. The virus is literally so 'virulent', that it could enter the world-net in days and kill millions. There is no cure.
The book is told in a series of parts, which I found very entertaining. Perhaps the last part was one of my favorite ones, because the author takes you, personally, to Mount Elgon, where the virus took its first victim. The author suits up and dives into the cave of mysterious wonders, where no one knows where the virus lurks, waiting to take on its next victim.
This was an awesome read.
The only problem with this exciting book is that it is somewhat dated. Perhaps a more recent book (or those about to emerge from the current West African epidemic) may have more current information.
That is, until I read the last page or so. If you are looking for a great page turner, a great informational document regarding the virus hunting skills of our men and women in uniform (as well as the CDC) you'll enjoy this book. HOwever, I'm distressed by the last page where Preston equates the rise of filovirus's as natures intention to control population. Sounds like a statist spouting eugenics.
Nature has no consciousness, and for him to think he can deduce from this episode that nature is intending to payback the "destruction by human hands" of the Earth, puts him on par with those climate change supporters who wish to execute deniers. Those that decry the deplorable conditions of the masses living on this planet tend to overlook that it's the governments in charge that are responsible for the misery of those under the tyrannical thumb of socialism and communism.
Please stick to the facts if you are reporting on science. Science is not based on morality or one elitist's view of what the earth should look like. Otherwise we would have to think that the eruption of volcanoes is somehow tied to our behavior in inciting the volcano gods.
If you enjoy scientific mysteries then I highly recommend, don't let the last page deter you.
Top reviews from other countries
Filoviruses ARE dangerous level four biosafety agents, but they will hardly cause the end of humans species, as Preston practically suggests. He paints filoviruses as thinking predators out there for your blood, when in reality that is not the case. There are way much more important viruses (influenza) with a higher mortality rate that people tend to overlook.
His interest and passion for the topic are evident, but he lacks in objectivity and exceeds at drama. He makes it look worse than it really is.
I had read this book twice. The first time, during my first year of College and the second one during my first year of Masters.
While the first time I read it I pretty much panicked, the second time I realized it was way overdone.
If you have no backround knowledge of parasitology and/or virology, this book will be quite a thrill, but do not take Preston's descriptions to heart.
Also, exaggeration set aside, this book does elicit interest in biology/virology/parasitology, and it did help me to choose Virology as my Masters. I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it the very first time I read it.