A bold, mesmerizing novel about the woman known as "Typhoid Mary", the first known healthy carrier of typhoid fever in the early 20th century - by an award-winning writer chosen as one of "5 Under 35" by the National Book Foundation.
Mary Mallon was a courageous, headstrong Irish immigrant woman who bravely came to America alone, fought hard to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic service ladder, and discovered in herself an uncanny, and coveted, talent for cooking. Working in the kitchens of the upper class, she left a trail of disease in her wake, until one enterprising and ruthless "medical engineer" proposed the inconceivable notion of the "asymptomatic carrier" - and from then on Mary Mallon was a hunted woman.
In order to keep New York's citizens safe from Mallon, the Department of Health sent her to North Brother Island where she was kept in isolation from 1907-1910. She was released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary - spoiled by her status and income and genuinely passionate about cooking - most domestic and factory jobs were heinous. She defied the edict.
Bringing early 20th-century New York alive - the neighborhoods, the bars, the park being carved out of upper Manhattan, the emerging skyscrapers, the boat traffic - Fever is as fiercely compelling asTyphoid Mary herself, an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the hands of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes an extraordinarily dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable character.
©2013 Mary Beth Keane (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio
This was an interesting and informative read. Typhoid Mary is finally presented as flesh and blood and not mere cliche.
The story about typhoid Mary gives us an interesting snapshot of the first couple decades of city life in New York for a carrier of the typhoid virus.The author gives a sense of Mary's somewhat early feminist self-confident unapologetic person hide. The character herself is clear about her ideas and her attitudes regarding how she is treated by the medical establishment, journalists, and the community at large. She feels that she is generally misunderstood, and that her dignity is disregarded and unappreciated by those who imagine that she is a disease ridden threat to the community.
By the end of the story it is clear that typhoid Mary finally perceives the reality did she actually is a danger to the community and that her home on the island in isolation is probably the best place for her to remain. Overall the book was well written and the audio performance was satisfying. Among the various audio books that I have listened which were historical fiction I would not recommend this as being most compelling or entertaining, however I didn't feel that the story was a waste of time.
Fever makes the story of "Typhoid Mary" realistic and also brings up the human rights and gender issues surrounding this case. I assume that the research on the story is true even if the conversations and details fictionalized. This would be a good historic novel for young adults to understand some of the medical discovery and human rights issues surrounding this story. This is a great story to understand the development of research on infectious diseases.
The courtroom decision and the consequences for Mary.
No have not listened to others
The Italian widow and her 2 sons allowing Mary to live with them.
Typhoid Mary is usually discussed as an infectious disease and epidemiology story. I had known none of the details of this woman and the consequences of discovery of carriers. There are important lessons that can be learned from this story.
I was engaged throughout. historical fiction at its best. I knew a bit of the story, but to hear it this way was wonderful. great performance as well.
Ce n'est pas grave!
I enjoyed listening to this fascinating story about "Typhoid Mary" and NYC at the turn of the 20th century. The narrator was outstanding, with just enough expression, but not extreme or distracting. Excellent "Daily Deal".
I enjoyed the book. A stronger Irish accent would have been cool, but it wasn't bad. I don't get that Mary didn't "get it" that she was killing people. That was frustrating to me. I would still recommend the book.
As I read about the life of Mary Mallon, at first I hated her, then was proud of her for being so ambitious, then felt sorry for her....then went on to repeat said feelings. I don't know what I'd do if I turned out to be a healthy carrier of typhoid fever! What a burden to bear your whole life! This woman, who came to be known as Typhoid Mary, was brash and bold and stubborn. Unpleasantly so. (Although today we would describe a woman like her as ambitious, breaking a glass ceiling!) But by the end, after she finally believed what the doctors had told her all along, she was almost to be pitied.
The book brought early twentieth century New York City and Mary Mallon alive for me. I love to read about people who have lived interesting lives (mine is so dull!)
It wasn't bad. In some ways tragic that a woman as apparently smart as Ms Mallon still didn't have the imagination to understand germs and therefore willfully put people in harms way.
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