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Paperback The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus Book

ISBN: 0385495226

ISBN13: 9780385495226

The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus

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Book Overview

The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. 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...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Not Like New

Definitely not like new condtion. Book had been written on, cover wrinkled.

Totally Disgusting and True.

When I looked at the cover of this book it looked like it was science fiction. As I started reading it I was thinking, "Wait a minute this is all real. In this world where we all live there are microscopic monsters that can totally destroy the human race." I was just totally paranoid. Then when I read the vivid description of Ebola I was just terrified and for weeks I could't stop thinking about the poor people that died from this disease. I almost couldn't finish the book I was totally disturbed. When I did read it I found it to ve truly exceptional and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks that there life is horrible it will change your outlook on life and will make you think how lucky you are to be living in a place where you don't have to worry about dying from these infectious diseases.

A Tale of Horror

Richard Preston is not a horror novelist, but this will be one of the scariest stories you've ever read. The cause of all this terror is from little beasts that are only microns in size, filoviruses. "Hot Zone" discusses four of these viruses, Marburg, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Zaire, Ebola Reston. I first came across Preston in his New Yorker article, "Crisis in the Hot Zone" which is basically the cliff notes to this book. It piqued my interest and eventually led to me reading this book. Everyone knows that they should be afraid of Ebola. The Zaire strand only kills 90% of those it infects, in just a matter of day, in the worst way imaginable. Filoviruses are hemorrhagic viruses, causing those unfortunate enough to be infected to crash and bleed out. Preston goes into grisly detail about how these viruses work, and the symptoms that occur in humans. He traces the history of these viruses from their discovery. These are just set up for his main topic, the discovery of Ebola in Washington D.C. A monkey house in Reston Virginia is full of dying monkeys that apparently are infected with Ebola. Preston tracks down the mystery behind this domestic infection. This book does bring up an all-important point; we are only an airplane ride away from the outbreak of a pandemic. It is very possible that a highly contagious disease may break out and cover the earth in a matter of days leaving a large portion of the population dead, making the premise behind Stephen King's novel "The Stand" not so far fetched after all. These filoviruses are very interesting, and Preston reveals them in such a way that you want to know more about them. The only hint I have to offer is, to avoid Intern's Disease, don't read this when you have a cold.

A Nonfiction Thriller

In THE HOT ZONE, Richard Preston has woven epidemiological fact with the terrifying true story of how a strain of the Ebola virus came to the United States. He details various outbreaks of hemorrhagic fevers, traces them to their possible origins, and provides a basic education about viral evolution and forensics, all couched in narratives that will keep you turning page after page. After you have read his graphic descriptions of what happens to people who contract the deadlier strains of Ebola, you will understand fully just how dangerous the Reston, Virginia incident could have been.With its crisp language and pacing, THE HOT ZONE reads like an expert thriller novel, making its reality that much more horrifying. Not for the faint-hearted, this book will likely alter the way you view viruses and epidemics. I highly recommend this book for a general adult readership. (Teenagers under 16 may not be able to handle the highly disturbing descriptions Preston provides.) If you haven't read this book before, you should, especially now in this time of bioterrorism and global travel.

An informative rollercoaster

I adored this book. Some reviews I've read have commented on the fact that the book is rich with description, sometimes more so than information and I do not find that a fault. I read books to entertain myself, if this book was simply a cut-and-dried medical text (and I've read my share of those) then I would've simply read it, processed it and discarded it. Because Mr. Preston gave us more than dry scientific information, this book became one of my all-time favorites. This book, to me, marries the art of masterful storytelling and conveying information. A must-read for anyone interested in the sciences or in a good thriller.

Stunning story told in a superb style

While the story itself is fascinating, the opening of Preston's "The Hot Zone" is the best opening I've ever read, and I'm a writer myself, the author of four novels. His use of language hints at a writer with superior skills and with much to say. Some other reviewers fail to recognize that the book is not as much about the Ebola virus, but that the Planet Earth, tired of the prospect of five billion inhabitants, is trying to fight back and eliminate mankind. Aids, Ebola, they might be just the forerunners of an army of viruses with the goal of keeping the human population from exploding in ever-increasing numbers. Most of the books among today's bestsellers have nothing to say; but "The Hot Zone " is an exception. If nothing else, read the end, and memorize it if you can. I liked it so much that I've written it down and now I've included it here, I hope I won't get in trouble with the publisher for unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material. The following is a direct quote from Richard Preston's "The Hot Zone""In a sense, the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species. It is beginning to react to the human parasite, the flooding infection of people, the dead spots of concrete all over the planet, the cancerous rot-outs in Europe, Japan, and the United States, thick with replicating primates, the colonies enlarging and spreading and threatening to shock the biosphere with mass extinction. Perhaps the biosphere does not "like" the idea of five billion humans. Or it could also be said that the extreme amplification of the human race, which has occurred only in the past hundred years or so, has suddenly produced a very large quantity of meat, which is sitting everywhere in the biosphere and may not be able to defend itself against a life form that might want to consume it. Nature has interesting ways of balancing itself. The rain forest has its own defenses. The earth's immune system, so to speak, has recognized the! presence of the human species and is starting to kick in. The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite. Perhaps AIDS is the first step in a natural process of clearance." End of quote
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