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Griep

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  4,654 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
het verhaal van de grote influenza-epidemie van 1918 en de zoektocht naar het dodelijke virus
Paperback, 410 pages
Published 2001 by De Bezige Bij (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 02, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”This is a detective story. Here was a mass murderer that was around 80 years ago and who’s never been brought to justice. And what we’re trying to do is find the murderer.”--Jeffery Taubenberger, molecular pathologist

There are estimates that the 1918 Flu killed anywhere from 20 million to 100 million people dwarfing the number of people killed in World War One. Either number is horrifying, but as modern scientists start putting data together the larger number becomes more realistic. I’ve always
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Ned Ryerson
I love a good disease book. And I think the 1918 flu is just about as fascinating as you can get. But this book talks more about theories and old-timey labs than it does about the human side of this epidemic. Which, let's face it, is what's really interesting. Imagine all of a sudden having a common illness sweep through your community and kill young healthy people so fast that you don't even have time to bury them right. That's some serious shit. This book just didn't do it justice. I would lik ...more
Lynne King
This book was just excellent and that's all that needs to be said.

I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in medical history and likes Germ Theory. Why I didn't study science at university instead of the arts is beyond me.
Doreen Petersen
Sep 23, 2016 Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical
Outstanding book with lots of scientific info. So much time and energy was spent by many, many people to find out the cause of the 1918 flu pandemic but alas not definitive answer has yet been found. Will it ever come? This was a really well written, extremely easy to understand and informative read. I recommend this one!
Jose Moa
Jan 22, 2016 Jose Moa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meicine
A good book on the deadly, ill named, spanish flu because today nobody knows where exactly this pandemia begun.

The book is devoted to the history,epidemiology and investigation of this letal virus,that killed over 50 million humans arroun the world in the 1918 pandemia ,the most letal after the black dead,and its final reconstruction by means of frozen inuit lungs,dead by the disease, in the alaskan permafrost
Schnaucl
Sep 17, 2008 Schnaucl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the Spanish Flu, virology, or pandemics
I really enjoyed this book. The book covers a range of time from the beginning of the 1918-19 flu right up to still lingering questions about what made that particular flu strain so deadly and why it affected the young and healthy as much as the elderly and very young.

I really learned a lot about the Flu and about the fight to determine its origins and genetic composition. Some of the things in this book mirrored [Book:The Great Influenza:The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History], altho
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Justin
Jul 14, 2009 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The book was published in 1999, but it reads like it was written just a few weeks ago. The information Gina presents is so relevant to today that it's eerie. I am fascinated by the parts of history that our textbooks seem to forget, and the 1918 flu is probably one of the largest omissions in our historical texts. In it's two phases ( lighter spring outbreak, followed by the massively deadly fall outbreak) it managed to decrease the world population significantly and took out more lives than WW1 ...more
Xysea
Dec 02, 2007 Xysea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, those with science and microbiology and investigative interests
Recommended to Xysea by: me
Right now, I'm thoroughly enjoying this read by NYT reporter Gina Kolata - it does seem odd that with the impact of the 1918 flu we haven't heard more about it or how it changed American life as we know it.

I had no idea Katherine Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider dealt with this topic, nor Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel, so I am going to now read these two books after this one with a different context and knowledge base - which I hope will give me a deeper appreciation for both.

I'll be
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Lynn G.
I thought that this informative book about an interesting topic, the influenza epidemic of 1918, made some complex scientific processes approachable by the lay reader. The book reads almost like a biography of influenza; informing readers about previous epidemics/pandemics; similarities and differences between known influenzas; the attempts, both failed and successful, to identify and isolate the various molecular fragments of the viral genes. The focus, of course, was what differentiated the 19 ...more
Elizabeth
Unfortunately I found the writing horribly awkward and clunky. And worst of all for me, extremely repetitive and long-winded. I'm fairly certain the book could have been at least a third shorter if the redundancies, unnecessary re-explanations, barely related tangents, and overly wordy sentences had been pruned. It brings to mind the way I was taught to write as a history major in college and so many dry history books I had to read: more words are always better, and it's good to restate the same ...more
Chelsea
An interesting look at a part of our history that can get glossed over sometimes. Unfortunately, this was focused more on the science that went into deciphering the flu rather than the history of the flu itself. While it was an enlightening read, and some of the people who worked on this project were extremely driven, fascinating people, mostly it just made me want to read a good old fashioned history book about the influenza pandemic.

My one real issue was the completely unnecessary pages of lis
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Charles
Nov 17, 2015 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Flu" is a quick, easy, read that skims over the 1918 Pandemic and introduces the reader to the current science of influenza.

However, the book draws no solid conclusions, and has no real ending. It also leaves threads hanging at the conclusion. (We are never told from what virus strain (H?N?) the recovered RNA indicated the 1918 flu belonged. Finally, the chatty biographies of the books personalities were really annoying to have to wade through. (Does it really matter that Kirsty Duncan does Cel
...more
Kaethe
Jul 09, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. I picked it up a second time because it's in my interests, without recognizing it. It was outstanding the second time through, so I finished it again.
H. P. Reed
The author was able to convey the terror of the 1918 flu epidemic quite vividly in this take of how it seemingly transferred from one person to another, one city to another overnight.
Erica Hunsberger
For me this book had a really rough start. Gina Kolata's writing about the events of the 1918 influenza pandemic almost made me put this book down. The best way I can describe it was that it was choppy without proper transitions. I had to keep going back to re-read passages to see if I missed something. Since it is such an interesting topic for me I stuck with it, and I am glad I did.
I almost wish this was described more of a history of influenza book instead of a weird murder mystery thriller.
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Christie
When the plague came, on those chilly days of autumn, some said it was a terrible new weapon of war.

In 1918, a pandemic hit the world and killed millions of people from China all the way out to the most remote outposts of the Alaskan wilderness. A world already reeling from the disastrous effects of the first World War had to deal with their young people dropping dead from a terrifying illness that cost more American lives than WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam combined. But what caused this terri
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Alan Marchant
Get sick, Get well, Hang around the inkwell.

First the good. This timely and credible treatment of influenza fills a critical void. The book is very readable. Although concentrating on historical vignettes to the exclusion of scientific explanations, the book provides a helpful background for the consideration of risk, public policy, and personal preparation that arise from confusing, contradictory, and incomplete news items about flu outbreaks and related public health initiatives.

Kolata clearly
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Shannon
Aug 04, 2010 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was on the shelf at the library when I went to get The Great Influenza so I picked it up too. I read this one first---it was shorter. While the basis of the book was the 1918 Influenza, the real story was what happened in science and medicine afterward. While influenza was a known disease, the cause was not yet understood. There were no microscopes powerful enough to see a virus, and by the time anyone thought that might be the cause, the flu was gone, seemingly lost forever. The bulk of th ...more
Tamara
Jun 13, 2009 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book about the 1918 "spanish" flu pandemic that swept the globe, killing an estimated 20 million to more than 100 million people worldwide. The virus was most deadly to adults aged 20 to 40 - a portion of the population not usually as vulnerable to infectious disease. The death toll was so high that in the United States the average life expectancy dropped by 12 years.

The book explores the spread of the virus and the search for it remnants in tissue samples to discover why it was so
...more
Vivien
May 06, 2016 Vivien rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kolata is a journalist- and it shows, she has here catch phrase throughout the book and it ultimately made it tedious. She also has a bit of hero worship for Jeffery Taubenberger- which centered this book around the virology pathway twists and turns and ended up concentrating on the blow by blow nastiness of getting your scientific paper published first.

Most of these books build their foundations on Crosby's book about the flu and focus on the science to nail it down or the ineptitude of civil
...more
dejah_thoris
Starting with history and moving towards modern science, this is a great book for anyone interested in understanding influenza. Although the 1918 pandemic isn't discussed frequently, I really enjoyed learning about it not only because of its virulence but also because it explains what the designations H1N1 etc. actually mean, why we need so many flu vaccines every year, and why so many new strains of flu are discovered in China. Definitely fascinating with very light descriptions of the genetic ...more
Jennifer
Mar 28, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non-scientists, people who forget things easily
she is so damn repetitive and rambling i can't stand it! she also tries to hard to mention names of specific scientific methods, then doesn't explain them, which is aggravating (i would assume) for those who don't know what they are.
the story has so many dead endings, im sure she could have found some better stuff to write on, or else write a book about something else.
anyway, i didn't like it. but somehow i did finish it, so thats why it got two stars.
Florence Millo
I honestly didn't finish this book. It started off very interesting but then just got too bogged down.
Laurie
Jan 14, 2017 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an audiobook. The author is reading her own work and let me tell you, that is the worst part. Her voice lacks variety and she has a lisp.

That said, this is a well written and highly informative book about the search for the 1918 flu virus and about flu viruses generally. There is still a lot to be learned about why the 1918 version of the flu was so terribly deadly, so perhaps the author will write a sequel when we know more. This book tells the story of what happened in 1918, then goe
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Randy
Aug 05, 2011 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gina Kolata's telling of the story of the 1918 influenza pandemic reveals how modern medicine, basking in the success that the new germ theory of disease had brought, was utterly unprepared for, and therefore completely helpless in the face of, the pandemic that ravaged the world. This flu was unlike any flu encountered before: it was 25 times more lethal than ordinary influenzas, killing 2.5 percent of its victims, in contrast to the normally observed 0.1 percent mortality. Worldwide, possibly ...more
Sarah
there were a few typos and the chronology was a bit odd, but the story was well told and ~fascinating~ i technically read it to do research for history but i really enjoyed most of it (i had to slog through the 1976 legal battle between the government and vaccine producers but then it got back to pandemic viruses and exhuming frozen bodies and i was happy) and now i want an updated edition! what a cliffhanger!
my friends will be hearing about the flu for weeks....i spent a good fifteen minutes ta
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Caitlin
May 21, 2017 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History and science, written like a mystery novel. Learning more about the individual players in the story made it even more interesting. Would definitely recommend.
Sara
Jun 13, 2017 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great account of different scientists trying to figure out the 1918 flu! Kept me on my toes!
Noel
Mar 21, 2017 Noel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good detective story in itself, this book is remarkable in its effort to inform the reader of one of humanity's greatest enemies - one that hasn't left us, but is still waiting to be reintroduced at-large.
Clare O'Beara
I enjoyed this study of the 1918 influenza pandemic, and how the search for the causative virus was continued through the generations of medical scientists to present day.

If you are not used to reading medical texts, there will appear to be a lot of deaths, autopsies, slivers of lung issue, viruses and transmissions. You may want to read it over a few sessions, as I did, not to get the full depressing force of the pandemic, and to allow yourself to adapt to the content. Once you're past the ini
...more
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Kolata graduated from the University of Maryland and studied molecular biology at the graduate level at MIT for a year and a half. Then she returned to the University of Maryland and obtained a master’s degree in applied mathematics. Kolata has taught writing as a visiting professor at Princeton University and frequently gives lectures across the country. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with h ...more
More about Gina Kolata...

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“But as the program got going, the smallest details became issues, even the very name of the disease. Pig farmers complained to the Centers for Disease Control that the name “swine flu” might frighten people away from eating pork. They asked, to no avail, that the flu’s name be changed to “New Jersey” 1 likes
“Instead, the dean had said, “Take a look at the person sitting to your left and to your right. Chances are that person will not be there four years from now.” Every” 0 likes
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