Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Ebola thriller 'The Hot Zone' is back in the spotlight

(Read article summary)
View video

(Read caption) 'The Hot Zone' is by Richard Preston.

View photo

With Ebola in the headlines, Richard Preston’s nonfiction thriller “The Hot Zone” is back on bestseller lists – and possibly coming to TV.

Preston first published “Zone,” a book about the first time Ebola was seen, in 1994. It’s now back on the New York Times bestseller list, coming in at number 13 on the Combined Print and E-Book Nonfiction list for Oct. 26, and it’s currently ranked at number 28 on Amazon

About these ads

At the time of its initial release, Stephen King called the book “one of the most horrifying things I've ever read. What a remarkable piece of work,” and Publishers Weekly called the book “horrifying and riveting,” while School Library Journal wrote that it is a “fast-paced medical chiller right to the last disturbing page.”

Recommended:10 best books of October: the Monitor's picks

The author also told the New York Times that he’s “dying to update the book.” 

“I want to make the clinical picture of the virus more clear and accurate,” he said. “In the original 'Hot Zone,' I have a description of a nurse weeping tears of blood. That almost certainly didn’t happen. When a person has Ebola, the eyes can turn brilliant red from blood vessels leaking and blood oozing out of the eyelid. That’s horrifying, but it’s not someone with tears of blood running down their face. I want to fix that. The other thing that’s happening with Ebola today is there have been more outbreaks, and virologists are constructing a tree showing how they are related. The names of the viruses and the relationships have changed, and I want to get that into ‘The Hot Zone.’ Finally, I’m going to put in an introduction in which I place the story of ‘The Hot Zone’ in today’s context.” 

Meanwhile, “Zone” could be coming to the small screen. According to the Hollywood Reporter, director and producer Ridley Scott and producer Lynda Obst could possibly adapt the book as a limited series for Fox TV Studios.