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!!!
This is a fascinating story of the invention of sulfa drugs. Surprisingly, strep infections were a huge killer throughout history up until the ‘30s. These drugs, along with penicillin are responsible for a significant increase in the average human lifespan.
It's been a year or more since I listened to this. I was really captivated and in conversations I was always talking about the interesting things I learned in this book. I'm sure I will read it again sometime.
I have recommended this book several times since I read it almost a year ago, and plan to listen to it again. I am a research scientist, and love the lessons learned by the scientists in the story and refer to them often. The characters are their motivations are also interesting, but to me the most interesting part is the historical context of the discovery of antibiotics (how recent!), how world events affected their discovery and development, and how they changed our world. I am not in the medical field and had no problem following the book - it is written on a level that anyone can follow.
The subject and story are engrossing, but it was hard to listen to this narrator's overly dramatic inflections and his misproununciations. I gave up half way through.
Very interesting , a lot of usuful knowledge, but become like a reserach paper time to time, at this points it was easy to get distructed
This book presented the rise of antibiotics in a well written and attention catching manner. The intertwining of historical events and their interplay with the discovery process was dynamic and engaging. Well worth reading, right until the end.
At the end of the book the author starts bemoaning the doctors of "the Good ol' days" when they would come to your home and stand by watching over you and holding your hand... while you died horribly of a staph infection! Except that he deliberately leaves out the death part. He then goes on to bemoan the loss of such wonderful things as self medication and homeopathy. Yeah I really wish I could try to figure out what will best cure me, what I want to do is research thousands of drugs and make a rational and informed decision while I am suffering from a fever of 104* or I could just take the "magic water" of homeopathy. So listen to the book but skip the epilouge.