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The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story | [Richard Preston]

The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
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Publisher's Summary

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus.

The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

©1999 Richard Preston (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (530 )
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4.4 (472 )
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Performance
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  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 01-05-12
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 01-05-12 Member Since 2008

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."

    It's rare that a non-fiction book can be this exciting, this compelling, and this gory! Hot Zone certainly gets detailed, and I loved every second of it. Preston did an OUTSTANDING job researching this topic, and really becoming an expert on it. The way he crafted a story that will keep you guessing is nothing short of genius. Narrarator is outstanding. Overall, I'd rather read/listen to this non-fiction book than ANY of the fictional virus stories I've read. Yes, it's THAT good!

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Whitehall, PA, United States 05-08-14
    Scott Whitehall, PA, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2012

    Short and sweet reviews, Allentown pa

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    "the scary truth"
    Where does The Hot Zone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    very high, very well done, easy to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the fact that its non fiction, all the info received from the story is factual and is happening as we sit here


    Have you listened to any of Richard M. Davidson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    ok, 20min in i don't think i could of listened to the whole thing, but by 50% in the guy is perfect. his mannerisms are really scary actually when expressing the situations that arise


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    my reaction is its like being hit by a truck of reality
    medically, 100yrs from now, the medical community are going to laugh at us the way we laugh when we read that 100yrs ago they were figuring out we should wash our hands and sterilize equipments


    Any additional comments?

    just 1 thing, sorry for knocking it, but thanking the author for pronunciations that are incorrect was funny, i caught just 1 word so far. it doesn't take anything away from the story
    i will listen again and also will get more preston books

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 08-13-12
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

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    "Riveting non-fiction account--truly scary"
    Would you listen to The Hot Zone again? Why?

    This book was an excellent listen for a road trip. It kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole ride. I experienced a wide range of feelings, some of which included fear, disgust, repulsion, exhilaration, and relief. I felt that what was lost in the telling was the awful and unfair fate of the monkeys, who were happily swinging through trees, free in their mostly native habitats, and subsequently brought into this nightmare scenario. If you are not an animal rights person now, this book may make you wonder why not. It sure did for me.
    The true tale certainly opened my eyes to what future scenarios could evolve, almost sci-fi in nature, and it left me wanting to search out more information on the subject.
    Highly recommended!


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 11-30-11
    David 11-30-11
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    "Truth that's scarier than fiction..."

    This is an amazing book... it kept me up until 2:00AM one night 'cause I couldn't stop. A publisher's description of it has a line that says, "truth is scarier than fiction" and I have to agree with the stories in this book. There are several sections with various timeline stories that follow several outbreaks of the nastiest viruses, particularly ebolaviruses and marburgviruses. Preston did a great job of not only detailing events and technical aspects of the science, but he also does a great job of fleshing out characters involved... and scaring the bejesus out of me. There is a great, big, huge, UNFORTUNATELY at the end, though. For some schizophrenic reason, Preston absolutely ruins the ending of the book by going off on a MASSIVE liberal diatribe. After such a careful, intellectual presentation of facts and science, Preston, out of nowhere, drops an anti-intellectual theory on the reader by asserting that the nasty viruses are somehow the result of Mother Nature's vengeance on the human species, which he equates to the dignity of a parasite. I wonder how he feels when he realizes the number of trees it took to print all of his books...

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rena Alisa Los Gatos, CA, US 03-19-14
    Rena Alisa Los Gatos, CA, US 03-19-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Brilliant"

    This book is wonderfully written. It is science writing at it's best. It is also very scary. I kept hoping it was science fiction, but it is science fact. It flows like "the Andromeda Strain" but every word is true. This book is an adventure and a trip I was happy to take.
    I read it 20 years ago and loved it even more listening now to the audio version.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tonya Liodos Ohio 04-23-12
    Tonya Liodos Ohio 04-23-12 Member Since 2010
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    "recording needs technical assistance"
    What made the experience of listening to The Hot Zone the most enjoyable?

    The story does exemplify that truth is scarrier than fiction. The narration is well done however when a writer/narrator does a technical reading there needs to be someone to "edit" pronunciations of technical terms/names. There were a few that were so jumbled that I had to try to spell out in order to determine of what he was writing. (exp. "pseudomonas")
    Tonya


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The monster virus ebola.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The book was terrifying from beginning to end!


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenzibit Ghana 09-15-12
    Kenzibit Ghana 09-15-12

    Research Technologist with deep interests in Host Cell - Pathogen Interactions & Cancer Research. I enjoy and mostly listen to Non-Fiction audiobooks on Medicine/Science, War and History. I also like to Game when I'm not in the lab.

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    "Another Great Work from RP."
    If you could sum up The Hot Zone in three words, what would they be?

    Addictive, Scary and Real.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the Level 4 scenes and has spiked my interests in working there one day.


    Any additional comments?

    One will really appreciate works like this when in the Scientific world. As a matter of fact, I really enjoyed this audiobook and kept me thinking about my own experiments in the lab and really wish to work with Hot agents like these ones in the book in Hazmat suits one day in my career. Richard Preston really knows and understands what he writes about since he does his researches very well and in detailed. I pray and hope Audible Un-transcribes his other great works like The Cobra Event into Audiobooks. Not forgetting a great read from Richard M. Davidson, a few hitches being a lot of echoes from the reader at a particular point in the first part of the book. In all, it was a great book read by a good reader and I will recommend it to all interested or have something to do with Science....it will make you love your work.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. A. Milus 03-30-14
    C. A. Milus 03-30-14 Member Since 2012
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    "If this doesn't scare you nothing will"

    Considering that there is a, at this time, uncontrolled Ebola outbreak I felt it time to do my duty and review this audio. Firstly, when listening to this audio it doesn't seem at all like non-fiction, the author has done a very good job of bridging the gap and creating these true events into a story like pattern that will scare the living hell out of you.

    Warning: It's graphic. If you've never read any information on the way one meets their demise "crashes" after being infected with Ebola, Marburg etc.. it's not pretty, in fact it's something straight out of a Stephen King novel. Next time someone even sneezes by you a whole new thought process will instantly take place and you'll squirm as fast as you can away from the epicenter.

    This book doesn't slow down for a second and reads like a bio warfare crime drama in which someone is bleeding out ever other paragraph. Read it and then go wash your hands.

    That is all... over.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 12-17-13
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 12-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Melodramatic ebola overkill - poorly done"

    My favorite books usually have a medical twist, and I own a full shelve of plague books... but unlike most readers on Audible I didn't really care for this one. The reader repeatedly slaughtered pronunciations and so much drama in his voice. Then the writer seemed intent on showing you the most possible gore from a breakout. Then lots of buildup.... wait for it, wait for it.... a possible exposure of a main character... that doesn't happen. Then he dumps that breakout with no review to numbers involved and how it was stopped and fast forwards into the next near exposure and after that great build up.... nothing happens. To be honest I don't regret reading "The Hot Zone," there was some very interesting information... it just could have been presented so much better.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pita Miami 08-04-14
    Pita Miami 08-04-14 Member Since 2013

    Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books

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    "Read all about Ebola; true tale of deadly virus"
    If you could sum up The Hot Zone in three words, what would they be?

    "Scarier than fiction". Ebola has been on the news lately and we are being told that with the recent return of two infected patients to the US it is the first time the virus is in the United States. If you read/listen to this book that made the best seller list more than a decade ago you will learn that this may not necessarily be true.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I found the fact that the events narrated in this book are real extremely compelling. Of course, the book was very well written and the story itself terrifying (the fact that the particular incident described here does not seem to be common knowledge makes it all the more frightening). The author made good use of the narrative about the event to educate the public on the ebola virus and specific CDC practices.


    What about Richard M. Davidson’s performance did you like?

    I found the narrator adequate.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me scare


    Any additional comments?

    If the current Ebola epidemic in Africa has piqued your interest regarding this deadly virus I seriously recommend you read this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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