SPOILERS!! There were basically two stories that were covered by Richard Preston in The Hot Zone: The first recounted the events of the first Ebola outbreak in Zaire and the second covered the Reston monkey house incident. The audio book was 11 hours long so as a consequence the book was festooned with amazingly small and needless details about characters' personal lives like the pets they owned, how the pets acted, and the pets' relationships with their owners and how the owner came to own said pets, etc. It made parts of the book remarkably boring. It was really the detail that slowed this down for me. The first story was of perfect length and it had all the elements of a captivating story but the Reston monkey house porting was plain too much. You can miss huge portions of the story and come to exactly the same conclusion.
I don't think that I would ever try Richard Preston Audiobook again. Maybe if it was shorter.
I think that the narrator could pronounce blood differently. It's spoken with an "ah" sound instead of a "u" sound. It's probably the most frequent word in the book so it got under my skin. I'm being extremely picky though. Other than that, it wasn't bad but I didn't find it exceptional in any way.
It was an average book though parts of it were quite entrancing and well written. This is where the detail becomes useful; at the moment of an event.
I would say that this is worth it. If you're like me and interested in working with pathogens, this might be a worthwhile time commitment. It gives a lot of detail into the day-to-day of a pathologist.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author is Stephen King! Favorite book is Hyperion! (READ/LISTEN to it!)
Wow! I thought there was going to be a worldwide epidemic with the recent ebola breakout. Listening to this book, it seems all but certain. Not a matter of if, but when. It absolutely fascinating how a strain of ebola broke out right near Washington D.C. in a group of monkeys and yet never infected a single human being. Or did it? That's part of the story that leaves you wondering if this deadly virus is only lying in wait.
Listen to this book. Period!
Yes, this is an excellent book about the Malburg/Ebola virus. Truly eye opening and relevant to this day. Richard M. Davidson has the perfect voice to tell you about the horrors of this virus!
You will not regret this purchase. If you do buy the audiobook, I do not recommend reading it while you eat or right before bed!!
I've been meaning to read this book for a while and now with Ebola saturating the news I finally did. I think it's a good book for the time that it was written but so much has happened since that it is in serious need of updating. If you are interested in previous outbreaks, go ahead and listen to this book but with the understanding that the science is outdated. If you want to learn more about ebola and what is currently known about it, look elsewhere. Nearly half this book is about the outbreak of ebola in monkeys in Reston, VA, and the take away seems to be that ebola is airborne, which goes against everything health experts are saying now. The book does not make it absolutely clear that the Reston ebola strain is different from ebola Zaire and ones comes away from the book thinking that ebola strains that are pathogenic in humans must be just a tiny mutation away from becoming airborne. This is not the case. I also found the narrator a bit too macho and pumped up. The author wrote a nice piece for the New Yorker on the current epidemic in West Africa so if he ever updates this book, I'd definitely read it.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
Absolutely, without doubt a positive YES. When you listen to it on your own your imagination conjures up all sorts of nightmares however Richard Davidson's stellar performance is calming and brings the listener back to reality.
The enemy, the virus itself. You can't see, hear or touch it. That is the worst enemy of all.
The scene when the staff had to show compassion when euthanizing the monkeys. Having to do their duty but still retaining their compassion and humanity.
It has happened on other Continents. It WILL happen here......
Beautify read and performed. With this new threat on our shores this is a 'MUST READ/LISTEN' at this time as knowledge is power. People are only scared at this time because they have insufficiency information.
The author takes meticulous measures in developing these characters. I was truly captured while learning about the history of the virus and it's victims. I walked away with valuable truth and facts, without being bored to tears. I read quite of bit of non-fiction, and it's a shame it all can't be presented as well.
I would caution anyone listening to this while driving, when the author begins describing the progression of the disease and the effects on the human body, you may want to pull over.
frightening, gripping, shocking
How quickly the ebola virus took over and killed it's first victim.
He has an excellent reading voice. The words flow from his mouth in a way that almost make me feel as if I am there.
No science fiction story could be as gut wrenching as this true life account.
Yes, it was very informative.
He kept me engaged, well done.
No, it was a rather long one, but worth the time.
Vassar graduate, living in Mexico and retired.
Well written with an engaging style. This well researched story about viruses like ebola and others is alarming. Comic relief and pleasant narration make it a worthwhile nonfiction audiobook..
I kept waiting for the drama and suspense, but it never came. Believe a more suspenseful plot twist may help.
he was a good narrator, but couldn't improve the story line