The Hot Zone By Richard Preston

2745 Words11 Pages
Introduction With horrifying details and graphic evidence that could scare even the toughest of people, Richard Preston tells the story of any American’s worst nightmare in his nonfiction novel; The Hot Zone. The words on the cover, “A Terrifying True Story”, make it more than clear to the reader that what they are about to read are some true facts that most would be hesitant to believe. Preston uses various shocking tales and interweaves factual information and scientific jargon to present his purpose. One can gather from simply reading the back cover that he plans to graphically illustrate a series of unfortunate events that led up to a lethal outbreak of deadly viruses all across the globe. By writing the novel, Preston may be…show more content…
Interweaving stories of previous outbreaks in Africa, Preston is able to portray how dangerous the hot agents can be to the global human population. He splits the novel into four main sections: The Shadow of Mount Elgon, The Monkey House, Smashdown, and Kitum Cave. These four sections serve as guidelines for the time periods and topics of the story. Preston begins the story in 1980 where he tells the devastating tale of a man he dubs “Charles Monet” who lived near Mount Elgon, (an important location in the story and for virus research) a good location for exploring wildlife and nature. After a visit to a place called Kitum Cave, Monet begins to suffer some very outlandish symptoms and becomes very ill. He is taken to Nairobi Hospital in Kenya where he infects some of the doctors and nurses who are treating him for the mysterious illness. A man named Dr. Musoke is helping to treat Monet when Monet suddenly vomits and the vomit gets into Musoke’s mouth. Since the symptoms are not yet diagnosed, he doesn’t think much of it until a couple days later where Musoke too becomes very ill. David Silverstein, another doctor practicing in Africa, hears about the odd outbreak in Nairobi and he decides to look more into the issue. Soon enough, he and his team find out that it is an agent called Marburg (previously discovered in Germany but had traveled to Africa). Once Marburg is identified as the agent, the novel switches the scene over to Thurmont, Maryland, where a woman
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