Jennifer's Reviews > The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
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's review
Mar 29, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: first-read-in-adulthood, non-fiction-ish, not-recommended, on-loan
Read in March, 2011

i almost abandoned this one. to be honest, i actually ended up skimming about the last the 100 pages. this book is a classic example of good idea, bad execution. the author himself isn't actually a very good author, and much like Guns, Germs, and Steel, he tends to repeat himself a lot. it seems like it's an effort to pad out a book that wasn't really great and/or well-edited to start with.

i also tend to wonder when you have a title that describes "the most (insert adjective here)"... how does the author actually know? it tends, at least to me, to lessen the impact of the book and make it more sensationalized. this might have been the most terrifying epidemic, but i seriously doubt it, especially for a city that had been ravaged by plague, cholera, fires and everything else. however, the author tried to play into this sensationalism, which took off points in my book. i learned a little, but probably not as much as i might have in another, less mass-market book, for lack of a better term, or even from wikipedia. not recommended.

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