The Devil's Flu

The Devil's Flu

4.5 2
by Pete Davies
     
 

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A gripping account of the 1918 flu pandemic and the modern-day hunt for this elusive and deadly virus

In 1918, a flu virus more lethal than any that has come along since swept through the world, from the remotest villages in Arctic climates to crowded U.S.cities to the battlefields of Europe, killing forty million people. Yet, despite its devastating toll and the

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Overview

A gripping account of the 1918 flu pandemic and the modern-day hunt for this elusive and deadly virus

In 1918, a flu virus more lethal than any that has come along since swept through the world, from the remotest villages in Arctic climates to crowded U.S.cities to the battlefields of Europe, killing forty million people. Yet, despite its devastating toll and the probability that other deadly pandemics await on the horizon, it was relegated to a footnote in history. The Devil's Flu is the extraordinary story of 1918's forgotten tragedy and of the global scientific community's effort to avert another such disaster.

The 1918 flu still so intrigues and frightens experts in the field that in 1998, a group of respected scientists journeyed to the Norwegian Arctic Circle in search of the mysterious killer. In The Devil's Flu, Davies captures the excitement of the hunt and the intense rivalries within the scientific community, and paints a vivid portrait of the eccentric scientists bent on capturing the prize information that could hold the key to our future safety. And as far as the next pandemic is concerned, scientists agree: it's not a question of if, but when.

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Editorial Reviews

The Observer (London)
Rich in interest and truly alarming in its prognosis, this is a book that deserves to be read.
Spectator (London)
Enthralling ... read this book; you won't be disappointed.
Library Journal
Originally published in England in 1999 as Catching Cold, this edition has the bad luck of competing with two similar American publications, Lynette Iezzoni's Influenza 1918: The Worst Epidemic in American History (LJ 6/15/99) and Gina Kolata's Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It (LJ 11/15/99). Davies, who has written on subjects as diverse as hurricanes, British politics, and soccer, here covers much the same territory as Kolata. He recounts the horrors of the worldwide 1918 epidemic; the efforts at identifying the virus strain, which led to the exhumation of long-frozen corpses in Alaska and Norway; and the 1997 outbreak of a deadly flu mutation in Hong Kong in which 1.6 million chickens and other birds were sacrificed to avert what seemed to be an emerging epidemic. Although Davies writes with the flair of a talented journalist, Kolata, science reporter for the New York Times, is more authoritative, while Iezzoni focuses primarily on the American influenza story. Libraries that have purchased Kolata's book will find The Devil's Flu an optional purchase.--Kathy Arsenault, Univ. of South Florida, St. Petersburg Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
A cautionary tale by novelist Davies (Dollarville, not reviewed), who tries to unravel the mystery of the 20th century's greatest epidemic.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805066227
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2000
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,481,463
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.71(d)

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