The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

Version: Abridged
Author: Richard Preston
Narrator: Howard McGillin
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Thriller
Publisher: Encore Publishing
Published In: April 2007
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours
Tell Your Friends:


A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. "The Hot Zone" tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, "The Hot Zone" proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

Reviews (4)


Written by Anonymous from Sunnyvale, CA on August 22nd, 2014

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The abridged version was just three CDs and that was more than enough because the story line was slow, dry and not particular interesting. It starts out ok with a light discussion of the ebola virus and it's history, but the rest of the story is about a collection of monkeys who appeared to have contracted it, steps taken to control and determine what is the disease, and the fear that the disease may spread to humans.

Hot Zone

Written by rskibum from Bridgewater, MA on August 20th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book. Just the right length. Howard McG shows his talent through his intense reading of this. I've seen him in Phantom, and he's carrying through his incredibe talent that he exhibits there in the reading of this book. He's so good, you don't realize you're caught up in the quality of the acting until it's almost over. He makes the audio version of this book compelling listening. Howard; Do more audio books!


Written by PVS on October 6th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I found the topic very interesting and the facts about viruses very informative. The author kept my interest. There were times however when I could not tie in a particular story he told to the overall story. He would talk about a person and give great detail, but it didn't make sense to the story as a whole. I found myself asking, what was the point of him talking about that person. In spite of this, if you like reading about viruses going out of control, this is the book for you.

Makes you think

Written by Dalida Jongsma on February 22nd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book really made me think about how easy it would be to start a major pandemic in the world. With so many people living under the poverty line and with compromised immune systems, an outbreak of Marburg or Ebola could have devastating effects. It was a gripping narrative and once I started listening I had to finish the story to see what the outcome was.

Author Details

Author Details

Preston, Richard

Richard Preston is the bestselling author of "The Hot Zone, The Demon in the Freezer," and the novel "The Cobra Event," A writer for "The New Yorker" since 1985, Preston is the only nondoctor to have received the Centers for Disease Control's Champion of Prevention Award. He also holds an award from the American Institute of Physics. Preston lives outside of New York City.