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Fever Audiobook

Fever: A Novel

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2013 - Was Mary Mallon just a scapegoat? A victim of a paranoid society willing to vilify and discard a poor, Irish immigrant and domestic worker based solely on shoddy science and sensationalism? Fever tells the story as “Typhoid Mary” may have told it herself. Through her eyes we get an insider’s view of early 20th Century New York City and of the perfect storm she was swept up in. Not a meek, unsophisticated victim at all, Mary is a woman ahead of her time in many ways: unmarried by choice, a bread winner, a skilled cook and a fighter. She does not simply accept her diagnosis, and by questioning the science behind the accusations she adds pressure on the doctors to better understand the spread of disease, and on the legal system to address issues of public health and civil liberties. This is historical fiction at its best. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (598 )
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4.3 (545 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kandi L. Johnson Floodwood, MN United States 07-16-15
    Kandi L. Johnson Floodwood, MN United States 07-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "fascinating"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Lisbeth Louisville, KY, United States 07-13-15
    Lisbeth Louisville, KY, United States 07-13-15 Member Since 2011

    Ce n'est pas grave!

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    "Fascinating"

    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".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Jackson OXFORD, GEORGIA, US 07-07-15
    Dana Jackson OXFORD, GEORGIA, US 07-07-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Entertaining, but not in a happy way"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie DURHAM, NC, United States 07-04-15
    Connie DURHAM, NC, United States 07-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Germ Woman"

    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!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norma Greenbelt, MD, USA 07-02-15
    Norma Greenbelt, MD, USA 07-02-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Tragic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    2ndyrnursingstudent San Antonio, TX 06-30-15
    2ndyrnursingstudent San Antonio, TX 06-30-15 Member Since 2013

    30-something nursing student obsessed with all things medical, historical and scientific....

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    "Engaging; American history & love story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Dana 06-30-15
    Dana 06-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good historical fiction"

    Interesting story, interesting characters. Sadly, another narrator that does not seek advice about the pronunciation of medical/scientific terms.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    E. Turner Nevis, West Indies 06-29-15
    E. Turner Nevis, West Indies 06-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Could not stop."

    It just gets weirder with each twist.
    Epilogue is like a voice from the past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy L. Collins 06-27-15

    Nancy Collins

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    "Great story. Good performance."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Fit & trim 50 Washington State 04-07-15
    Fit & trim 50 Washington State 04-07-15

    Sharon Delaney

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    "Romantic storyline dragged on. And on... "

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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