For those of you dedicated readers who have been reading this blog. You know as of late, I have read some rather disturbing and at times down right chilling books. Well, The Hot Zone written by: Richard Preston takes the cake. Where once I thought only fiction could really scare the hell out of me on a global scale Mr. Preston has managed to push me a bit further. This book is just as the book jacket claims. "A Terrifying True Story." The events and characters in this book are 100% real. Mr. Preston is merely telling us what happend. I had to google and research this book while reading it. A part of me was going "No, this can't be real, no way this really happened." It was something out of a Del Toro book, or another horror authors tale. I saw Contagion recently, and that left me chilled, but to learn that that could possibly happen, and what happend to those people was a mercy? Even the movie Outbreak the deaths of those people cannot compare to what Mr. Preston wrote about. What did he write about you may ask? Well he wrote about a few things, but basically a Virus. The Virus' tale begins and only gets scarier and scarier, not to add too much humor to this, but it reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons I saw a long time ago. The episode where Homer's kids Bart and Lisa are playing a classic child's hand game "Miss Mary Mack." Everytime the kids gets close to saying a curse word, they say something else, and Homer breaths a sigh of relief, but we know these kids will eventually tire of the small game, and actually take to cursing as most children do. Why is this similar? Well, you will have to read the book and see for yourself. Now imagine this. "It is a Virus that kills nine out of ten of its victims so quickly and gruesomely that even the bioharzard experts are terrified of it." I will give away what the Virus is simply because people should be aware of this virus and realize this is a very real very possible virus that could easily wipe out the human race. Ebola Zaire is the big scary one, the one that 9 out of 10 people will not survive. I wonder if Stephen King and Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, and other authors have read this book and used these concepts in their ideas. There are different strains of Ebola but they are so similar in how they kill you that I am certain my mind is trying to protect me from fully imagining it. I apologize by the way for not ending with the year with a Happy Christmas or Holiday tale. Oops!
I actually had a friend tell me to "Put the book down, and walk away!" The characters again are real in this story and at times I found myself staring in shock at how easily these viruses could escape and make it to the public. It only takes one idiot, and in this story you learned it was more than one idiot who made multiple mistakes that could have ended it all. One of the outbreaks with a strain of the Ebola virus even breaks out right near Washington DC. not in some far back time, but during the late 1980's! I also learned an outbreak of Ebola was also in the year 2007 not in the United States but in Africa and this is only because it was documented. This was an amazing book, it read like a report but added a few human twists, and really wanted to make you thinks "It's all over man! It's all over!" Thankfully since I'm writing this, it obviously wasn't. To add to my paranoia while reading this book I learned a team of scientists were told to see if the Bird Flu could be streghtened or mutate to kill the human populace, well they apparently did just that. Hurray! Why would you do that? When it is already true that nature can do this without our help. Anywho... Great book, and a good entry into wanting to learn more about the world and how it can kill you.