I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
I had no idea how compelling this book would be. It's the story of how people finally found a way to deal with bacterial infection, but it's also about people fighting against their personal demons. It's a delight.
I will never take antibiotics for granted again. After listening to this book, I realize just how fortunate I am to live at this time when so many conditions are easily cured with antibiotics. People died from sore throats? Or a splinter in their foot? As I read I thought about the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Jane gets sick. Mr. Bennett makes a joke about her dying, but after this book I realize that people did die from things we consider rather common, like colds. Made me very grateful, not only for scientists who work hard to discover these drugs, but for the chances that made these discoveries possible.
This book does get bogged down in quite a few places and the narration was rather plodding. On the other hand, I hardly knew anything about Sulfa and learned quite a lot from this volume. Very good history on the American consumer's approach to medicine (the section on patent medicine).
Theoretical evolutionary biologist
I am a biologist and have had extensive training in molecular and microbiology, yet somehow this amazing tale of Gerhard Domagk slipped by the regular curriculum. This is a fascinating tale of how the world's first antibiotic was discovered. But it is a lot more than just a tale of scientific endeavor. Its a biographical sketch of one of the forgotten heroes of biology - his motives, his perseverance and his rivalries. Its truly an inspiring tale.
The author does a fantastic job of tying all these tales together and goes even bound to talk about how these discoveries led to public perception of health and medicine and creation of FDA in the US. I highly recommend this book.
Stephen Hoye's narration is spotless. His enthusiasm for the story is well reflection in the way he narrates the book.
This book was extremely informative. Thomas Hager gives a detailed history while going into scientific detail. There were parts that seemed to drag on but overall I enjoyed it. The narrator was very well spoken and easy to listen to.
it could be because of my medical background that I found this book starting up a bit slow. However, it was fairly well developed and half way through I finally got wrapped up in the story and the characters. Nice and tidy wrap up also. well written overall.
Well written, fascinating and the narration was superb. I am a person of the medical professions and greatly appreciated this wonderful history lesson.
I really enjoyed this book. I only recently in the last few years have the time or inclination to read science/history non-fiction.
I liked the development of the players through time in the different parts they had to play in the search for chemical antibiotics.
My only complaint is that the narrative is not as linear as I might have expected. Perhaps that is a strength for a writer, but for me as a listener, I would rather have had some of the events presented in chronological context rather than moving back and forth in time in relating the smaller details to larger points.
The title is a bit misleading, because we see that this is not just about one doctor, but all the players - but with every good story, there are heroes - and this story has many notable contributors.
This was a fantastic book. I am going to be entering into nursing school in the Spring and have been devouring any and all things medicine related. This book does not disappoint. Smoothly narrated by Stephen Hoye (quickly becoming one of my favorites for non-fiction) this book takes you on a roller coaster ride of the discovery of sulfa based drugs. In our world of modern medicine it is often forgotten that no too far in the past people died readily from what we consider common place ailments. This will be a book I listen to at least a few more times. I moved on to The Emperor of all Maladies and while I'm only about through the first section am enjoying too.
Hager is a wonderful story teller and this is indeed a fascinating story (read very well by Hoye). Several stories rather, woven together beautifully. I listened to the whole thing non-stop. I believe this book could appeal to those less inclined to non-fiction as well because it is quite exciting and doubles as a war novel in parts. I got very attached to the characters.Any history buff should read this book as well, because our modern perspective makes it difficult to imagine a world where a person could die resulting from a common blister or how modern warfare tactics in WWI and WWII changed the nature of wounds and casualties, killing so many more due to soil getting deep into soldier's wounds. Why were the allies and Hitler both so reluctant to use the first antibiotic (or at least drug with antibiotic effect)? The science is compelling as well. I had always wondered why Flemming had been so concerned about the dangers of the use of antiseptic on the battlefield. How could anti-septic be bad? How do aerobic and anaerobic germs work together to make wounds doubly dangerous? You also get to learn about the birth of the pharmaceutical industry an absolutely fascinating early pioneers of drug creation (not to mention some of the hucksters and snake oil salesmen, those they killed and laws that resulted). I could go on and on but I'm an awful writer so go listen to a good one and GET THIS BOOK!!!