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The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by…

The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story (original 1994; edition 1995)

by Richard Preston

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4,703941,525 (4.04)145
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 virus. The book tells this dramatic story, giving an account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race.… (more)
Title:The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story
Authors:Richard Preston
Info:Anchor (1995), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (1994)


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» See also 145 mentions

English (92)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (94)
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A true story. ( )
  Huaquera | Jul 9, 2019 |
I can only think of a few things that are more terrifying than Ebola; Super Ebola comes to mind, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, all of these things are horrifying, but Ebola is in a class of its own. Now, Super Ebola is pretty much the same as Ebola, only it isn’t real. It would be Ebola that has the ability to spread through the air rather than through blood.

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston is a book that perfectly encapsulates the terror of an Ebola outbreak while having a relatable human element to it. This is shown in how the book begins; while other books featuring Ebola might have started with the first outbreaks in 1976 or earlier, The Hot Zone begins with a person called Charles Monet, an expatriate Frenchman that catches Ebola from the Kitum Cave in 1980. This book paints Ebola as a disease of mystery and terror. The doctor that attempted to treat Monet didn’t even know what it was. The disease specialist that he sent his serum to did not even know about Ebola offhand.

Ebola is a viral disease that causes hemorrhagic fever in the victim. As of the writing of the book, 90% of patients with Ebola die. There was no treatment or cure, making Ebola a Level 4 Biological organism. You literally had to wear a space suit to deal with anything infected with this disease. The initial disease vector at the time was unknown, but now we think the carrier is a fruit bat. It is in the same family of viruses as Marburg, which was also a hemorrhagic fever that affected people in Germany back in 1967.

Now this book, The Hot Zone, is based on real events. Some names were changed at the behest of the people in it. The book is from the 1990s, so it is slightly dated. Apparently, there is a vaccine for Ebola that is showing promising results according to Wikipedia.

In any case, this book is really good. It contains edge-of-your-seat terror and all kinds of other chilling excitement. The human element adds another dimension to it, and the book is almost never boring. It also compelled me to look up more stuff on Wikipedia. Knowledge is power after all, even if ignorance is bliss. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
This is a terrifying read. Preston has cast the ebola virus as though it were a monster in your closet. No joke. You read this book and you'll think you're reading about live monsters in the world hiding in every place just waiting for the opportunity to sneak and subtly attack or, if you prefer, to jump out and viciously attack.

After reading this true tale of horror, you may want to buy sanitary gloves and a mask for protection against the beast. ( )
  atdCross | Jun 11, 2019 |
Holy shit this was a good book. Riveting tale of emerging diseases like Ebola and AIDS in the modern world. It's basically a cautionary tale of reproduction. If we keep reproducing and overpopulating the world, we will eventually destroy the places where dangerous organisms live. That's when they adapt. Most of what exists in nature are not a sentient beings. Most of these beings do not have reason or ethics. Those things simply find the best ways to survive. If that means killing humans, so be it. So, uh, yeah, I'm childfree and old. Good luck with that, people of the future! ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
this is a story about filoviruses, species-jumping killer machines that invade blood cells, bursting them to the point where the soft tissues of a mammal become liquified in a gruesome and devastating death within days of infection. The original outbreaks of a virus called Marburg eventually evolve into the Ebola filovirus which devastated human villages in Sudan and Zaire in 1976.

This type of virus wasn't widely known in the US until in 1989 monkeys in a Reston, Va., research lab began dying with Ebola-like symptoms....

This is impressively well written. It takes a very skillful author to present this information in a story format, with characters and a plot and a climax. He introduces technical concepts in a clear and visual way without overdoing the jargon and gives such a in-the-moment feeling of the situation. ( )
  Darth-Heather | Jan 23, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Prestonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davidson, Richard M.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rietz, Hans Dusecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The second angel poored his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead man. --Apocalypse
To Frederic Delano Grant, Jr., admired by all who knew him.
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1980 New Year's Day: Charles Monet was a loner.
The kill rate in humans infected with Ebola Zaire is nine out of ten. Ninety percent of the people who come down with Ebola Zaire die of it. Ebola Zaire is a slate wiper in humans.
You can't fight off Ebola the way you fight off a cold.
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Be careful when combining a book titled Virus with the author's last name of Preston. Both Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child AND Richard Preston have a book with this title.
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