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connerh

Conner's Books & Reviews

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/connerh

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Currently reading

The White Tiger
Aravind Adiga
And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs
1Q84
Haruki Murakami
The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King
Richard Bachman, Stephen King
The Complete Stories
Franz Kafka
1Q84
Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel, Haruki Murakami
The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso
Dante Alighieri, Robin Kirkpatrick, Eric Drooker
The Purgatorio (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Peter Bondanella, Julia Conaway Bondanella
The Interpretation of Dreams (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Sigmund Freud, A.A. Brill, Daniel T. O'Hara, Gina Masucci MacKenzie

The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone - Richard Preston About 3/4ths of the way through this book I felt like I was still reading background and build-up and I realized that it was a different book from what I was expecting. I was waiting for it to live up to its reviews, especially a quote by Stephen King on the back saying that it was "one of the most horrifying things" he had ever read, and it never quite got there. I appreciate the fact that it's non fiction, and that this is the reason why it could never get really crazy or terrifying, but the reviews included in the book made it sound like it was going to be a lot better than it was. I didn't like the writing style very much; it was better in some parts than others, such as when the author talks about his own experiences, but most of the time the style was choppy with short sentences. I felt as if the prose was just laying out facts and not really elaborating on them.
I also felt like the book was repeating itself a lot... it seemed as if the same thing would happen over and over and it got rather tedious.
Another issue I had with this book is that it is absolutely dominated by animal testing. Animals were purposefully given a virus, scientists would sit and watch them die while drawing blood, and when the animal died its terrible death from the virus, it was dissected and tested. There is even a point in which scientists euthanize hundreds of animals to contain a virus, which is described in nearly two chapters.
One plus is this is one of the few books that I have read that made me feel sick to my stomach. Due to many gruesome descriptions, especially of some particular deaths caused by the virus, this book is nearly impossible to read while or directly after or before eating. It also made me feel a bit paranoid... I had an overwhelming urge to wash my hands every time I touched the book. But this is a good thing, because although the book isn't "horrifying", it definitely makes you fear and respect viruses a bit more.