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The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus [Mass Market Paperback]

Richard Preston
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 20 1995
The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. 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 exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

Frequently Bought Together

The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus + The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story + The Cobra Event
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.27

  • The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story CDN$ 9.49
  • The Cobra Event CDN$ 9.89

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Product Description

From Amazon

The dramatic and chilling story of an Ebola virus outbreak in a surburban Washington, D.C. laboratory, with descriptions of frightening historical epidemics of rare and lethal viruses. More hair-raising than anything Hollywood could think of, because it's all true. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Preston's account of an outbreak of a strain of the Ebola virus among monkeys in a Virginia laboratory has spent more than 30 weeks on PW's bestseller list.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant put this down; master thriller story July 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the most exciting books you will ever read. And the scary thing is that the story is true. This page-turner will grip you from the onset and leave you will a chill down yor spine when you realize the nature of the world of virology.
Preston makes the story flow well from beginning to end. He makes feel like you are right in the middle of the story .. almost like you have a role to play. It wont take you long to read this book, and it is written in a comfortable style.
Anyone with an interest in viruses, microbiology, public health, or who just want a good reality thriller should read this book. You will not be disappointed!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NON-FICTION MEDICAL THRILLER... Feb. 25 2008
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars used in university Oct. 7 2008
By A. M. Metner TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In my first year, we had to read this as part of our Diseases in History class. It is shocking to see how fast disease can spread and what people have not put in place in case of emergency.
If you think about it, we are just hours away from any worldwide destination. Of course we are getting more wierd viruses these days; never before have we only been hours away from any worldwide destination!
Preston is a wonderfully descriptive author. When you begin reading this, it is like seeing a movie unfold in front of your eyes. Except the dates and times are all documented as this actually occured realtively recently.
It gave me a better understanding of communicable diseases and why we should all just stay out of Kiddeman Cave! Ebola has been out again last year but didn't spread like it did this one time. It kind of reminds me of "28 Days Later". What would you do, how far would you go, to survive?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Scare!!! June 22 2004
By Nicole
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After I read this book I was speechless...it was just like: Wow. That actually happened. It was so thought compelling and in depth and it just set something off in my head. It is an awesome book by an incredible author, and should be on the shelves of any household.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good July 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book happened to be my Physics book to read and i thought it would just be some people trying to track down this deadly virus. I thought it would all be fiction and i'd wright a report and get a good grade. Turns out, this book is fiction, one of the scariest books i've read, and one of the few books that at parts i couldn't put down!
Some parts didn't appeal to me as much as others (Thats why i give it a 4). I really liked the book and will encourage people to read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out! May 31 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Richard Preston's The Hot Zone, is an enticing book that brings everyone to face reality. Preston did a good job at combining several life accounts of different people who have confronted the "hot" virus in a good way and in a not so good way. Included are personal interviews, with several people's accounts. Meanwhile he still tells a story in a sequence of events that fit in with the other stories.
When the first protagonist is infected , it creates a chain link. Preston then plays out the other characters in the same chain link. All of them have a connection between them.
The setting is mainly West Africa, around Mount Kilimanjaro. I'd have to say that at first people would think it has to do with AIDS but it introduces a whole new virus that most people don't even know about. It gave me a surprise finding out all this information.
One of the details in Preston's book that I didn't enjoy is during or at the end of the stories he would give information about the virus. It was confusing because you didn't know when the story ended or started again.
In conclusion, I found it more informational rather than story like, though I would recommend it for all those interested in facing reality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unworldly Occurence May 27 2004
By Alex
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is extremely difficult to believe that a highly infectious and deadly virus from deep with in the rainforests of central Africa could find its way to a suburban environment in Washington D.C. The virus is known as the lethal Ebola virus that has terrorized Africa since the virus's first appearance in the year of 1980. Ebola is capable of killing ninety percent of it's victims with in the period of a few days and depending on which strain the victim has obtained, it can be lethal in nine out of ten cases. In the United States Ebola first appeared at a monkey house in Reston Washington, a monkey house is a place where monkeys are imported to first within the United States before they are sold. At first a few monkeys began to mysteriously die , but the situation quickly became much more complicated as many more of the monkeys met their deaths and as scientist discovered Ebola strains with in the monkeys blood samples. The army medical team, known as USAMRIID, and the CDC, which is an agency that deals with deadly viruses, quickly became involved in the situation and set the goal of wiping out the potentially dangerous virus by means of decontamination through a Biohazard operation. The two teams began work immediately by isolating the virus and setting up a plan to sterilize the monkey house by putting every monkey in the house to death by means of lethal injection. The operation was an eventual success as the entire location was exterminated of the Ebola strain without a single human casualty, yet the biggest battle was keeping the operation classified and away from the mass media. The Ebola strain in Reston was eventually given it's own name as scientists discovered that in fact it was an individual strain different from the others. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The hot zone heats up again
Never before in the history of this virus has this book been more relevant. I implore anyone considering reading this book to do so immediately. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Jessica
3.0 out of 5 stars Sensationalist airport reading
A good read, a page turner even. But the tone is terribly sensationalist and the scientific details are slim to non-existent. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Steve Z. Mccauley
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific
so enjoyed the history and writing - makes us all aware that we are not as safe as we think. very well done
Published 6 months ago by judyevelyn
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hot Zone
It's really hard to stop reading this novel, very well written. Entertaining and educational... Some descriptions are quite disturbing though, pretty gore in some parts.
Published 11 months ago by Nick Fortin
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome and Great
A good way to show us the ew-w-w-y and gooey side of health jounalism. I'm sure I'n not the first to say it reads like a Stephen King novel.
Published 15 months ago by Ann Rauhala
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Favourite
Although the book was a bit... "visual" to say the least lol, I looooved this book and I soon looked for other works from the author, although the topic of Ebola emerges in several... Read more
Published on Dec 15 2010 by Nikki J
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and terrifying true story of the Ebola virus
The start of the book is especially terrifying and alarming as it chronicles the spread and effects of an Ebola epidemic in the Congo. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2008 by Terence Tan Co
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying!!!
My God!!! Do NOT read Richard Preston's books while you are home sick with the flu!!!
After reading The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, and The Demon In The Freezer, I wonder how... Read more
Published on March 15 2005 by Alan Ross Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
After months of stuffy old British classics we read THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston in my sophomore English class. What a breath of fresh air! Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Cedric
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