• $12.99

Publisher Description

Bizarre illnesses and plagues that kill people in the most unspeakable ways. Obsessive and inspired efforts by scientists to solve mysteries and save lives. From The Hot Zone to The Demon in the Freezer and beyond, Richard Preston’s bestselling works have mesmerized readers everywhere by showing them strange worlds of nature they never dreamed of.

Panic in Level 4 is a grand tour through the eerie and unforgettable universe of Richard Preston, filled with incredible characters and mysteries that refuse to leave one’s mind. Here are dramatic true stories from this acclaimed and award-winning author, including:

• The phenomenon of “self-cannibals,” who suffer from a rare genetic condition caused by one wrong letter in their DNA that forces them to compulsively chew their own flesh–and why everyone may have a touch of this disease.
• The search for the unknown host of Ebola virus, an organism hidden somewhere in African rain forests, where the disease finds its way into the human species, causing outbreaks of unparalleled horror.
• The brilliant Russian brothers–“one mathematician divided between two bodies”–who built a supercomputer in their apartment from mail-order parts in an attempt to find hidden order in the number pi (π).

In fascinating, intimate, and exhilarating detail, Richard Preston portrays the frightening forces and constructive discoveries that are currently roiling and reordering our world, once again proving himself a master of the nonfiction narrative and, as noted in The Washington Post, “a science writer with an uncommon gift for turning complex biology into riveting page-turners.”

Science & Nature
James Lurie
hr min
May 27
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews

jacobthesnakeob ,


Richard prestion is a well decorated author, PIL4 was VERY captivating.....
it is realy twoards the end of the book that the reader is finally reached......
Preston goes over Biohazard Four containment units. This is very insightful due to the fact that civilians are not allowed in these areas. Preston discusses deforestation in great detail as well. Some of the subtopics he touches upon are number theory and parasitic infestations. His main focus in the book is the deadly Ebola virus. I do not believe that Preston really had an intended audience in mind when he wrote this book. It quickly became popular amongst the scientific community, but is often read for leisure by people who are interested in science. After reading his books, readers are often forced to rethink many of their ideas on the world as they know it. This is a sure sign of a good author. It is incredibly difficult to wrap one’s head around the ideas and beliefs proposed in his book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in science, regardless of the field.

Phenderson2000 ,


Slow, pretentious and frankly, not very interesting. Seems to be a slap together of some notebooks laying around and not much else. Wish I could get my money back.

Grpcapmandrake ,

Bait and switch

The title brings you in and the the book drones on about searching for greater meaning in pi and some invasive pests destroying native trees. All very interesting topics but don’t wrap up your stories with the hot issue of Bio Level 4. As much as the author drones on about their writing style I would have expected them to have a little more skill in developing a title. Move along folks.

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