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4.6 out of 5 stars115
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 December 2003
I was given this book when I arrived in Kenya some 6 years ago. I was recruited as the CEO of the Nairobi Hospital. The Nairobi Hospital in which the first scenes of the book play out. This was years after the events talked about in the book. But I met many of the people that the book talks about, I found the whole thing fascinating, and VERY instructive!!
Now working back in the NHS in the UK, with a much better knowledge of what mankind is just about holding at bay.
I do have some problems with the book, but they are minor and due to the overly dramatic nature in which events were protrayed, but hey, you have to sell them somehow
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on 24 October 1998
This book is with out a doubt, a page turning, jump start attention getter for anyone. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants both exitement, and education. The Hot Zone gives great examples of what the biological world has behind closed doors for the human race. I think that people who are familiar with deforestation know that we are bringing these epidemics upon ourselves. Preston writes The Hot Zone to the lamen and in great detail. I belive that he does this so that anyone who reads this novel will understand it and remember it. None the less, it's a great novel that has earned my five crowns.
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on 6 August 1999
I could not put this book down at all and I was up until the small hours of the morning-not that it mattered because I hardly slept after finishing it! I thoroughly recommend reading it but I warn you, I seriously almost did throw up at certain points in the book!! ENJOY!!!
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This is a non-fiction book that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, compulsively turning the pages. In it the author gives an education on the possible origins of different deadly hemorrhagic viruses and the devastation that they cause in both animals and humans. The author describes actual outbreaks that occurred between 1967 and 1993. This is done in an engaging, straightforward narrative that reads like a medical thriller.

The nucleus of the story focuses on an outbreak of Ebola virus in Reston, Virginia in the tony county of Fairfax, just outside of Washington, D.C. in 1983. A special, highly trained teamed of Army specialists and scientists secretly converged on that hot spot to try and stop the spread of this deadly virus, as it had a kill rate of ninety percent.

The account that the author gives of the Army's mission is riveting, as is the vivid description of the rain forests and caves of Africa where these hemorrhagic viruses are suspected of originating. The devastation these viruses cause to both animals and humans is horrifying, shocking, and, unfortunately, all too true. The author has managed to make science accessible to the general public and eminently readable. Bravo!
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on 2 July 1999
Being interested in viruses I was most intrigued when a friend of mine gave me this as a present. I was living in Africa at the time and the reports of Ebola Zaire were quite common place. Mr. Preston has done a magnificent job with this book. It caters for every different reader. It provides a horrifying grim account of the virus and its discovery in Washington DC that will shock a reader who is unaware of the virus. It will also give the more seasoned virus watchers an exciting and gripping read. Well done sir.
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on 2 February 2005
Excellent book, scary but true and the fact that it happened makes it all the more fascinating.
Ebola makes any other disease look tame as it kills so fast and the fatality rate is so high. This book goes into great detail.
If you have any interest in illnesses or Biology, read this book! If you want to be scared out of your wits by things that have happened, read this book!
I can honestly say this is one of the best books I have ever read.
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on 2 May 1999
This book is so well written it captivates you from the first moment you start reading it. Every event is so well presented that you might think it happens right next to you. The presentation of scientific facts is extremely interesting and does not require any special knowledge. Anyone can read it and everyone should read it. It really is terrifying and the fact that it is true makes it even more. A great book on a great subject.
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on 31 July 2001
Having read Richard Prestons' second novel "The Cobra Event", I decided to give "The Hot Zone" a go. All I can say is WOW!. I've never read anything like it in my life, the graphic descriptions of the effects of the Ebola virus turned my stomach so much I thought I was going to be sick. That said, it's a brilliant, terrifying and thought provoking read.
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on 2 February 1999
This book was the best, mostly true, scientific book I have ever read. The Hot Zone was clearly Preston's best novel. This book kept me on the edge of my seat for days. The action and suspense of the book was constant and I found not a boring moment. I would also recommend Richard Preston's other "black biology" book, The Cobra Event.
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on 2 August 2002
This is without a doubt, the scariest thing i have ever read or even imagined. Its scarier than any movie or Stephen King thriller because of one astounding factor. It really happened and will happen again. The books main draws are its thrilling races to contain the unknown virus, and the graphic, disturbingly real descriptions of the virus' symptoms. Preston writes the story in a fast exiting way which leaves you unable to look away, or turn the pages fast enough. The virus in the story is the same virus used in the film outbreak, although if the movie tried to copy the books thrill ride though the trauma of the paitents agony or the tension of the 'hot zone' lab, it failed completely.
This 1st edition is a fantastic addition to any serious book collection, which i can promise will be read at least, to a third go.
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