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Download Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science Audiobook, by Richard Preston Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,465 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Preston Narrator: James Lurie Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9780739328903
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Bizarre illnesses and plagues that kill people in the most unspeakable ways. Obsessive and inspired efforts by scientists to solve mysteries and save lives. From The Hot Zone to The Demon in the Freezer and beyond, Richard Preston’s bestselling works have mesmerized readers everywhere by showing them strange worlds of nature they never dreamed of.

Panic in Level 4 is a grand tour through the eerie and unforgettable universe of Richard Preston, filled with incredible characters and mysteries that refuse to leave one’s mind. Here are dramatic true stories from this acclaimed and award-winning author, including:

• The phenomenon of “self-cannibals,” who suffer from a rare genetic condition caused by one wrong letter in their DNA that forces them to compulsively chew their own flesh–and why everyone may have a touch of this disease.
• The search for the unknown host of Ebola virus, an organism hidden somewhere in African rain forests, where the disease finds its way into the human species, causing outbreaks of unparalleled horror.
• The brilliant Russian brothers–“one mathematician divided between two bodies”–who built a supercomputer in their apartment from mail-order parts in an attempt to find hidden order in the number pi (p).

In fascinating, intimate, and exhilarating detail, Richard Preston portrays the frightening forces and constructive discoveries that are currently roiling and reordering our world, once again proving himself a master of the nonfiction narrative and, as noted in The Washington Post, “a science writer with an uncommon gift for turning complex biology into riveting page-turners.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Fricks | 2/7/2014

    " Good read...but could not compete with The Hot Zone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianne | 2/2/2014

    " I listened to this. All in all, the stories were good. Some of them did run on, and some of Preston's philosophical comments I didn't find valid - or that interesting. Adventures in Nonfiction Writing, A Death in the Forest, and The Search for Ebola were very interesting. I like the connectivity from one story to the next -- it did result in some repetition, but ultimately made clear the connections between different branches of science. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 1/30/2014

    " This works pretty well as a semi-autobiography for Preston. It has none of the excitement of The Hot Zone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe Bartello | 1/9/2014

    " Scarey stuff about Ebola, self-cannibalism and super computers used to enhance art and discover pi. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvette | 1/8/2014

    " the stories about the math guys and about the cannibals are super-memorable. Especially with photos to go along with them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy Cobb | 1/7/2014

    " Richard Preston writes non-fiction books as if they are fiction. He wrote the Hot Zone (on the ebola virus) and Demon in the Freezer (on smallpox). His books are very interesting and scary as they are fact. Panic in Level 4 is a very short book with 6 chapters. One was on 2 brother who built the equivalent of a Cray computer in their apartment by buying parts through mail order. One chapter was on the Unicorn Tapestries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aurali | 12/17/2013

    " Not as good as Demons in the Freezer but still entertaining. The rudimentary explanations of simple scientific principles made parts of this book boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin Yaklin | 11/29/2013

    " Mostly a rehash of other pieces he's written. Much more compelling and spellbinding were Hot Zone and the one about trees. I can't remember trees title right now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Graham Houle | 11/25/2013

    " Fantastic book on several amazing stories! This really gives the reader many options for what they want to read about and each is so interesting. The Human cannibalism is amazing and the story on the Tapestry is so colorful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 9/24/2013

    " I find that all of Richard Preston's books are worth reading. The last story in this book is worth reading even if you don't read anything else! However, all stories are very good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mario E. | 8/31/2013

    " it wasnt what it advertised "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hillary | 6/16/2013

    " Loved this one - great for the current level of activity in my life, since it's broken into relatively self-contained chapters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eoin | 5/31/2013

    " Each essay is better than the book. I would like to give it a better rating, but I was a little let down after the The Wild Trees. The information is great and the writing is immediate but the structure is clunky at best. Worth it for any of the essays. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 lola | 10/11/2012

    " Best medicine gore writer out there. Worth coming out of the library for the article on Lesch-Nyman alone. Preston was such a master that it made me go back and give Gil Reavill one less star for being such a poseur, like how you feel gross about liking NIN once you hear Einsturzende Neubauten. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean-claude | 3/1/2012

    " This book is a masterpiece in storytelling. Initially it sounds like it will be independent essays on the Ebola virus, supercomputing, unicorns and a disease that makes people eat their own body. But read the book through to see how these are connected. It is well worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 6/23/2011

    " Although somewhat dissappointing because I had read the majority of the essays in this book in other places, it is still a fascinating read (and scary). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 5/4/2011

    " Less captivating than The Hot Zone. The last essay (which I read first, don't you know) was very squishy and uncomfortable, but that's Biology for you. The idea of how powerful genes can be is something that we don't seem to yet understand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaimemcdermott | 5/2/2011

    " It was interesting. Not a book with a story, its just several stories put together, once I was aware of that it was better. First chapter not so good but overall I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 4/11/2011

    " If you liked his other books you will like this. This is a collection of this articles. the only one I didn't like was about the human genome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 3/26/2011

    " It was interesting, not a book as such but a collections of writings about strange things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reese | 2/14/2011

    " Great compilation of long form articles. Super interesting topics combined in a very engaging way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandyboy | 1/30/2011

    " doesn't really seem worth reviewing, the section on Pi and Ebola was good, the other parts felt like bland filler "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/14/2010

    " Parts of this book were riveting and really hard to put down. Other parts didn't engage me as powerfully and seemed to drag a bit. That being said, all of the explorations were of fascinating people or situations. Even the prologue (the story behind The Hot Zone) was awesome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 10/20/2010

    " Scarey stuff about Ebola, self-cannibalism and super computers used to enhance art and discover pi. "

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About the Author
Author Richard PrestonRichard Preston is the author of The Hot Zone, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and of The Cobra Event, a bioterror thriller, also a New York Times bestseller. A writer for The New Yorker since 1985, Preston won the American Institute of Physics award and is the only nondoctor ever to have received the CDC’s Champion of Prevention award. He has an asteroid named after him and lives outside of New York City.
About the Narrator

James Lurie has worked for the biggest companies in the news, entertainment, and advertising businesses. He has an eclectic background; he’s been a musician, a writer, and a doctoral candidate in Chinese history. He’s even been the voice of a talking gasoline pump. As an actor he has had recurring roles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Law & Order, Picket Fences, and As the World Turns, to name but a few, and he won a Dramalogue Award in Los Angeles for his stage work.