Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

by Bill Wasik, Monica Murphy
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Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik, Monica Murphy

The most fatal virus known to science, rabies-a disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans-kills nearly one hundred percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. In this critically acclaimed exploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years of the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies. From Greek myths to zombie flicks, from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment, Rabid is a fresh and often wildly entertaining look at one of humankind's oldest and most fearsome foes. "A searing narrative." -The New York Times "In this keen and exceptionally well-written book, rife with surprises, narrative suspense and a steady flow of expansive insights, 'the world's most diabolical virus' conquers the unsuspecting reader's imaginative nervous system. . . . A smart, unsettling, and strangely stirring piece of work." -San Francisco Chronicle "Fascinating. . . . Wasik and Murphy chronicle more than two millennia of myths and discoveries about rabies and the animals that transmit it, including dogs, bats and raccoons." -The Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143123576
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/25/2013
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 221,271
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Wired and was formerly a senior editor at Harper's. Monica Murphy, Wasik's wife, is a veterinarian. They live in Oakland, California.

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Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Morin More than 1 year ago
Truly fascinating subject approached simultaneously from a scientific and cultural viewpoint. You won't be able to stop reading.
Cubis More than 1 year ago
It is usually best to read books on scientific topics which are written by an expert in the field. Bill Wasik (wired magazine) and Monica Murphy (veterinarian) are certainly not experts and Rabid suffers for it. You will find very little insight into the disease that you could not find in an hour of google searching (which is exactly what this book is...a compilation of random information centered around one topic from people who have no independent knowledge to source from). The pointless off topic ramblings and irrelevancies (the backstory of Saint Hubert for example) and constant use of unnecessary words (eg. "Perhaps it is fitting, then-karmic, even, if we may borrow from a different creed...") leaves the reader rabidly sprinting down the page in search of on relevant fact on the topic of rabies. Don't get me wrong, I like tangents and "bar facts" but not if they are irrelevant, uninteresting and horribly written.
AW_OC More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It gives you insight into the cultural effects of this hideous disease and how humans have tried to make sense of it over the years. I liked getting a historical reference of just how long this disease has coexisted with mankind and the types of circumstances in which it spreads. I am particularly interested in viral transmission and the whole neural connection/receptors so I found the mention of research at the end fascinating. I hope more money will go toward research into how it works in the body (human and other animals) and how we can harness the virus' power to reach the brain with therapeutic agents that can't get through any other way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly fascinating book. This non fiction account explores rabies from the ancient Greeks to present day. I liked the hodge podge nature of the book with interesting anecdotes throughout. The section on the life and work of Louis Pasteur alone made the book worth reading.
janedit More than 1 year ago
This book tells not just the history of the rabies vaccine, which most already know. It also goes into historical accounts and folk cures, rabies myths and legends, and the psychological underpinnings of our fear of rabies. One particularly interesting chapter tells how rabies came to an island that was previously rabies-free, then relates how difficult it was to try to manage the outbreak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and fun to read, with just enough humor and horror mixed together. As a veterinarian and a scientist the discussion fell a bit flat but as an avid amateur medical historian there were many entertaining moments. A great overview for the average reader on the history and cultural implications surrounding rabies.
racon2r 9 months ago
An informative account of the history of rabies, despite the a previous, misguided review of this book. The Notes section clearly illuminates the breadth of work that went into the research and history and the lore the virus created. Great read.
MontzieW More than 1 year ago
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy is a wonderful and insightful look into the history of this deadly virus. This book covers the myths, old remedies, different animals effected, several famous cases, the search for a vaccine, and so much more. It also describes the symptoms of the virus, the length of time for symptoms to appear and what may change this, etc. Very detailed without being boring. Great book.I got the audio version from the library.
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CandidaAlbicans More than 1 year ago
I learned something. The historical accounts, especially from ancient history, were  Fascinating to me. A good read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent look into the history of a disease that has followed man for millenia. References range from classical mythology to cuttung edge biomedical research.
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Marty0 More than 1 year ago
Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so bored ! I need a nookfreind ! Here's my email adress : baker_patrick@bellsouth, ( supossed to be a dot )net