Informative, interesting & thought-provoking.
Scott Brick is an excellent narrator who brings what could be a dry work to life.
You just see a little blip in history books in school. Influenza, millions died, happened around the time of The Great War/World War I. This book gives so much more information & background on an episode that had such an impact on so many lives. There's more to this than just how many died - in this book, you meet real people coping with a plague using what we today see is as rather primitive medical resources, and how their work helped shape the world we live in now.
This book would easily qualify as a required text in a course on the History of Modern Medicine in America, as a primer on Epidemiology, microbiology and the Scientific Method. I think it should be required reading for anyone planing to make a career in health care.
It is truly mind boggling to comprehend how poorly educated, and resistant the American medical establishment was at the end of the 19th century or how much resistance there was to the changes that would make us #1 in the world by the middle of the 20th.
There is no telling how much worse things might have been if it had not been for "The Hopkins", and the creation of Johns Hopkins University, in pre-Civil war America.
This story; which reads like a well written mystery novel, of the struggle to modernize medicine, and of the incredible gains, and the unforgivable failures, that occurred along with way; mostly due to large than life egos, and the self interests of politicians and civilians alike, is so mind blowing that it's difficult to imagine how we got to where we are today; or survived "The Great Epidemic"
This is a fascinating read; especially for those of us in the medical professions, but surely, just as fascinating for those who are not.
I never imagined that this book would be so enlightening or so spellbinding!
Fascinating, surprising, scary.
Toward the end of the book, the author does a solid job of linking this historic event to the present situation.
Scott Brick is my favorite audiobook reader.
This story had way too many statistics and too few stories of the people affected by the epidemic. He missed a great opportunity to tell a compelling and vivid tale by continually throwing percentages at us. That would be okay, except he's billing this as an epic story and there really was no story here. I learned a lot, but it was dry. The reader did a good job with dry material. That said, it's an important part of history that I had previously been only vaguely aware of, so I'm not sorry I listened to it. I think I've been spoiled by other writers. Would love to see this same issue in the hands of a real story-teller.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
Despite its lenght, the book is gripping. Well researched and well read. It's about the Spanish flu but it hits our days and makes you wonder what could have happened to us if the H1N1 had mutated and killed as much as it did in 1918.
Buy this book and listen to it. You won't be disappointed.
The story itself was interesting and illuminating. However, the narration grated on me for the entire book. It was like he was speaking IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME. IT WAS VERY URGENT AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE SOME CONTRAST BETWEEN THE PARTICULARLY HORRIFYING PARTS AND THE PARTS THAT WEREN'T SO MUCH. OR MAYBE EVEN BETWEEN WORDS IN THE SAME SENTENCE. See? Annoying.
This book opened my eyes to the cyclical and mutating nature of disease, and the fragility of our modern culture.
History (and historians) can be 'dusty' or dry. No worries here, as this was absolutely fascinating, I have a lot of Audible books and this is still one of my all-time favorites. Barry really painted a picture of the situation, and the pace was great as the story unfolded. It is also interesting to see which groups of people responded to the crisis, and how. I thought that modern medicine would be able to handle outbreaks like this, but there are some factors in modern society that John Barry walks through to discuss the new risks.
I was truly shocked at some of the things in this book. The sheer magnitude was surprising to me.
Easily credit worthy. A top 10 all time favorite, out of hundreds of Audible titles in my virtual library.
Do *NOT* read this is you are a worrier or germaphobic 8-)
If you like/ liked this then you need to read 'The Demon Under the Microscope', which is different but phenomenal.
Even though this book was really good I don't think I'ld listen again because it was soooo intense and super long! Sometimes it went off on a tangent and I forgot how the subsection was connected. But it wasn't just about the flu, I learned so much about the H1N1 strain, virology and pandemics. It's a bit scary too when you learn about what actually happened and how it was spread!
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.