Book Review: The Rules of Contagion by Adam Kucharski


Book Title: The Rules of Contagion
Author: Adam Kucharski

Book Title:
The title of the book ‘ The Rules of Contagion ‘ is self-explanatory and need for the hour.

Book Cover:
The cover image of the book is a minimal representation of a contagious disease that must be caged and make it disappear.

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About the author:
Adam Kucharski is an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, working on global outbreaks such as the Ebola epidemic, avian influenza, dengue fever, and the Zika virus. He is a TED fellow and winner of the 2016 Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture and the 2012 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize. He has written for the Observer, Financial Times, Scientific American, and  New Statesman. He is the author of The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling. Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life, and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events, and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity, and death. Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries

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About the book:
The surprising science of contagion, and how it affects us all: from viral marketing to pandemics, financial panics, and gun violence

My review:

A book that must be read during the fighting times of COVID-19 and bring a change in ourselves by not spreading false news and panic news. The book very pragmatically explains to the model of how a piece of news spreads across dangerously than the disease whether it’s an epidemic or pandemic.

What I like:
1. The profound explanation of what contagion is and its aftermath effects alongside the causes are explained in detail

2. On how a conspiracy or disbelief gets spread across the world which involves a virus or the flu or some health ailment is explained well.

3. Many practical examples are coherently explained that also create awareness amongst the readers.

4. The journey of Sir. Ronald Ross and a few others are found very interesting. I say this very strongly because I live near the Fever Hospital that was started on Ross’s name at Hyderabad. It feels close to know him.

5. The most important thing in the book that is to be observed is how fake news is spread and how it affects every walk of life is very well explained.

6. Every chapter and example can be related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and thus the book behaves an eye-opener.

7. The responsibility as a citizen of any nation in order not to spread or believe fake news and hold the sanctity of humanity intact is the underlying lesson of the book.

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What I didn’t like:

At some places, I felt too much explanation is used which looked more like a textbook rather than a general book.

Though a non-fiction book, the narration stands out because of the thorough explanation and description of various incidents, people, health concerns in the past around the world, illustrations in pictures and etc.,  The narration definitely hooks the readers to the book.

Language & Grammar:
Quality language with rich and technical vocabulary is found in the book.

My Final Verdict:
The right book at the right time!

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Reviewed by Swapna Peri

This Book Review was first published in Storizen Magazine April 2020 Issue