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

by Bill Wasik, Monica Murphy | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 9780670023738 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingghirwing of Honolulu, Hawaii USA on 9/14/2013
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingghirwing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, September 14, 2013
A look at rabies throughout history. Dipped into it, but while the topic was interesting, the writing was dry and somewhat rambling, so I pass it along largely unread.

Happy birthday, quietorchid. Mailed 09/16/13.

Yay! Nice to see this one making the rounds.

Journal Entry 2 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Thursday, September 26, 2013
Wow! Oh wow! this looks great! I've always been curious about rabies every since my cat bit me at the Vet while foaming at the mouth. As my eyes met the Vet's I understtood the depth of fear this virus carries.

No, the cat wasn't rabid, just had a weird virus that cycled through some scary neurological symptoms that cleared in 24 hours. My vet camly said "He's had his shots, it can't be rabies, but I am going to keep him in isolation for 24 hours." Rabies symptoms do not get better, but Mowgli in the previous 2 weeks had 24 hours of hind end paralysis, incontinence, walking into objects, and shaking fits that all cleared in 24 hours. Weird. The Vet was correct, not rabies, but it was very unsettling. So, I'm looking forward to this, thank you for thinking of me!

Journal Entry 3 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Saturday, September 28, 2013
Nice overview fo how Rabies is perceived. The book gets caught up in some confusion, mostly because you have a literary journalist and a veterinarian writing the book together. As they are husband and wife, they allowed each other equal time, which only sort of works.

The book starts by tracing what was known and 'felt' about rabies through the ages. This is good stuff and very interesting. A snag hits in the 18th century, as you go off into tangents about whether Vampires or Werewolves or other horror genres are inspired by rabies. Interesting, but sort of off point. Although I did enjoy the speculation that Zombies [shambling, mindless hungry masses] are a 'Republican' fear, and that Vampires [upper class parasites sucking all good out of the world] are a 'Democratic' fear.

Once Pasteur comes into the story, (born on September 28th, World Rabies Awareness day, mark your calendar) the story veers into the hows and whys of rabies. Very interesting. It is amazing that vacinating dogs can break the chain of transmission fairly well, although the rabies wild resevoir never fluctuates (bats, raccoons, et al).

I was fascinated to learn how the ability of rabies to breech the blood/brain barrier is leading to new scientific exporations of therapies for other diseases. Really enjoyed this, thank you!

Journal Entry 4 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Monday, September 30, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (9/30/2013 UTC) at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA


Put into The Medicine Chest Bookbox IV to look for a new reader!

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Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, October 10, 2013
This one's been on my wishlist for a while, so I was delighted to see it in the box - many thanks!

Later: I agree with quietorchid's very thorough review - some fascinating information here, though the presentation is a bit uneven. (I didn't mind the rabies-as-inspiration-for-vampirism/lycanthropy/zombie-ism, though of those three, the modern "zombie plague" concept is closest to actual rabies symptoms. If rabies spread more easily than it does, it could be a global nightmare all too easily - and if it ever got to where it could re-animate the dead, well, we'd be toast {wry grin}.) Other pop-culture references dealt with rabies in fiction, from Old Yeller to Cujo - and the theory that Edgar A. Poe may have died of rabies, which was quite intriguing.

The symptoms of rabies are terrifying and heart-wrenching, all the more so because all the powers of modern medicine are still relatively helpless in the face of an established case. There have been a handful of survivors in recent years, but their suffering was immense, the medical involvement extreme and long-lasting, and the after-effects severe. Just reading about what victims past and present have gone through makes Pasteur's achievement - and his subsequent celebrity - all the more understandable. (The details of his research and methods - while sometimes hard to take - fascinated me; I had a vague idea of how he'd gone about it, but not to this degree.)

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Burlington, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (12/19/2013 UTC) at Burlington, Massachusetts USA


I'm taking this book to BCer eponine38, to fill a wish. Hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 7 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, December 19, 2013
Thank you for this wishlist book, Gory! I look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 8 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, April 23, 2016
Wow! Fascinating and scary.

At the back of my mind the whole time I was reading this was the thought that my kitty is quite overdue for a checkup and rabies vaccine. Money is tight, and she's an indoor cat, so it's an easy thing to procrastinate about. But this will spur me into action - what if a bat got into the house?

Though some parts were difficult to read, I enjoyed this and learned a lot about the rabies virus and its effects, and especially mode of transmission. It was heartening to read about the victims who were successfully treated (though, sadly, there are very few).

To be honest, I used to think the British were a bit extreme in imposing the long quarantine for pets entering the country (over 40 days, making the word a misnomer), but having a rabies-free country is a goal worth diligently pursuing. And now I am starting to ramble and don't have much to add to the previous thorough reviews, except that some chapters were much more interesting than others, probably due not only to the different topics but also to the two authors.

I do recommend this, for the information if not so much for the prose.

Journal Entry 9 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Monday, April 25, 2016

Released 5 yrs ago (4/25/2016 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA


On its way to glade1 via the US/Canada Wishlist-Tag game. Hope you like it!

Released for Keep Them Moving Challenge hosted by booklady331.

Journal Entry 10 by wingglade1wing at Greensboro, North Carolina USA on Monday, May 02, 2016
Received in the mail last week. Thanks for the tag, eponine38! It's now safe on Mt. TBR.

Journal Entry 11 by wingglade1wing at Greensboro, North Carolina USA on Thursday, July 21, 2016

Released 4 yrs ago (7/20/2016 UTC) at Greensboro, North Carolina USA


This was an interesting read, a bit of a ramble through both scientific and cultural history. Some interesting stuff here.

Mailed to HI77 yesterday via Media Mail. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 12 by wingHI77wing at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Wednesday, August 03, 2016
It's like dots on a white board,

where what you see
is all that you know of.

Journal Entry 13 by wingHI77wing at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Friday, September 09, 2016
I love the cover on this. It says so much about our fear.

You know, I've understood what rabies is for a long time. Can't say I thought too much of it. A few months ago, I listened to the audiobook of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' where the scene of the rabid dog was very striking.

It stuck with me and probably will indefinitely. To be honest, I have always sprinkled the word 'rabid' into my conversations but never really gave it more than passing thought. So I thought it would be good to finally run the gauntlet.

This isn't a bad book but like the general consensus here, the book does derail here and there in the subject. I feel like the author was stretching to make the book a respectable length and so therefore, pulled in any number of only quasi related things or things that are nothing more than conjecture on the authors part.

I feel that undermined the value of such an interesting subject. I'm sure it could have been structured differently or from a different angle to fill out the subject without having to use 'filler'. Still, it was interesting and the story of Bali is of particular interest because I just read a travelogue with a huge chunk dedicated to the authors travels to Bali (Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East by Pico Iyer).

So to go from the time before in Pico Iyers book of Bali, to what happened latter with rabids in this book.... it's a small world. Or perhaps, this stuff was going on in the background of Iyer's time there and he never noticed?

Either way, I found it interesting and worth reading. :)

Journal Entry 14 by wingHI77wing at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Released 4 yrs ago (1/17/2017 UTC) at Fort Myers, Florida USA


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Journal Entry 15 by aymanfadel at Augusta, Georgia USA on Monday, January 23, 2017
just received through PaperbackSwap.com

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