How could you not be pulled in by that cover? When I first saw it, I knew it was for me. I’m a bit of a science nerd, and viruses, plagues, and bacteria really do it for me. I’ve read a bunch of Ebola books, and there is no shortage of Ebola details in this book. One warning though – it’s long. It took me a while to read, and I had to take it out of the library multiple times.
David Quamen did years and years of research to make this book as good as it is. If you’re into science and diseases, you’ll really enjoy it. Plus, its chapters are broken up so that you can read about the diseases that interest you. I liked them all. There’s a lot of history about plagues and diseases in the book, and I can’t imagine how he gathered all of this information. I was never bored reading about each disease and each outbreak.
The central theme of Spillover, is diseases (whether bacterial or viral) that “spillover” from animals into humans. You’ve heard of many of them: Ebola, Hendra, Hanta, Marberg, SARS, swine and bird flu… It’s amazing to learn how connected animals and humans are. It seems trivial, but you don’t really think about how much we all interact with animals on a regular basis, and how those interactions can have huge repercussions on our health and long term well being.
One thing to note – Mr. Quammen doesn’t give us all these details to make us scared, he just wants us to be informed. I definitely feel informed!