Length: 7 hours and 43 minutes
Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright
Published by Henry Holt and Company on February 7th 2017
Genres: History, Essays, Social History
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-seventeenth-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.
I am really getting the hang of audiobooks. This makes my third one at the time of writing this. The third one I could understand that is. I saw a few bloggers that I love rave about the audiobook production so I took a gamble and got it with an Audible credit. I was not disappointed. I have often wondered how someone could put on a good audio show and now I know.
The subject matter has the potential to be boring. I mean what can you say about the plagues that won’t put people to sleep? A lot as it turns out. To be fair I had never really thought about any plague expect that the Middle Ages had one and it killed millions of people. I had no idea there was a whole history regarding plagues. That just goes to show how much I know. Gabra Zackman manages to make this book seem laugh out loud funny. I listened to it while waiting for my Audiology appointment and even though I was horrified by some parts of it I could not help but laugh at the sarcasm dripping through my blue tooth headphones.
Funny story I I thought that the first plague that the book mentioned was called the eight or nine plague. I understood that the Roman army brought it back from the Germanic tribes but for the life of me, I couldn’t find any info on an ancient Roman eight or nine plague. I was googling and everything but nada I FINALLY figured out that it was the ANTONINE plague. Hmmph. I was perplexed when not even the almighty Google could tell me what the hell the eight or nine languages was LOL.
All kidding aside I was impressed at the author Jennifer Wright ability to tackle this subject matter and what we can learn from history without coming across as preachy. It would be far to easy to look down at the people who lived through the bubonic plague and how they dealt with it than it is to look at them as fellow human beings who had some tough choices to make. We can either judge them for leaving their children behind or empathize with them and learn what we can from them. I would choose empathy and so does Jennifer Wright.
love learning about the macabre and this book serves it in heaping dosages. This is NOT a book to listen to while you are standing I line at Cracker Barrel. cough The book goes into some detail about HOW the plague is spread and what the symptoms are and I was listening to it while my parents and I were waiting in line at Cracker Barrel and… let’s just say I stuck to my diet that day with no issues.
Another point that I never thought about is the people who helped beat the plague into submission. I mean obviously, someone did as we are all here alive today but to think about what it actually took to keep the rat fleas away well… I never thought of it in such detail but yet this is precisely the amount of detail that makes up this book.
I really enjoyed the audio production. I felt that the narrator sounded exactly like it was supposed to sound. I even feel that the audio production even added more to the feel of the book. From reading other bloggers feelings on audiobooks it can be a hit or miss but this one id definitely a hit.