Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ghost Disease: And Twelve Other Stories Of Detective Work In The Medical Field” as Want to Read:
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Howell and Ford are excellent storytellers, and here they've recounted one dozen medical investigations in clear and gripping fashion. The cases range from pinning down information about important diseases (such as identifying the mode of transmission of yellow fever) to instances where the mechanism was understood but diagnosis in an individual case was tricky (such as with an incident of cantharidin poisoning). The authors always detail the steps that ingenious and patient investigators went ...more
I've got nothing against science, really I don't, even though I stayed as far away from the hard stuff (aka Area III) in college as I possibly could. I really like the "wow" factor of science, the cool stuff it can explain or accomplish. But I recognize that studying or working with science is probably 99.9% painstaking repetitiveness and only a tiny fraction represents those "wow" moments. I respect the hell out of people who go ahead and devote their lives to that arrangement, but it's not for ...more
Apr 22, 2010 Sull rated it liked it · review of another edition
Recommended to Sull by: Library find
Very interesting & somewhat scary book about how mysterious diseases baffle the "experts" of every era. The skull of a king of England leads to a surprising diagnoses of his last puzzling illness; polar explorers suffer vitamin A over-dose after eating seal & polar bear liver, something the native Inuit are brought up knowing not to do; the black Death /Plague appears & reappears in over-crowded London, each time sparking new theories & supposed cures.
Jan 30, 2016 Fishface rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
This is an all-time favorite, describing how scientists solved the mysteries surrounding all kinds of cases including a mass poisoning in a British office, a terrible neurological disease affecting a tribe of cannibals in Papua New Guinea, and the difficulties encountered in understanding what caused yellow fever and cholera.