On Immunity: An Inoculation

5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 6¼ hrs. HighBridge. 2014. ISBN 9781622314973. $26.95; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; digital download. SCI
Immunity to bodily harm—to injury, to disease—and the ways this is achieved individually and socially is the overarching theme of this wide-ranging, poorly organized meditation. Biss, a new mother, agonizes neurotically over the risks and benefits of each vaccine recommended for her son, anxious to render him invulnerable to once commonly fatal ailments while at the same time fearing iatrogenic complications, taking special note of the alleged correlation between some inoculations and autism. She copes with her apprehensions by obsessively researching the history and scientific development of individual and "herd" immunity, sharing her disjointed, if sometimes interesting, findings seemingly with anyone patient enough to listen including her family, fellow new mothers, and her long-suffering pediatrician. To make matters worse, disc five is comprised of notes on the text, a useless arrangement for an audiobook. The narration by actor Tamara Marston is adequate, if occasionally robotic.
VERDICT While there is some good writing here, the book is hampered by poor organization of the text and the author's self-absorption; not recommended.

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