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Plague and Cholera by Patrick Deville

Plague and Cholera (2012)

by Patrick Deville

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French (5)  Spanish (2)  English (1)  All (8)
Holy. Hell. That was physically painful to read. I'm not sure what I thought I was downloading - or that the author knew what he was writing - but the end result is too dry to work as a novel and too pretentious to interest me as non-fiction. For anybody wishing to learn about Alexandre Yersin, the Swiss polymath who discovered the plague bacteria, I would suggest Wikipedia. There is so much pointless hopping and skipping between Yersin as a young man with black beard and blue eyes and an old man with white beard and blue eyes that I stopped paying attention and started skim-reading. And even that was boring. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jan 16, 2017 |
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Paris, May 1940. Nazi troops storm the city and at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. When he was the brilliant young protege of Louis Pasteur, he focused his exceptional mind on a great medical conundrum: in 1894, on a Hong Kong hospital forecourt, he identified and vaccinated against bubonic plague, later named in his honour Yersinia pestis. Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, Yersin is the son of a European tradition of endeavour; but he has a romantic hunger for adventure, fuelled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, and sets sail for Asia. A true traveller of the century, he wishes to comprehend the universe. Medicine, agriculture, the engine of the new automobile, all must be opened up, examined and improved. Ceaselessly curious and courageous, Yersin stands, a lone genius, against a backdrop of world wars, pandemics, colonialism, progress and decadence. He is brought to vivid, thrilling life in Patrick Deville's captivating novel, which was a bestseller and shortlisted for every major literary award in France.… (more)

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