The print version much better; I found the performance emphasis on words and style very distracting. The narrater made every single fact sound all SO IMPORTANT!! It was like reading a book that someone else highlighted; someone that has a very different point of view than you. Great book, but I did not finish the audio version.
Best Medical History
The juxtaposition of the scientific evolution and the human condition predicated by the Influenza pandemic and its ongoing impact for the world at risk of a similar pandemic today.
I was very moved by the personal experiences of the men, and few women, of the scientific community which run through the entire book. .
I think this book is a must read (must listen) for anyone in the medical community, anyone interested in the social and political impact of disease, or anyone with a passion for history. Beautifully written and narrated, I listened during any moment I had available. Highly recommended!
Imagine Captain Kirk reading a history book written in the 1950's and you'll get a good idea of what this reading sounds like. Scott Brick is usually a very good reader, I have no idea why he decided to make this book sound so overbearing and massively dramatic. Maybe he felt the story was boring and needed some punch? Whatever his reasons, listening to it made my ears tired and had me wishing for sweet silence after just a few chapters.
The book itself could have used a good editor. There's plenty of incredible information here, and some amazing history that was never taught in schools (but should be), but it seems padded with plenty of fluff and some irritating repetition.
I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot about the flu epidemic, U.S. medical history, the Wilson Administration and WWI. It starts slow, but Barry pulls it all together in the end and makes some very interesting observations. Scott Brick is not my favorite narrator with his bombastic speaking style, but he is an exceptional narrator because his inflections make sense and his pronunciations are correct. If you are a history buff, I would highly recommend this book
After reading Gina Kolata's "Flu" I was really interested in the subject and wanted to learn more from another perspective. While Barry does this, his writing is so over dramatized that the ideas are lost in the poor delivery and lack of focus on the subject.
Though the subject matter is particularly interesting because of the current unpredictable threat posed by the H1N1 virus, I found it difficult to listen to the narrator for long. The delivery lacked appropriate expression; I often felt as though he wasn't aware of the situations and personalities he was reading about! I had the same feeling when listening to another of his readings ("Where Men Win Glory"), and thus fear he is set in his ways and shall avoid him in the future.
The story itself lent considerable insight into how and why the famous 1918 epidemic was so devastating, and why H1N1 has the potential to be far more so than most of us realize.
I am ready to tear my hair out after listening to Scott Brick's boring monotone. I wanted some background on H1N1, instead I am getting the history of medicine from the moment of creation. Tell you what, I am willing to give this book another chance, and cut to the chase. Ditch the first six hours! I'll see if my rating changes afterward.
H1N1 has been here before.
This is a totally engaging approach to the "Spanish Flu" history.
Not 5 stars because of the narration...not Mr. Brick's best work. The cadence of the reading is monotonous at times.
Mr. Barry's work documenting the disease was impressive. The book's scope was also impressive. At times the book didn't punch up to it's weight class.
The vignettes of individuals during the epidemic were heartwrenching, and I believe this book would be useful for anyone trying to have a broad understanding of viral dispersion and the effect on population. Where I find fault with Mr. Barry is on the seemingly endless character reviews of individual scientists that are qualitative vs. quantitative. It made the pace of the book flag for me. I cannot fault the author for trying to engage his readership by attempting to humanize these men and women attempting the superhuman, but, as I said, it did drag a bit.
The book communicated the horror of disease, the oh, so human attempt to conquer horror and the absolute disregard of nature. For that I will cherish it. For forty-five minutes of quasi-janesian character development, not so much so.