Sometimes real life is more scary than fiction.
In this book, Gina Kolata describes the events around 1918 Influenza pandemic and the colossal effort scients delivered to trace back the possible origins of the virus, uncover its lethal genetic structure and prepare humanity for a probable come back.
Description of the carnage in the hospitals and army bases caused by the disease.
Emphasis on the descriptive information - how the disease impacted ordinary people.
Silent infectious holocaust.
This book was a great
Great look at the efforts by scientists throughout the 20th century to find the virus that caused the pandemic and is especially effective in exposing the problems scientists face from the media and the scientific establishment. This is not an audiobook that details how the disease affected the population, but more about ways to prevent it from recurring, and discovering its precedents.
My only critique is that no author should ever narrate his or her work. That is the job of a professional actor. The author, Gina Kolata, is no such actor. She narrates her own story with flat inflection and with a slight lisp. Nevertheless, the story is gripping for anyone interested in the science of the infection.
I downloaded this fascinating book, which I started in paperback on a plane, so I could finish reading it on my daily autocommute. Unfortunately, Kolata's nasal voice and flat affect do not do justice to the riveting true horror-story and history lesson that her well-researched and eminently readable book otherwise provide.
I am currently listening to this book and am enjoying it, except the narrator's voice (she is also the author) is grating on me. Maybe it's just me, so don't avoid this book, because it's very compelling, in light of what's going on in the world right now (Nov 2009). Fascinating content, well researched.
I found this an interesting tale, both in the historical context of the 1918 pandemic, as well as the subsequent attempts up to the 1990s to figure out what made the virus so deadly. Being 9-10 years old now, the audiobook leaves the story hanging, but a quick search on the web will bring the listener up to date. Interestingly, a "less likely" hypothesis mentioned in the last few minutes of the audiobook about the cause of the 1918 virus's virulence in young adults has been recently shown to be the true in relation to the current 2009 pandemic, which I found fascinating.
The narrator is bearable, only because of the interesting content, but really a professional reader should have been used.
As a medical professional, I was fasinated by this story. The story was sobering especially as we may be facing a similar panepidemic. I think the author provided excellent detail and good explainations. I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it. The reader was very good. Although there may have been a slight list, it didn't detract at all from the experience.
This work is quite facinating. Anyone interested in emerging diseases will enjoy it. The opening sequences describing the
death and destruction were very dramatic and attention grabbing. I would also recommend "Demon in the Freezer" if you
liked this work.
good topic, bad reader. Sorry Gina, between poor diction and your slight speech impediment, you mess up your otherwise interesting book. Mumbled speech in audio media is like smudged type in a book....not OK. I would read this, not listen to it.