In Search of the Animalcule

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
228 Pages
Reviewed on 03/09/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

Theresa Marie Pfleger is an unusual woman in many ways. As an obstetrician at a Viennese maternity hospital, she is not only one of the first female doctors but she is also greatly revered by her colleagues. Despite creating unique hypotheses regarding the cause of childbed fever, she succumbs to it. Jacob Pfleger, her orphaned child, is nothing short of a genius. After learning about his mother’s untimely demise, he sets out to find his estranged father. A chance event brings him a rare opportunity to work alongside Louis Pasteur. Afterward, Jacob works with other legends such as Joseph Lister and Robert Coch. He devotes his life to discovering the unidentified life forms that could cause fatal diseases. The memoir-style In Search of the Animalcule by Steven L. Berk, M.D. chronicles Jacob’s life.

The recent pandemic made us realize, despite all medical advances, how an almost invisible particle can wreak havoc in our lives. With this background, it is easy to appreciate the relevance of Berk’s work that takes us to the dawn of microbiology research. Jacob, the protagonist, is representative of countless researchers who painstakingly established the field of microbiology. His endless enthusiasm, revolutionary ideas, and penchant for asking the right questions and forming the correct hypotheses got my respect. Jacob’s eventful life takes us on a remarkable journey and helps us experience many of the milestones in microbiology research. Steven L. Berk, M.D. authentically depicts the development of the various techniques and safety practices common in medicine today. As a researcher myself, I was thrilled to find references to many of the routine techniques we use, including animal modeling, tail vein injections, and bacterial cultures.

Berk raises several pertinent questions, such as the knowledge gap between academic research and medical practice. He also highlights the discrimination against female researchers and doctors, which is still an issue in medicine and academia. Finally, Berk shows how our inherent reluctance to accept a ground-breaking idea has repeatedly thwarted progress despite the sacrifices of researchers. In Search of the Animalcule is an ode to all the known and unknown soldiers who are relentlessly fighting a war against microbes.

Afzal Siddiqui

Indeed, a magnificent story telling about the history of pathogens/microbes that have in the past, and some that continue to cause harm with an eye on emerging pathogens, this narration has it all. The author himself being on the frontlines of HIV and COVID-19 epidemic/pandemic has the real pulse on the reality of the field of medicine which he has connected so well with the historical perspective. This is a must read book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and have passed it on to my children to read it also.