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The Demon in the Freezer Audiobook
The Demon in the Freezer
Written by: 
Richard Preston
Narrated by: 
Paul Boehmer
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 (514 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.3 (275 )
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Story
4.3 (278 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 Austin, TX USA 07-07-04
    M. M. Robinson Austin, TX USA 07-07-04 Member Since 2014

    voracious reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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

    .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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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
  •  
    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 2015

    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
  •  
    K. Bachelor Keller TX 02-08-16
    K. Bachelor Keller TX 02-08-16 Member Since 2016

    Keltie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Horror Still Exists"

    The powers that be insist upon keeping small pox in existence, although it was eradicated in the wild. Genetic engineering persists ... in the name of saving mankind from future lethal pandemics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia 02-05-16
    Alicia 02-05-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Terrifying."

    Wow, the depths of human depravity. Fascinating information but the narrative feels a little unfocused with jumps from subject to subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose 04-14-15
    Jose 04-14-15
    ratings
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    "Amazing but Scary!"

    Great book. The details of the dangers of the mentioned viruses are frightening. Great narrater as well. I'll be looking for more title from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Cambridge, MA, United States 07-21-14
    Amazon Customer Cambridge, MA, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very engaging...a bit sensationalist"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Demon in the Freezer?

    An autopsy of an inhalation anthrax victim.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader gave accents to different characters, which was very distracting. The Australian accent was particularly egregious, and the CDC scientist from the South sounded a bit like Gomer Pyle.


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

    It made me concerned about the availability of the smallpox genome sequence in public databases!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan E Johns Santa Rosa, CA 06-30-14
    Jonathan E Johns Santa Rosa, CA 06-30-14 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    "Dramatized History at it's best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Demon in the Freezer to be better than the print version?

    This story is terrifying, intense, suspenseful, and dramatic. And it is true. The author has taken interviews, and public documents and sewn together a fantastic story of the eradication of smallpox and the 2001 Anthrax attack and connected them using the real peoples life stories to bring it all together.


    What other book might you compare The Demon in the Freezer to and why?

    I like dramatized history, and scientific stories like the Disappearing Spoon, and this fits right in. Reads like a summer blockbuster movie, but historically real.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator does a great job telling that story with minimal accents, and dramatic interpretations. Very good voice inflection, and enthusiasm.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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