Instead of a serious treatment of a medically important and scientifically historic disease, this book reads more like a werewolf story. For example, there is a detailed description of the surgical decapitation of a dog (to obtain brain tissue test for the virus) that adds nothing but gore to the story. And the hydrophobia stories read like something from the "Exorcist." If you're looking for a horror book, you'll like it. But if you're looking for a serious nonfiction treatment of a very important virus, keep looking.
They should have stuck to the historical narrative without the sensationalized interludes. It's as though they didn't believe that the history of the science alone was enough to captivate the reader. They were wrong.
This was spun as a book looking at the history of rabies in the human story, but it really weaves together rabies, origins of zombie and vampire stories, immunology, and a little zoophilia thrown in. The story was convoluted; the authors leaped from time to time (1700s one moment, 2000s the next) and the content was very poorly organized. Had the story focused on the science and history (and stayed away from the ridiculous zombie/vampire stories that kept being interwoven), it wouldn't have been half bad. If you want a good history about disease/science and history try the Demon Under the Microscope or the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
A 33 year old with a painfully short attention span. Audible brought me back to reading."
I already have. It's a scientific story without being sluggish or confusing. It's more than just a book about rabies, it's a series of stories.
Rabies is one of those things that I've heard about all my life but I never really learned about it. The extent of my knowledge was that it was fatal and it made animals aggressive and foamy. I had no idea how completely terrifying it is, and what a serious issue it is. I can assure you that I am 100% positive that my cats are all up to date on their rabies shots now.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
I love historical books, specially those who talks about medicine and diseases. But this book could have been more specific. The authors talk about dogs, vampires, zombies, aids and forget that rabid should be the main point, the glue that holds the story in place. When they tell the story of Pasteur the book amazes, but when they divagate, the book sinks.
Rabid is an interesting exploration of a once-horrifying disease that inhabitants of first-world countries, particularly city dwellers, may erroneously think is nothing but a historical footnote. The book dispels some of the myths (modern rabies treatment doesn't require dozens of injections into the patient's stomach), while leaving the reader -- or this reader, at least -- with a healthy fear of the disease. (If untreated, rabies is still essentially 100% fatal, and it's not a pretty way to go.) I have some criticisms of the book -- for example, I don't think the discussion of zombies in popular culture has much to do with rabies -- but I would still recommend it. Even more strongly, I would recommend being extremely cautious in the presence of raccoons and bats, particularly if they're acting weirdly.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I think a bat flew into my room the other night while I was sleeping and bit me. This book is disturbing my dreams. Read at your own risk!
No, really, the book is good and very interesting, though I might recommend you take breaks from this book to read about rainbows and sunshine and cute babies. It is dark and sometimes ghastly. (Which you could probably figure out based on the title and topic.)
The book was well written and researched. The topic is unavoidably intriguing and the history well-handled. I liked the organization of the book and I appreciate that the author included a few (relatively) uplifting pieces of information about more recent advances in treatment, like the Milwaukee protocol. I asked my husband to remember the Milwaukee protocol in case my dream about the bat flying in my room was actually true.
This book has a good combination of history, science and folklore--or, more precisely, how folklore was affected (or might have been) by real incidents of rabies.
I recommend the book to folks who are interested. I give 5 stars for the performance and book, but demote an overall star because the book isn't exactly pleasant. I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone.
I knew next to nothing about Rabies, I bought the title because I was curious and found I was unable to put it down.. Excellent work on an interesting subject
This is a fascinating topic, but the book was sometimes so dull I feared I would never finish it. As a science nerd, the development of the vaccine was the most interesting part of the book for me, and I really loved learning about Louis Pasteur and the other researchers of the 19th century. The strength of the book is how they made so many of those historical characters come alive with stories about them and their competitors or families, etc. I enjoyed learning about how the illness was understood throughout history and the crazy, revolting treatments that different societies developed to attempt to forestall the inevitable fatal outcome of a bite from a rabid animal. That being said, I felt the writing style was too wordy with too much repetition of facts and stories, which made it very slow going, even dull at times. If there is an abridged version, that would probably be the way to go--with any luck a good editor could maintain the details in the lively sections and tie everything together more efficiently.
Written a short article on the subject.
Yes. Good job with a terrible book.
This book could have been written in three chapters. History of rabies was so boring I skipped over chapters. The information on Pasteur and his discovery of the rabies vaccine was interesting but If you want to read a book about rabies it would make more sense to spend a credit on a book about Louis Pasteur.
Although it had me writhing in my seat at times, I really enjoyed the detailed stories and scientific knowledge packed in this book. I suggest anyone who is strong of stomach take a listen to this book.