The Hot Zone

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Anchor Books, 1995 - Medical - 422 pages
37 Reviews
The virus kills nine out of ten of its victims. Its effects are so quick and so gruesome that even biohazard experts are terrified. It is airborne, it is extremely contagious, and it is about to burn through the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Is there any way to stop it? This doomsday scenario confronted a biohazard SWAT team struggling in secret to stop the outbreak of an exotic "hot" virus at an Army research facility outside Washington. "The Hot Zone" tells the dramatic story of their dangerous race against time, along with an alarming account of how previously unknown viruses that have lived undetected in the rain forest for eons are now entering human populations. From the airlocked confines of a biosafety level 4 military lab, to an airliner over Kenya carrying a passenger dissolving into a human virus bomb, to a deserted jungle cave alive with deadly virus, THE HOT ZONE is a non-fiction thriller like no other. "The Andromeda Strain" was fiction--- "this is real!"

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This is an interesting book that actually, true story, took place in the late 1980's. This story takes place all over the world, including Africa, Europe, and the U.S.A. but the main spot comes to be in Reston, Virginia, right outside of D.C. This story is ultimately about an outbreak of the Ebola virus in a monkey house in Reston. Richard Preston put together many other stories about Ebola to come to the climax of the book which is when the monkey Ebola virus broke out. Some of the stories told the gruesome tales of previous people who took in the virus and ended up dying a very disgusting and scary death. The Ebola virus has a 90% death rate and it clearly shows that and tells that in this book. It also exclaims where the virus might have came from, it could be from the European monkeys, or even Kitum Cave. The main characters of this story are Nancy Jaax, Gene Johnson, Jerry Jaax, and C.J. Peters, just to name a few. These characters were actual people, except that they had different names, so they seem very real and believable to me. I love how it seems as if you become part of the military when you read this book, mainly because the fact that the main characters are in the military and the military took the majority role in controlling the virus. I find it very interesting how many characters, Nancy especially, would risk their lives everyday because they love the danger factor. I would really like more characters from the outside world though, like some of the civilians and others around. I feel as if I was too much on the inside of the story. And of course the whole Ebola virus and Marburg virus is real and after reading this book I would really like to know more about them and see if any real threats are coming up. My overall opinions on this book would be that yes it was interesting, but it just was not enough for me. It was TOO scientific and there was too much repetition. There were plenty of times where I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and there were other times where I knew what was gonna happen next, and I felt bored with the book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the medical field or are just interested into science, period. This is more for a college student, any gender, and who loves science/biology. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Good book

User Review  - Mary S. -

Theres a reason it was on the bestseller lists for so long. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Richard Preston graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College in California and received a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. He began his career as a journalist writing for the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler and Blair & Ketchum's Country Journal. He has also been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1985. One of Preston's earlier novels, "First Light," was a book on astronomy that won him the American Institute of Physics Award, and he has an asteroid the size of Mount Everest named after him. He also wrote "The Hot Zone," which is a true story about an outbreak of the Ebola virus near Washington, D.C. and inspired the movie Outbreak that starred Dustin Hoffman. "The Cobra Event" is a thriller about biological weapons and terrorism. He spent three years researching biological weapons and his sources included high-ranking government officials, and the scientists who invented and tested these weapons. The story tells of a medical doctor who works with the FBI to stop an act of bio-terrorism in New York City. Preston is now considered an expert in the areas of disease and biotechnology; and the FBI and President Clinton, in regards to disease and bio-warfare, have sought out his opinion. Preston has won several awards that include the McDermott Award in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Overseas Press Club of America's Whitman Basso Award for the best reporting in any medium on environmental issues for "The Hot Zone." His title Micro with Michael Crichton made the New York Times Best Seller list for 2011.

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