The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

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

My Review and Thoughts:

This is truly a mind-altering book that leaves you scared crap-less in so many horrifying, real life ways. This book showcases the brutal reality of this horrible virus that is more killer than anything else. This is the real-life monster living somewhere out there ready to attack in waves of pure painful death that is graphic, disturbing and most of all a ravaging beast inside your own body.

This book left me breathless and utterly disturbed. This is possibly one of the best books ever written on a virus. Richard Preston gave a voice to this beast of destruction. He allows you to understand and grasp the horror of this virus. In vivid detail, he recounts the moments of infection, key figures who came down with the virus. The exploration of this virus in all its horrifying, painful moments that lead victim after victim to death. A death that is both painful and described in this book in brutal means.

This book details total fear. This book showcases the truth of this virus in all its fascinating brutality. Dreadful in the thought that it lingers out there waiting.

I think what stands out with this book is Richard gives a human side to this horror. He allows those who put their lives on the line to be expressed throughout this reality of carnage, fear and the not known. From human fear to science and medical clarity, Richard expresses an honest undertaking that often leaves you the reader in a state of shock, and amazement that allows you to be a part of the procedure.

I felt as if I was there inside the blood drenched walls. I felt the breathing inside the respiratory mask, and sweated inside the protective bio-suits. I felt the squeals of the infected monkeys. I felt the darkness, and cringe inducing reality of the unexplored caves of Kitum Cave. I felt the pathway of the deadly pathogen as it slowly moved throughout the bodies of its ultimate victims. I felt as if I got to know brave hero’s like Nancy Jaax, Jerry Jaax, Tom Geisbert, Dan Dalgard, C.J. Peters, Gene Johnson, Peter Jarling, and all those others who fought against it, sought it out to understand it, and for those who expressed a bravery to face it head-on, which I could never do.

Utterly fascinating, shocking, brutal and filled with a massive dose of pure learning education on a scary as hell topic, and true monster.

Would I Return to it Again: Absolutely? I think this should be required reading for science or medical classes or even College History lessons. A wonderful exploration of this horrifying killer that you can’t even see coming.

Would I Recommend: In a heartbeat. This should be read and expressed in all its brutal understanding and exploration of this virus.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Four Words: Scary, Well-Researched, Informative. Nightmarish.

I’ll leave you with this extraordinary statement from Richard Preston in the book:

Page 406-407

AIDS…. Marburg. Ebola Sudan. Ebola Zaire. Ebola Reston….

“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 extinctions. Perhaps the biosphere does not “like” the idea of five billion humans. Or it could also be said that the extreme amplification of humans, 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 reorganized 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.”