The Demon under the Microscope: Review

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The Demon under the Microscope

When I first shared the title of this wonderful non-fiction book, one of my acquaintances couldn’t wait to read it because she loves science fiction. She was disappointed when I told her it was not. The Demon under the Microscope is certainly dramatic. I could easily see it made into a wonderful historical fiction movie. But it is true science, one of the best I’ve read.

11190990_f520The demon is this case is bacteria. The bacteria that killed hundreds of thousands in the second World War. The bacteria that made the chance of death within a hospital from germs as risky as the illness that put you there. The little bug bite that took the lives of so many from malaria.

Science isn’t something I would normally read about, or at least it wasn’t prior to this book. Since this story my curiosity has increased ten fold about the discoveries we take for granted today.

The book is very well written in an entertaining fashion by well known author Thomas Hager. I listened to the audiobook and found it surprisingly entertaining. I mean, would the average person think science would make a good book to listen to?

The story takes us back to the 1800’s and early 1900’s, to show us how things were. Then forward to the discovery of sulfa drugs and finally penicillin. The statistics in the book are staggering. The difference both sulfa and penicillin made in recovery remarkable.

You will learn who was involved in the research, the controversy that surrounded it, the influence of Nazi Germany on the race for discovery. You will read about cures that were miraculous to so many. It isn’t often we have a story that has such impressive and actual ‘happy endings’ as you see in this book.

Take a chance on a scientific read. You won’t be disappointed. You may even find it affects you as it did me. You may find yourself more curious and anxious to learn more.

Here is the complete review



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

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1 Comment

  1. This does sound like an interesting read. With Ebola and all the talk about antibiotics no longer working for certain strands of disease, it’s rather sobering to imagine what life must have been like before penicillin.

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