Very engaging discussion of an ancient foe. Neither dry nor boring - instead it pulls the listener into the saga with personal anecdotes and case studies. Recommend for anyone who likes to learn while being entertained.
Some wry lines are read so flatly that the humor is lost. I'd rather read the paper edition than listen to Heller again.
I really enjoyed this book. Binged the entire thing in a few days. It brings in science, history, and culture nicely as it recites the history of rabies. It never feels dry, rushed, or moving slow, it is aware of the serious matter, but isn't dark or gloomy, but overall has a hopeful tone.
This is one of very few times that I found a book so boring that I did not complete it. The author seems to mention EVERY instance of a vicious dog or dog-like beast in history, and attributes the tale to the fear of rabies, but to me failed to provide the facts that would indicate this was truly the case. At any rate I found it tedious to read essentially the same anecdote repeatedly. The only redeeming portion of the book was the section on Pasteur. This was very compelling and I greatly enjoyed those chapters.
I like to read or listen whichever the case may be.
It left with a good respect for disease we often don't appreciate in this country.
No, I haven't but he's a good narrator.
Yes and I almost did.
Toward the middle of the book I thought "oh my gosh! How many things can they tie into this" Books, movies, fairy tales etc. however in the end I was able to understand that indeed, this is and was a very scary thing for people and given its longevity in history would account for a great deal of legend.
while the point of the sorry is very interesting, the reading and even writing, is pretty dramatic. I know rabies is a dramatic disease, but constantly talking about "slathering jaws" and using an almost horror story voice was a little much. however, the information contained was fascinating, especially the end where it talks about the future of neurological disease fighting and rna-i treatment. well worth it.
Im sure there are people out there who would enjoy this. People who love to read grisly horror novels and the like. Those looking for an interesting piece of non-fiction should look elsewhere.
The book is clearly intended to "shock" and "scare", not to relate facts. Great lengths are gone to discuss the details of dissections of brains and the methods of severing the heads of rabid dogs post-mortem. Details including the saws used, what it looks like, how it sounds etc. This adds absolutely nothing whatsoever to the readers understanding of the rabies virus.
This is a general theme throughout the first 1/3 of the text. That was all I got through before setting the book aside. It felt like the authors read "The Hot Zone" and said to themselves: "We could totally add 2 cups of Steven King, 4 cups of Wess Craven, and some Halloween vampires and werewolves talk to that and make a great horror story."
Again, if you're a big horror genre fan, you may like this. If your looking for a book in the vein of "The Panic Virus," "Survival of the Sickest," "The Alchemy of Air," "The Emperor of All Maladies," or even "The Hot Zone," you will be disappointed.
Nearly all of it. Tons of fluff gore and "spooky" portions fill up space but add nothing to the readers understanding.
Very interesting book. I only hesitate to give it 5 stars because it gave me the willies. That's a horrible reason, I know. I loved the journey through all kinds of medical theories and treatments from ancient time. I loved the story of the co-evolution of the dog and rabies. It was funny, fascinating, scary, and so much more. I found it a quick read overall. I mostly wanted to go back to the book. Only once did I set it down for a while, and that had little to do with the book itself, other than the subject itself. Interesting to see how we fear it, how we treat it, where it is, where it isn't. A wonderful book overall.
Clear and engaging narration.
This is a fascinating book. It takes a look at everything from mankind’s epidemiological interactions with other animals throughout history, especially domesticated animals, and most especially dogs. To the symptoms and molecular mechanics of rabies. To the way the disease conceptually strikes at our primal fears, and its likely contribution to legends and literature since the dawn of civilization.
Are you pondering books to read and movies to watch with zombies, vampires, or werewolves? In large part, you can probably thank rabies for the rise of these legendary monsters by the way it turns its victims into slathering, hydrophobic, bite-happy conduits for its propagation. These and other aspects of its malignancy have contributed to shaping some of our deepest-seated cultural fears about disease and the broader unknown.
Being a horror author myself, I’m fascinated about why some things scare us, not just how. What I love about this book is that it gives serious consideration to the cultural impact of one very nasty disease. This includes everything from the ancient Greek myth of Lycaeon (where the term lycanthropic comes from), to the Bible’s generally negative symbolization of dogs, to modern day classics like I Am Legend, Night of the Living Dead, and Dracula. The disease even makes distinct appearances in modern literary works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, and Their Eyes Were Watching God.
If you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating and terrifying thing that is rabies, with an in-depth look at both the science and cultural impact throughout history, I highly recommend this book. I listened to the Audible version and enjoyed the narration by Johnny Heller.