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The Demon in the Freezer Audiobook

The Demon in the Freezer

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Publisher's Summary

The first major bioterror event in the United States - the anthrax attacks in October 2001 - was a clarion call for scientists who work with "hot" agents to find ways of protecting civilian populations against biological weapons. In The Demon in the Freezer, Richard Preston takes us into the heart of USAMRIID, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Peter Jahrling, the top scientist at USAMRIID, has ORCON security clearance that gives him access to top-secret information of bioweapons. His most urgent priority is to develop a drug that will take on smallpox - and win. Eradicated from the planet in 1979, the smallpox virus now resides, officially, in only two high-security freezers - at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, and in Siberia, at a Russian virology institute called Vector. But the demon in the freezer has been set loose. It is almost certain that illegal stocks are in the possession of hostile states, including Iraq and North Korea. Jahrling is haunted by the thought that biologists in secret labs are using genetic engineering to create a new superpox virus, a smallpox resistant to all vaccines.

USAMRIID went into a state of Delta Alert on September 11 and activated its emergency response teams when the first anthrax letters were opened in New York and Washington, D.C. Preston reports, in unprecedented detail, on the government's response to the attacks and takes us into the ongoing FBI investigation. His story is based on interviews with top-level FBI agents and with Dr. Steven Hatfill.

©2002 Richard Preston; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This book will give you nightmares. Preston...turns a story about science and medicine into a theme-park ride of a thriller." (The New York Times)
"As exciting as the best thrillers, yet scarier by far, for Preston's pages deal with clear, present and very real dangers." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (564 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Samuel LITTLE ROCK, AR, USA 06-12-04
    Samuel LITTLE ROCK, AR, USA 06-12-04
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    "super terrifying"

    wow. dont start this before bed... not only will this book put the absolute fear of bioterror in you, but it is difficult to put down. far more sinister than any fiction, this book weaves the history of smallpox, anthrax, and 9/11. i'm a physician and had little education on smallpox, a simply horrific disease. bottom line, the averaqe american lives in ignorant bliss... and i'm not a fear mongering conservative.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. M. Robinson 07-07-04 Member Since 2017

    voracious reader

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    "Dull and Lifeless"

    I've enjoyed Richard Preston's work in the past, and I most likely would prefer to actually read a copy of this one. I found the narrator dull, lifeless and absolutely boring to listen to. There was no inflection of his voice, no intonation, just a monotone delivery that drove me to distraction! The material that I could manage to listen to was well written, but very poorly read. I think I"ll go buy a copy of the book and save myself the tedium of listening to this narrator. If I were basing this review on the quality of writing, this book would easily earn 4 stars, but because it's an audio version I can't give it more than 2.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline 06-12-08
    Jacqueline 06-12-08

    .

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    "Skip it"

    I was sooo looking forward to this book as his previous books have been very entertaining and kept the interest high. Not this one. The narrator was bland, and the events that take place are disjointed- it doesn't flow smoothly. I hope the next one is better.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Sorensen Huntsville, UT United States 11-28-16
    Richard Sorensen Huntsville, UT United States 11-28-16 Member Since 2014
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    "very well written"

    This is an informing and scary book on what has happened and what could happen. Very entertaining and amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. T. Mensinger San Jose, CA USA 11-13-16
    D. T. Mensinger San Jose, CA USA 11-13-16 Member Since 2012

    2X Survivor

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    "Nightmarish medical thriller that is non-fiction"
    Where does The Demon in the Freezer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is like listening to a nightmarish medical thriller, except its a non-fiction book. Excellently written and presented.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes! It provides horrific details of smallpox as a disease, how quickly it spreads and kills, the agony and disfigurement it causes before it kills, and the fact that we face the danger of some terrorist group creating a weaponized smallpox device that could bring the entire earth to its knees.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    N/A


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of a patient as his symptoms progressed.


    Any additional comments?

    We fear diseases that have been with us since the beginning of time, such as cancers, plagues, and super flus, and we worry if any of these will once again take off. When an outbreak of Ebola or Marbourg or some other hemorrhagic disease breaks out, we fear it will spread out of control from the remote parts of the world.But none of these diseases has been more horrific than smallpox. No other disease has killed more people, more rapidly with such horrific ferocity than smallpox. While the disease is currently eradicated, there are still living samples of different strains in the freezers of various labs around the world. It would take the actions of one twisted individual to bring havoc upon the world far beyond any other disease we currently live with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carryn Philadelphia, PA, US 09-26-16
    Carryn Philadelphia, PA, US 09-26-16 Member Since 2017
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    "I get it now"

    A must-read/listen. I feel dumb, that I didn't really grasp what are "biological weapons". I've heard this term a thousand times, but never really examined it. Scary, but everyone should be aware of this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane 09-20-16
    Shane 09-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "terrifying"

    awesome work by preston. been meaning to read for a very long time and definitely worth your time if u r interested in mirco

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonas Manley 08-31-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspirering!"

    Very good, pleasant voice, not too many unnecessary anecdotes, not too tecnical, but just tecnical enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Henseler 04-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The Demon in the Freezer"

    I enjoyed learning the scientific and deadly history of small pox. I had always thought it was similar to childhood chicken pox or measles. I had no idea how potentially dangerous it could be; how it could be used in warfare. How hard it was to rid ourselves of it on a widespread basis. Science disabled it, just like polio. All that thinking was naive. I was stunned by some scientists treating it like an endangered species. Why keep something so horrible unless it's used for no good. I did have trouble following some of the more scientific arguments. Since I now know way more than I did, I'm not frustrated by that.
    I liked that the main characters were all treated fairly and the author showed no particular bias, like or dislike for any of them. He was reporting on small pox, not personalities.
    I enjoyed the reader. He didn't stumble over complicated names or places; I'm sure he used retakes, but it was seamless. He had a pleasant, easy voice to listen to voice. I liked the book overall and I thought it was written extremely well for something based in science. I can tell you water = H2O, but that's the extent of my scientific IQ.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chebence St. Paul, MN 04-07-16
    Chebence St. Paul, MN 04-07-16 Member Since 2017

    Heavenly Lady

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    "Misleading book description"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This could have been a better book if they did not describe it as a book about anthrax. This book is really about Polio and how the country worked to eradicate it.


    Has The Demon in the Freezer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration. Because I really thought I was reading a book about Antrax.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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