Details of Virus X, by Frank Ryan

Virus X

In the 1980s our comforting illusion that we had conquered plagues through our discovery of vaccines and antibiotics was shattered by the arrival of AIDS.  But AIDS is just one of many emerging plagues for which we have, as yet, no cure.  Even the great killers of history - TB, cholera, bubonic plague - are making a comeback, often resistant to the drugs that once controlled them.  In this book, Frank Ryan goes into the front line of the fight against epidemic disease, to take a long hard look at what is happening and why.  You will find many vivid descriptions and some terrifying facts.  But the author's interest went beyond merely frightening people.   He wanted to know where viruses such as HIV, the cause of AIDS, came from and why they behaved in such a lethal fashion.  To answer such questions, he has advanced a radical new evolutionary theory, `Aggressive Symbiosis'.  This theory has proved controversial but it was welcomed by leading authorities in reviews in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. 



Dr Ryan writes well in a difficult technical field, weaving the technicalities of scientific history, medicine, molecular biology and evolution into the human narratives ...  Very readable and disturbing.   John R G Turner, New York Times.

Extremely well written ... Frank Ryan has the page-turning and spine-chilling ability of a good novelist.  Matt Ridley, The Sunday Telegraph.

Compelling and frightening ... the plot could not be bettered.  Michael Smith, The Scotsman.

Ryan is very good at making technical matters comprehensible to the lay reader but more impressive still is the way he conveys the intellectual excitement and elation of scientific discovery.   Anthony Daniels, Literary Review.

Ryan takes us through the drama of discovery and challenges the notion that certain questions are too appalling to contemplate.  David Bradley, New Scientist.


AUTHOR : Frank Ryan; ISBN: (HarperCollins, UK) paperback: 0-00-638455-2; Little, Brown, USA, hardcover: 0-316-76383-7; paperback: 0-316-76306-3.  


FRANK RYAN came to widespread international acclaim with his ground breaking non-fiction , The Greatest Story Never Told and Virus X. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and have featured in many television documentaries in Britain and America. A one day play, featuring the Oscar-winning actor Jason Robards, was based on The Greatest Story Never Told.

Please note that this book is now out of print in the UK (HarperCollins) edition but still available in the US (Little Brown) edition

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