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The Cobra Event by Richard Preston
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The Cobra Event (edition 1998)

by Richard Preston

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1,206236,637 (3.74)37
Member:thebiblioholic
Title:The Cobra Event
Authors:Richard Preston
Info:Ballantine Books (1998), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
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The Cobra Event by Richard Preston

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
[The Cobra Event] by [Richard Preston] told the very plausible story about a biological disease weapon being released by a terrorist. It went into detail about the disease (very interesting) and the inner workings of the FBI (not so interesting). I had previously read his book, [Hot Zone], which was a true story about the Ebola Virus. I preferred that book to this one. ( )
  tess_i_am48 | Aug 1, 2014 |
Soundly based in science which makes even more frightening. The Hot Zone was real - this is fiction but based on very real science. ( )
  labdaddy4 | Sep 29, 2013 |
After reading The Hot Zone (non-fiction) and being scared, better-informed, with a lot to think about concerning the world of deadly viruses, The Cobra Event (fiction) struck me as less potent. One would almost presume that the Fiction would be even more frightening than reality, but the reverse was true for me. Both are good works and show dedicated research and stellar writing. ( )
  nobooksnolife | Aug 13, 2013 |
Once again Richard Preston sets out to scare us about the (very real) threat of diseases and viruses that could wipe out a significant portion of the world population. Unlike [b:The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story|16213|The Hot Zone A Terrifying True Story|Richard Preston|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320438393s/16213.jpg|909325] this book is fiction and about what if a virus was altered and used as a weapon, rather than about a natural virus.

The first half of this book is great. The slow buildup as the virus starts to be found, the uncertainty of the source or nature of it, the small snippets of real-life background of biological weapon research and development.

But once the source starts to be revealed the book really loses its way and degenerates into a generic chase with an inevitable conclusion. Sorry to tell you but the good guys win in the same way they do in every Hollywood blockbuster. Now it's not that I don't want the good guys to win but it was so predictable and cliched it really let the book down. If the authors intent was to scare and educate people on what these viruses can do then he really should have taken it further. The start was great with random people dropping, terrifying symptoms, panic and uncertainty. He should have played that part out a lot longer. Let it creep out into further random parts of the city. The public knowing something but nothing at the same time. And towards the end ramp it up to full blown epidemic. The virus was defeated too easily and it could give people a false sense of security. He should have shown what could really happen if it got loose.

An interesting book and one that grips you most of the way it really lost its strength. This book would have been better if the author had been willing to take it further. ( )
  Shirezu | Mar 31, 2013 |
An uneven but good read. The background to bio warfare was great but I was as lost as the characters were in the subway system at the end of the book. ( )
  JBreedlove | Sep 10, 2012 |
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This book is dedicated to my brother
David G. Preston, M.D.,
and to
all public health professionals,
wherever they may be.
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Kate Moran was an only child.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345409973, Mass Market Paperback)

In New York City in the late '90s, a 17-year-old girl heads off to her private school even though she has a cold. By art class her nose is gushing mucus and she's severely disoriented. Within seconds, it seems, she's in convulsions and, most bizarrely, can't stop biting herself. All the reader can do is hope she'll die quickly, but Kate Moran's body still has a few more disgusting turns to undergo, and Richard Preston--a Jacobean master of ceremonies par excellence--takes us through them in bizarre and bloody detail.

Clearly, whatever Kate had was a head cold with a scientific vengeance. Preston's heroine, Alice Austen, a doctor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, realizes--in the first of several gripping autopsy scenes--that the girl's nervous system had been virtually destroyed. So far, only one other person is known to have died in the same way, but he was a homeless man. Austen must connect the two cases, seemingly linked only by the subway, before the media gets hold of them and drums up a paranoia-fest--and before the virus's creator can kill again.

The Cobra Event is itself a paranoia-fest, a provocative thriller that makes you wonder exactly how much bioterrorism is taking place in the real world. Preston, best known for his terrifying chronicle of the Ebola virus, The Hot Zone, and other impeccably researched nonfictions, is not content to create fast-paced nightmarish scenes. His novel is instead a complex morality tale anchored in uncomfortable fact. Preston is keen to convey the "invisible history" of bioweapons engineering and, equally, to show the unsung heroism of his scientific detectives (along with that of the nurses and technicians who literally sacrifice their lives for medicine). Like their creator, these characters are not without a sense of humor. One calls the manmade virus "the ultimate head cold." Readers will never forget literally dozens of scenes and will never again see the subway, rodents, autopsy knives, and--above all--runny noses in the same light.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:30 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Five days ago, a homeless man on a subway platform died in agony as startled commuters looked on. Yesterday, a teenager started having violent, uncontrollable spasms in art class. Within minutes, she too was dead. Dr. Alice Austen is a medical pathologist at the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta. What she knows is that the two deaths are connected. What she fears is that they are only the beginning.… (more)

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