wow. dont start this before bed... not only will this book put the absolute fear of bioterror in you, but it is difficult to put down. far more sinister than any fiction, this book weaves the history of smallpox, anthrax, and 9/11. i'm a physician and had little education on smallpox, a simply horrific disease. bottom line, the averaqe american lives in ignorant bliss... and i'm not a fear mongering conservative.
I've enjoyed Richard Preston's work in the past, and I most likely would prefer to actually read a copy of this one. I found the narrator dull, lifeless and absolutely boring to listen to. There was no inflection of his voice, no intonation, just a monotone delivery that drove me to distraction! The material that I could manage to listen to was well written, but very poorly read. I think I"ll go buy a copy of the book and save myself the tedium of listening to this narrator. If I were basing this review on the quality of writing, this book would easily earn 4 stars, but because it's an audio version I can't give it more than 2.
I was sooo looking forward to this book as his previous books have been very entertaining and kept the interest high. Not this one. The narrator was bland, and the events that take place are disjointed- it doesn't flow smoothly. I hope the next one is better.
This was an re-introduction for me to the current world of deadly viruses. It was shocking to learn that smallpox is not dead nor is it safely residing at the CDC or VECTOR in Russia. It is likely in the hands of many nations and has probably been weaponized. You will enjoy the book and really should take it very seriously.
This is an informing and scary book on what has happened and what could happen. Very entertaining and amazing.
It is like listening to a nightmarish medical thriller, except its a non-fiction book. Excellently written and presented.
Yes! It provides horrific details of smallpox as a disease, how quickly it spreads and kills, the agony and disfigurement it causes before it kills, and the fact that we face the danger of some terrorist group creating a weaponized smallpox device that could bring the entire earth to its knees.
The description of a patient as his symptoms progressed.
We fear diseases that have been with us since the beginning of time, such as cancers, plagues, and super flus, and we worry if any of these will once again take off. When an outbreak of Ebola or Marbourg or some other hemorrhagic disease breaks out, we fear it will spread out of control from the remote parts of the world.But none of these diseases has been more horrific than smallpox. No other disease has killed more people, more rapidly with such horrific ferocity than smallpox. While the disease is currently eradicated, there are still living samples of different strains in the freezers of various labs around the world. It would take the actions of one twisted individual to bring havoc upon the world far beyond any other disease we currently live with.
A must-read/listen. I feel dumb, that I didn't really grasp what are "biological weapons". I've heard this term a thousand times, but never really examined it. Scary, but everyone should be aware of this.
I enjoyed learning the scientific and deadly history of small pox. I had always thought it was similar to childhood chicken pox or measles. I had no idea how potentially dangerous it could be; how it could be used in warfare. How hard it was to rid ourselves of it on a widespread basis. Science disabled it, just like polio. All that thinking was naive. I was stunned by some scientists treating it like an endangered species. Why keep something so horrible unless it's used for no good. I did have trouble following some of the more scientific arguments. Since I now know way more than I did, I'm not frustrated by that.
I liked that the main characters were all treated fairly and the author showed no particular bias, like or dislike for any of them. He was reporting on small pox, not personalities.
I enjoyed the reader. He didn't stumble over complicated names or places; I'm sure he used retakes, but it was seamless. He had a pleasant, easy voice to listen to voice. I liked the book overall and I thought it was written extremely well for something based in science. I can tell you water = H2O, but that's the extent of my scientific IQ.