A witty, irreverent tour of history's worst plagues-from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio-and a celebration of the heroes who fought them In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn't stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-nineteenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome-a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary. Throughout time, humans have been terrified and fascinated by the diseases history and circumstance have dropped on them. Some of their responses to those outbreaks are almost too strange to believe in hindsight. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues we've suffered as a species, as well as stories of the heroic figures who selflessly fought to ease the suffering of their fellow man. With her signature mix of in-depth research and storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history's most gripping and deadly outbreaks, and ultimately looks at the surprising ways they've shaped history and humanity for almost as long as anyone can remember.
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by Rebecca Zanetti
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"It would be all too easy to read this book about devastating diseases with a basso profundo voice of doom, but that would make the narration almost unbearable and also would go against the author's style. Instead, narrator Gabra Zackman follows the author's lead and takes a lighter tone. She is especially effective at capturing the author's use of irony and occasional expressions of incredulity. This makes the narrative flow more easily and keeps listeners engaged. This is not to say the author is not serious about her subject. Her scholarship is evident, but she doesn't want to discourage readers by taking an overly somber tone. The same is true for Zackman. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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