A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
By Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
An entertaining historical look at rabies and how it’s very existence has influenced culture throughout history, in science and in myth and legend through the ages. I’ll admit I checked out this book thinking it was going to be more on the disease and was a bit thrown when I started reading only to discover that while there was a fair amount of historical content it focused more on the cultural perspective of the disease. Though not what I was originally hoping for I still found it to be a highly entertaining read. At times it was a bit more general than I had hoped (I think I was looking for something a bit more scientific) but from a cultural perspective Wasik and Murphy do a fine job of bringing this feared virus to the forefront of myth, legend and history in general. This would be a great read for someone wanting to learn more about this vicious virus and not have to be bogged down in the science of it. I particularly liked the parts where Wasik and Murphy look at literature and interprets where the disease is being talked about, though not named. It brought new perspective to works I had previously read. Overall, this was a light read about a devastating virus which still has no cure. It will appeal to a wide range of readers but may not be enough for the more in-depth seeking reader.