MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Inferno by Steven Hatch

Inferno

A Doctor's Ebola Story

by Steven Hatch

Inferno by Steven Hatch X
Inferno by Steven Hatch
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Mar 2017, 320 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A physician's memoir about the ravages of a terrible disease and the small hospital that fought to contain it, Inferno is also an explanation of the science and biology of Ebola: how it is transmitted and spreads with such ferocity.

Inferno is a glimpse into the white-hot center of a crisis that will come again.

Dr. Steven Hatch first came to Liberia in November 2013, to work at a hospital in Monrovia. Six months later, several of the physicians Dr. Hatch had mentored and served with were dead or barely clinging to life, and Ebola had become a world health emergency. Hundreds of victims perished each week; whole families were destroyed in a matter of days; so many died so quickly that the culturally taboo practice of cremation had to be instituted to dispose of the bodies. With little help from the international community and a population ravaged by disease and fear, the war-torn African nation was simply unprepared to deal with the catastrophe.

As Dr. Hatch notes, while Ebola is temporarily under control, it will inevitably re-emerge - as will other plagues, notably the Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency.

1

THE VESTIBULE

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.

—Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

This is a horror story. And as if someone from central casting were pulling the strings, this horror story begins with a small child happily playing right outside his home.

Meliandou is a small village of a few hundred inhabitants living in approximately thirty rustic dwellings in the hinterlands of Guinea, a satellite of the city of Guéckédou, a place to which the villagers, mostly farmers, come to sell their produce in the Nzérékoré Region, the easternmost province of a country shaped almost like an apostrophe that lost its footing in the middle of a sentence and was falling forward. Meliandou's North American equivalent would be described as "sleepy" and perhaps "idyllic." Although it would be naïve to think that Meliandou's people have lived a content, pastoral existence for centuries...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

At the height of the epidemic, infectious disease specialist Steven Hatch volunteered, along with other medical personnel, to staff a Liberian Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) for four weeks; in Inferno he relates his experiences during this crisis. One needn't be an aficionado of medicine-themed books to enjoy Inferno, which should have wide appeal well beyond the typical non-fiction memoir...continued

Full Review (993 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Associated Press
Hatch packs a wealth of knowledge into the book...poignant.

Kirkus Reviews
Hatch's testimony is a useful addition to the popular literature about the Ebola outbreak. [His] analysis is intelligent, nuanced, and tempered, a necessary departure from the panicked response of most American media outlets.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Readers who are interested in global health, medical education, and biographies in general will be moved by this account for its humanity, honesty, and lucid writing.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Hatch's chronicle is a compassionate, clear-eyed, and courageous account of how compassionate medical care proves a formidable force against the ravages of Ebola.

Booklist
Starred Review. An outstandingly well-written, page-turning memoir in which [Hatch] focuses far more on the people he worked with and treated than on his own feelings ... nothing short of a literary miracle.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Deadly Viruses

Ebola, the viral disease at the core of Steven Hatch's medical memoir, Inferno, is among the most deadly diseases in the world. It is not alone, however, in its lethality; other viruses are at least as likely to be fatal.

There's some debate as to the "most fatal" virus in the world since it depends on what criteria you use (e.g., percentage of those infected who die, total number of people who succumb, etc.), but some of the better known ones are listed below.

The Marburg Virus The Marburg virus with a mortality rate approaching 90% tops many agencies' lists. It's closely related to Ebola and its symptoms are indistinguishable from it; it requires a blood test to tell them apart. Like Ebola, the Marburg virus causes "wet symptoms" such as ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Inferno, try these:

  • The Vaccine Race jacket

    The Vaccine Race

    by Meredith Wadman

    Published 2018

    About this book

    The epic and controversial story of a major breakthrough in cell biology that led to the conquest of rubella and other devastating diseases.

  • Do No Harm jacket

    Do No Harm

    by Henry Marsh

    Published 2016

    About this book

    More books by this author

    An unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital, and a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life's most difficult decisions.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    by Ava Homa
    Ava Homa's debut novel begins with an epigraph by Sherko Bekas, a Kurdish poet, the last lines of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of V.
    The Book of V.
    by Anna Solomon
    In ancient Persia, Esther, a young Jewish woman, parades herself in front of the king in a desperate...
  • Book Jacket: How to Be an Antiracist
    How to Be an Antiracist
    by Ibram X. Kendi
    Ibram X. Kendi opens How to Be an Antiracist with a personal story he finds shameful in retrospect, ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Darwin Affair
    by Tim Mason
    Set in London in 1860, The Darwin Affair blends fact and fiction, imagining a string of murders ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Girl
    by Dirk Wittenborn

    A riveting tale of deception, vengeance, and power set against the haunting beauty of the Adirondacks.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Voyage of the Morning Light
    by Marina Endicott

    A sweeping novel set aboard a merchant ship sailing through the South Pacific in 1912.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Of Bears and Ballots

An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics

A charming account of holding local office with an entertaining, quirky cast of characters.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S Louder T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.