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
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.
30-something nursing student obsessed with all things medical, historical and scientific....
Insightful look into the world of immigrants in the early 1900s, I love how it is told from Mary's perspective, feels realistic and you understand what she was likely thinking. The story helps to bring this interesting part of medical history to Into your own frame of reference. Ultimately a tale of human experience and one woman's success, grief, love and unfortunate fate as an outcast of society. Also fantastic narration with the different accents, Irish, German, Italian and so on.
I love historical fiction. I did research on Typhoid Mary while listening to this book. It was in step with Fever so not sure I should classify it with fiction. I highly recommend Fever.
I wanted to learn the history behind Typhoid Mary. While this was a theme, the author chose to make Mary's doomed affair with her loser boyfriend the primary focus of the book. What a pointless relationship. Why bother? The story could have been told in half the time it was redundant and, at tines, tedious.
Report Inappropriate Content