I suppose most of us would rather not read about the horrific diseases which could fell any of us, without warning, at any moment. I, however, would. Award-winning natural sciences author Quammen turns his scientific and lyrical prowess to the zoonoses, those viruses (mostly) which jump from wild animals to humans. Where do they come from? How do they happen? When, and where, will one strike next? Gripping stuff.
I love exemplary reportage, whatever the subject. I love scientific detective stories. I love the minutiae of the search. I love what many would consider depressing subject matter. This masterpiece is all of that. One of my favorite lines from the book? "Ecological disturbance causes diseases to emerge. Shake a tree, and things fall out." I love this book.
—Recommended by Jeff, City Lights Books
"Science writing as detective story at its best." —Jennifer Ouellette, Scientific American
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Scientific American Best Book of the Year, and a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
Ebola, SARS, Hendra, AIDS, and countless other deadly viruses all have one thing in common: the bugs that transmit these diseases all originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. In this gripping account, David Quammen takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these diseases emerge and asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?