[Download] Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It By Gina Kolata

Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It

By: Gina Kolata
Narrated by: Gina Kolata
Length: 6 hours
Release date: Jan 16, 2001
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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A national bestseller, the fast-paced and gripping account of the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918 from acclaimed science journalist Gina Kolata, now featuring a new epilogue about avian flu.

When we think of plagues, we think of AIDS, Ebola, anthrax spores, and, of course, the Black Death. But in 1918 the Great Flu Epidemic killed an estimated forty million people virtually overnight. If such a plague returned today, taking a comparable percentage of the US population with it, 1.5 million Americans would die.

In Flu, Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. From Alaska to Norway, from the streets of Hong Kong to the corridors of the White House, Kolata tracks the race to recover the live pathogen and probes the fear that has impelled government policy.

A gripping work of science writing, Flu addresses the prospects for a great epidemic's recurrence and considers what can be done to prevent it.

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24 Responses to “[Download] Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It By Gina Kolata”

  1. Kyle Pechin

    12 Monkeys Chiling
    Sometimes real life is more scary than fiction.

    In this book, Gina Kolata describes the events around 1918 Influenza pandemic and the colossal effort scients delivered to trace back the possible origins of the virus, uncover its lethal genetic structure and prepare humanity for a probable come back.


  2. James

    Content is great, narration is terrible
    I am currently listening to this book and am enjoying it, except the narrator’s voice (she is also the author) is grating on me. Maybe it’s just me, so don’t avoid this book, because it’s very compelling, in light of what’s going on in the world right now (Nov 2009). Fascinating content, well researched.

  3. Rachel

    Great book, not-so-great reader
    I downloaded this fascinating book, which I started in paperback on a plane, so I could finish reading it on my daily autocommute. Unfortunately, Kolata’s nasal voice and flat affect do not do justice to the riveting true horror-story and history lesson that her well-researched and eminently readable book otherwise provide.

  4. Jamar Thune

    Any additional comments?

  5. Douglas Barela

    A Scientific Journalist’s Look at the 1918 Flu
    Great look at the efforts by scientists throughout the 20th century to find the virus that caused the pandemic and is especially effective in exposing the problems scientists face from the media and the scientific establishment. This is not an audiobook that details how the disease affected the population, but more about ways to prevent it from recurring, and discovering its precedents.

    My only critique is that no author should ever narrate his or her work. That is the job of a professional actor. The author, Gina Kolata, is no such actor. She narrates her own story with flat inflection and with a slight lisp. Nevertheless, the story is gripping for anyone interested in the science of the infection.

  6. Blair Ackmann

    Great Book
    This is a very interesting book from all aspects. Great documentation of history and the people involved, from the victims to the scientists.

  7. Susan Ellout

    Great listen
    Very good documentary on the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Technical where it needs to be, detailed and very entertaining.

  8. Tracey Kammerer

    Interesting and informative. Don’t recommend for long listening periods–could get a little dry and boring (don’t want you falling asleep at the wheel). Good for short bursts of listening–like waiting for someone or city driving. Good info.

  9. Tera Aldridge

    I have to agree with other reviewers that the author’s lisp made it sometimes difficult to understand. But once I got used to it, I didn’t notice it. I found the story enthralling but then I tend to like most medical mysteries, fact or fiction. I didn’t know a lot about the 1918 flu and found the topic very, very interesting. While this definitely is not a comedy, I found myself laughing at the comparison of the two “expeditions” to obtain tissue samples. A guy with a shovel and two strong helpers, and a million dollar expedition with 2 tons of equipment, dozens of journalists and hazmat suits that took years to plan. The latter, of course, receiving federal funding. Also the description of the outcome of the expensive expedition as not being a failure was classic spin! I suggest you listen to the sample of the book and see if the narrator’s speech will be too distracting to you before buying. If it won’t, this is a great book. I will probably listen to it again. If you have listened to “Hot Zone” and liked it, you will like this one.

  10. Roosevelt Reinholt

    Excellent Review
    This was an excellent review of the search for the 1918 influenza virus, read by the author. It includes understandable descriptions of how viruses work and details the discoveries and work of researchers who tracked down and sequenced the flu genes. I loved it.

  11. Antonetta Grinnan

    This work is quite facinating. Anyone interested in emerging diseases will enjoy it. The opening sequences describing the
    death and destruction were very dramatic and attention grabbing. I would also recommend “Demon in the Freezer” if you
    liked this work.

  12. Alfredia Bretado

    Interesting and now topical
    I found this an interesting tale, both in the historical context of the 1918 pandemic, as well as the subsequent attempts up to the 1990s to figure out what made the virus so deadly. Being 9-10 years old now, the audiobook leaves the story hanging, but a quick search on the web will bring the listener up to date. Interestingly, a “less likely” hypothesis mentioned in the last few minutes of the audiobook about the cause of the 1918 virus’s virulence in young adults has been recently shown to be the true in relation to the current 2009 pandemic, which I found fascinating.

    The narrator is bearable, only because of the interesting content, but really a professional reader should have been used.

  13. Lila Corzine

    Hire an actor – please
    Why would they allow an author with multiple speech impediments read her own book?! Hire an actor, rerecord this and then it might be worthwhile listening to. As it is it feels like having an mildly put out teenager who hasn’t gotten used to get braces it giving a class report. Which is a terrible pity, because Ms. Kolata’s writing and subject matter are both gripping.

  14. Franklin Azar

    Excellent Book
    As a medical professional, I was fasinated by this story. The story was sobering especially as we may be facing a similar panepidemic. I think the author provided excellent detail and good explainations. I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it. The reader was very good. Although there may have been a slight list, it didn’t detract at all from the experience.

  15. Alisia Rickel

    What a way to start!
    For ewhat ever reason, I chose this book as my first ever audio book. What a way to start. For a guy who loves watching Discovery, this book was kind of like that.

    Losts of medical / science talk, but told in away to be very understanding. I was never lost.
    The story shared some great insite into historical events, and gives you a very good insider story into today’s disease control.

    I was never bored, the reader is easy to listen to.

  16. Emma Nokes

    good topic, bad reader. Sorry Gina, between poor diction and your slight speech impediment, you mess up your otherwise interesting book. Mumbled speech in audio media is like smudged type in a book….not OK. I would read this, not listen to it.

  17. Paris Eichman

    Good Story – MISERABLE Narrator
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

  18. Gus Bernett

    good book – bad reader
    the reader seems to have a lack of dexterity of the tip of her tongue which is distracting and sometimes hard to de-code over road noise. She is not able to annunciate words with a hard consonant and often slurs them into the next word or abbreviates them. We did enjoy the book anyway, it’s the story of influenza research from pre 1800’s to now. It could have been a lot better with another narrator.the reader seems to have a lack of dexterity of the tip of her tounge which is distracting.

  19. Ilene Pignone

    Interesting material – narration terrible
    While I have no doubt that the entire audiobook is absorbing, I just could not finish listening to it all, as the narration is very bad. I find myself losing my place constantly while I try to figure out what the narrator is saying, and Ive lost patience with the whole thing. This is most unfortunate, and perhaps I will try again sometime, but time and life is short, and I have many other better-narrated audiobooks to listen to.

  20. Leandro P.

    Excellent reading. Shakes up our complacency vis-a-vis disease.

    Comes up with a couple of novel and thought-provoking explanations for why the 1918 flu spared children & old people, attacking mainly young aduts.

  21. Young G.

    Great story! I read this long before the SARS or anthrax event. This story is even more compelling in light of those tragedies. Good choice!

  22. Missy Brungard

    Slips pages of the written book
    This is a very frustrating audiobook to read along with. She keeps slipping paragraphs and pages and I have to search for where she picks up again. I can’t even finish with it.

  23. Tami A.

    I thought the book was quite interesting. It developed the 1918 flu and others in a way that tied the human events with the history of the times and the science of the flu. A good explanation to help people understand the Bird Flu currently in the news.

  24. Robin Traficante

    Good story, horrible non-professional narrator
    What would have made Flu better?

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