Category Archives: Book Comments – The Hot Zone

Assignment 2 – The Hot Zone – Part 4

What did you think of the reading?

To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. For me, an ending can make or break a book. Richard Preston tried to make it suspenseful by leaving questions unanswered but too me, it was just too much and it made me feel uneasy. Many authors leave an unanswered question at the end of their book to leave the reader thinking, but Preston was not able to harness that ability and it resulted in a disappointment. While reading Parts 1, 2, and 3 I thought the book was fantastic, and though it was a great read up until the end, the conclusion just didn’t satisfy me.

What did you learn?

Though the book did not have an ending to my liking, I did learn a ton of information. From the symptoms to effects to properties, the Ebola virus is a terrifying virus that really makes this book the horror novel it is. It is also seemingly very easy to indirectly transfer a deadly pathogen from one continent thousands of miles away to another, such as stated in the forests with AIDs/HIV. After reading the novel, it seems that scientists must really start focusing on finding cures for diseases in African forests, as that seems the most likely place to find them. It’s sad to know that I hadn’t heard of a single one of the scientists names in the novel before I read it, even though many of them helped stop a world wide pandemic.

What questions do you still have?

Preston left a plethora of questions unanswered from basic to just plain irking not to know or understand. Africa has been centered in this novel as the source of most deadly pathogens, however it is never explained why. Asia and South America both have immense forest and land, and North America and Asia also have deserts. Nothing seems to make Africa different than other countries, which makes me wonder what makes Africa unique in its ability to have so many diseases. I hope Preston would be able to make a second more fulfilling novel about the rest of the diseases he brought up later on and speaks of more recent studies. I want to know how far scientists have progressed towards finding the cures to these deadly diseases and why it’s not on the top of their list.