Richard Preston Quotes
“Nine out of ten humans killed? And you're not bothered."
A look of mysterious thoughtfulness crossed his face. "A virus can be useful to a species by thinning it out," he said.
A scream cut the air. It sounded nonhuman.
He took his eyes off the water and looked around. "Hear that pheasant? That's what I like about the Bighorn River," he said.
"Do you find viruses beautiful?"
"Oh, yeah," he said softly. "Isn't it true that if you stare into the eyes of a cobra, the fear has another side to it? The fear is lessened as you begin to see the essence of the beauty. Looking at Ebola under an electron microscope is like looking at a gorgeously wrought ice castle. The thing is so cold. So totally pure." He laid a perfect cast on the water, and eddies took the fly down. (92)”
“Once the cells in a biological machine stop working, it can never be started again. It goes into a cascade of decay, falling toward disorder and randomness. Except in the case of viruses. They can turn off and go dead. Then, if they come in contact with a living system, they switch on and multiply. (194)”
“He open his mouth and gasps into the bag, and the vomiting goes on endlessly. It will not stop, and he keeps bringing up liquid, long after his stomach should have been empty. The airsickness bag fills up to the brim with a substance known as the vomito negro, or the black vomit. The black vomit is not really black; it is a speckled liquid of two colors, black and red, a stew of tarry granules mixed with fresh red arterial blood. It is hemorrhage, and it smells like a slaughterhouse. The black vomit is loaded with virus.”
“He becomes dizzy and utterly weak, and his spine goes limp and nerveless and he loses all sense of balance. The room is turning around and around. He is going into shock. He leans over, head on his knees, and brings up an incredible quantity of blood from his stomach and spills it onto the floor with a gasping groan. He loses consciousness and pitches forward onto the floor. The only sound is a choking in his throat as he continues to vomit blood and black matter while unconscious. Then comes a sound like a bedsheet being torn in half, which is the sound of his bowels opening and venting blood from the anus. The blood is mixed with intestinal lining. He has sloughed his gut. The linings of his intestines have come off and are being expelled along with huge amounts of blood. Monet has crashed and is bleeding out.”
“One room in the hospital had not been cleaned up. No one, not even the nuns, had had the courage to enter the obstetric ward. When Joel Breman and the team went in, they found basins of foul water standing among discarded, bloodstained syringes. The room had been abandoned in the middle of childbirths, where dying mothers had aborted fetuses infected with Ebola. The team had discovered the red chamber of the virus queen at the end of the earth, where the life-form had amplified through mothers and their unborn children. (95)”
“He saw virus particles shaped like snakes, in negative images. They were white cobras tangled among themselves, like the hair of Medusa. They were the face of nature herself, the obscene goddess revealed naked. This life form thing was breathtakingly beautiful. As he stared at it, he found himself being pulled out of the human world into a world where moral boundaries blur and finally dissolve completely. He was lost in wonder and admiration, even though he knew that he was the prey. (149)”
“Ebola Zaire attacks every organ and tissue in the human body except skeletal muscle and bone. It is a perfect parasite because it transforms virtually every part of the body into a digested slime of virus particles. The seven mysterious proteins that, assembled together, make up the Ebola-virus particle, work as a relentless machine, a molecular shark, and they consume the body as the virus makes copies of itself. Small blood clots begin to appear in the bloodstream, and the blood thickens and slows, and the clots begin to stick to the walls of blood vessels. This is known as pavementing, because the clots fit together in a mosaic. The mosaic thickens and throws more clots, and the clots drift through the bloodstream into the small capillaries, where they get stuck. This shuts off the blood supply to various parts of the body, causing dead spots to appear in the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, testicles, breast tissue (of men as well as women), and all through the skin.”
“One general theory for the origin of AIDS goes that, during the late nineteen-sixties, a new and lucrative business grew up in Africa, the export of primates to industrialized countries for use in medical research. Uganda was one of the biggest sources of these animals. As the monkey trade was established throughout central Africa, the native workers in the system, the monkey trappers and handlers, were exposed to large numbers of wild monkeys, some of which were carrying unusual viruses. These animals, in turn, were being jammed together in cages, exposed to one another, passing viruses back and forth. Furthermore, different species of monkeys were mixed together. It was a perfect setup for an outbreak of a virus that could jump species. It was also a natural laboratory for rapid virus evolution, and possibly it led to the creation of HIV. Did HIV crash into the human race as a result of the monkey trade?”
“The connective tissue in his face is dissolving, and his face appears to hang from the skull. He open his mouth and gasps into the bag, and the vomiting goes on endlessly. It will not stop, and he keeps bringing up liquid, long after his stomach should have been empty. The airsickness bag fills up to the brim with a substance known as the "vomito negro", or the black vomit. The black vomit is not really black; it is a speckled liquid of two colors, black and red. The black vomit is loaded with virus.”
“In 1986—the year before Peter Cardinal died—Gene Johnson had done an experiment that showed that Marburg and Ebola can indeed travel through the air. He infected monkeys with Marburg and Ebola by letting them breathe it into their lungs, and he discovered that a very small dose of airborne Marburg or Ebola could start an explosive infection in a monkey. Therefore, Johnson wanted the members of the expedition to wear breathing apparatus inside the cave.”
“heart bleeds into itself; the heart muscle softens and has hemorrhages into its chambers, and blood squeezes out of the heart muscle as the heart beats, and it floods the chest cavity. The brain becomes clogged with dead blood cells, a condition known as sludging of the brain. Ebola attacks the lining of the eyeball, and the eyeballs may fill up with blood: you may go blind. Droplets of blood stand out on the eyelids: you may weep blood. The blood runs from your eyes down your cheeks and refuses to coagulate. You may have a hemispherical stroke, in which one whole side of the body is paralyzed, which is invariably fatal in a case of Ebola. Even while the body’s internal organs are becoming plugged with coagulated blood, the blood that streams out of the body cannot clot; it resembles whey being squeezed out of curds. The blood has been stripped of its clotting factors. If you put the runny Ebola blood in a test tube and look at it, you see that the blood is destroyed. Its red cells are broken and dead. The blood looks as if it has been buzzed in an electric blender. Ebola kills a great deal of tissue while the host is still alive. It triggers a creeping, spotty necrosis that spreads through all the internal organs. The liver bulges up and turns yellow, begins to liquefy, and then it cracks apart. The cracks run across the liver and deep inside it, and the liver completely dies and goes putrid. The kidneys become jammed with blood clots and dead cells, and cease functioning. As the kidneys fail, the blood becomes toxic with urine. The spleen turns into a single huge, hard blood clot the size of a”
- Date of birth: August 05, 1954
- Born: in Massachusetts, The United States.
- Description: Richard Preston is a journalist and nonfiction writer.Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.