This is an awesome, true, scientific, adventure that is splendidly narrated! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a heavy scientific adventure!
This is an interesting subject and book. I thought it we a little too repetitive at times. The treatment of the monkeys is very hard to listen too. It is terrible what we do to them. This was news to me. There has robe a better way to benefit science.
The audio version was good for me because it helped me complete the book in a timely manner without having to keep track of the print version. After using the audio version, I purchased the written!
It was real-world people and situations...not an embellishment of the truth.
The discovery of the virus in the caves in Africa.
If I could have, I would have...!
Loved the story line and really got my interest peaked in the study of Virology!
I enjoyed the story but there is a lot of unimportant detail included. it has absolutely no relevance to the story and, in my opinion, it doesn't fit into the narration.
After a few parts where I thought it would bring some explanation (that would later turn out to be important), I learnt to ignore it and skipped ahead.
Mr. Preston succeeded in grabbing my interest, quite a feat considering I was never a science student. Thanks to his ability to tell a lively story complete with colorful characters and exotic settings, he taught me that science does not have to be boring. Rather, he opened my eyes to the fact that the study of nature's living, mutating organisms may very well save the human race. As for the scientists, medical doctors, nurses, and the nuns who lost their own lives in the effort to save patients, they are our true heroes.
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.