Picture of author.

Richard Preston (1) (1954–)

Autor(a) de The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

Para outros autores com o nome Richard Preston, veja a página de desambiguação.

10+ Works 12,447 Membros 294 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Richard Preston graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College in California and received a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. He began his career as a journalist writing for the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler and Blair & Ketchum's Country Journal. He has also mostrar mais been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1985. One of Preston's earlier novels, "First Light," was a book on astronomy that won him the American Institute of Physics Award, and he has an asteroid the size of Mount Everest named after him. He also wrote "The Hot Zone," which is a true story about an outbreak of the Ebola virus near Washington, D.C. and inspired the movie Outbreak that starred Dustin Hoffman. "The Cobra Event" is a thriller about biological weapons and terrorism. He spent three years researching biological weapons and his sources included high-ranking government officials, and the scientists who invented and tested these weapons. The story tells of a medical doctor who works with the FBI to stop an act of bio-terrorism in New York City. Preston is now considered an expert in the areas of disease and biotechnology; and the FBI and President Clinton, in regards to disease and bio-warfare, have sought out his opinion. Preston has won several awards that include the McDermott Award in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Overseas Press Club of America's Whitman Basso Award for the best reporting in any medium on environmental issues for "The Hot Zone." His title Micro with Michael Crichton made the New York Times Best Seller list for 2011. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras de Richard Preston

The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story (1994) 6,152 cópias, 118 resenhas
The Cobra Event (1977) 1,784 cópias, 30 resenhas
The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story (2002) 1,734 cópias, 44 resenhas
The Wild Trees (2007) 1,210 cópias, 56 resenhas
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 (2007) — Editor — 252 cópias, 3 resenhas
The Boat of Dreams: A Christmas Story (2003) 46 cópias, 3 resenhas

Associated Works


Africa (103) astronomy (49) biological warfare (64) biology (191) bioterrorism (77) California (59) CDC (44) disease (309) Ebola (211) Ebola virus (46) ebook (49) epidemic (121) epidemiology (138) essays (38) fiction (297) health (70) history (144) infectious disease (70) Kindle (51) medical (149) medicine (245) microbiology (40) nature (125) non-fiction (1,127) own (56) pandemic (47) plague (42) read (160) redwoods (62) science (805) science fiction (72) smallpox (90) suspense (45) thriller (177) to-read (644) trees (110) unread (38) virology (47) virus (104) viruses (86)

Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
Preston, Richard
Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Locais de residência
New York, New York, USA
Hopewell, New Jersey, USA
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Wellesley High School (1972)
Pomona College (BA|1977)
Princeton University (Ph.D|1983)
Preston, Douglas (brother)
Preston, David M.D (brother)
Preston, Michelle Parham (wife)
The New Yorker
Pequena biografia
Richard Preston may be the only literary journalist who has had an asteroid named after him. Discovered by Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker—the astronomers who were the subject of First Light (1987)—Asteroid Preston measures between three and five miles across. In a scenario that could come from one of his own books, Asteroid Preston will likely collide with Mars or the Earth during the next hundred thousand years.
Preston has developed a genre of literary journalism that lends scientific subjects—virology, astronomy, gene theory—the drama and excitement more often associated with great travel or adventure writing. His characters are pioneers, extending the boundaries of knowledge in much the way that the early American explorers did.
Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 5, 1954. A mediocre high school student, he was rejected by every college to which he applied. He desperately wanted to attend Pomona College in California and badgered the dean into accepting him in time for the second semester.
In 1977, Preston was graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and continued on to Princeton for graduate school. In 1979, he took John McPhee's "Literature of Fact" writing course—a famous incubator for literary journalists. "McPhee taught us precision in shaping words and sentences. He taught us absolute respect for facts."
In 1985, he received an advance from Atlantic Monthly Press to write about the astronomers at Caltech's seven-story-tall Hale telescope. First Light was praised for covering a difficult technical subject without either distorting or oversimpifying the facts and won the 1988 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award.
American Steel (1991) tells the story of the Nucor Corporation's search for a new way to pour sheet steel, and the building of a new steel mill in the middle of a cornfield outside Crawfordsville, Indiana. "In the best tradition of John McPhee and Tracy Kidder, Preston captures the feel of the project through direct observation of people at work," writes Mark Reutter in The Washington Post.
In the early 1990s, Preston feared that AIDS was only the tip of the iceberg—that other deadly viruses would soon begin emerging from once-remote forests around the world. He learned of an outbreak of Ebola among monkeys in Reston, Virginia and reconstructed the events, tracking the virus from a cave in Uganda to Virginia. His expanded his New Yorker article, "Crisis In the Hot Zone," into The Hot Zone, which became an international bestseller. Stephen King called it "one of the most horrifying things I've ever read in my life."
Preston continued his exploration in two further volumes of what he calls his "dark biology" series. The first was a novel, The Cobra Event (1997). The third, The Demon in the Freezer (2002), about smallpox and other deadly viruses, was developed from a New Yorker article of the same title, which won the 2000 National Magazine Award for public interest writing.
Most recently, Preston learned little-known tree-climbing techniques in order to write about a botanist who studies the ecology of the California Redwood forest canopy, thirty-five stories above ground.




Slightly over-egged. The author knows that he has an interesting subject, but also that he doesn't actually have that much material. It all happened a long time ago, and nothing happened anyway, otherwise we'd have all remembered it/lived with it so he spends a lot of time on extraneous details. These do add colour and depth to the personalities and scenes involved, but detract from any drama and tension.

As a caver I didn't get a good sense of the african cave scenes. Seems like an interesting area with potential! There's also quite a bit of anthropomorphising of the virus. Although he mostly remembers to put quotes around the "wants" "needs" "desires" etc, he still frequently seems to imply agency to virus particles, and they really are nothing more than code - capable of astonishing things when all their prerequires are met, but without any option of bringing those conditions about.

Given the world's preocupation with viruses in general it's still a timely reminder of just how close to the knife edge we are actually walking.
… (mais)
reading_fox | outras 117 resenhas | Jan 28, 2024 |
Very interesting subjects (both human and botanical). But for a writer of Preston's caliber, this is oddly choppy in its execution.
Treebeard_404 | outras 55 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
I listened to the audio version of this and I would like to commend the narrator (Ray Porter) for having a great voice and reading this so well. Unlike other comments (on the print version) I found this to be well written/read and very easy to follow.

That said this is a chilling topic and the Epilogue leaves one with much to think of, and leaves you with sympathy and regret for those who lost their lives in the battle against this particular foe. While not the usual Halloween fare, it’s definitely scary enough to keep,you up at night if you let it.

Recommended for those interested in this topic, virology, and global epidemics and health.

… (mais)
Kiri | outras 13 resenhas | Dec 24, 2023 |
2002 non-fiction about biological weapon agents smallpox and anthrax, and the American governmental defensive measures toward them. The book is mostly an account of the Smallpox Eradication Program, a discussion about smallpox’s status as a potential bioterrorism agent, and the controversy about the remaining samples. Demon in the Freezer is very much a product of its time, having been published in 2002, just after the anthrax attacks. I really thought this book was going to be about anthrax. In fact, the first few chapters and last couple chapters were about the post-9/11 anthrax attacks. But what this book was actually about was small pox. Having been born in the eighties, I never knew just how terrifying smallpox really could be -- I mean, it’s one of the most virulent diseases on the planet, so lots of people got it, right? Holy crap, smallpox make ebola look like small potatoes. Consider me educated.
… (mais)
lyrrael | outras 43 resenhas | Aug 3, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos