Book Reviews of The Plague Tales

The Plague Tales
The Plague Tales
Author: Ann Benson
ISBN-13: 9780385316514
ISBN-10: 0385316518
Publication Date: 5/12/1997
Pages: 480
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.

4.4 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Plague Tales on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is a very intriguing story that takes place in Midevil times and present times and how they come together in the end. I didn't know how it was going to end and really enjoyed the outcome of it.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 157 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Two novels in one, set hundreds of years apart. In the last pages of the book, the point at which the two stories intersect is made plain. Both stories held sufficient tension to keep my interest in each separately. (Sometimes when I read books with separate plot lines, I'm bored by one storyline and resent the reading time spent in it when I could be reading the other! :) That was not the case with this book.)
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 179 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The Plague Tales consists of two parallel stories: one an account of a king's physician in 14th-century England, the other a tale of futuristic London--a time when antibiotics no longer cure and "Bio-Cops," empowered to exterminate those suspected of carrying disease, prowl the streets.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The is two interconnected stories about outbreaks of the bubonic plague in England--one set in the near future and one set in 1348. The stories were somewhat interesting with characters you might care about, but somehow I just couldn't suspend belief enough to get into this. And things just got more outrageous as the story progressed--especially the near future story. For starters, characters fell in love and changed long-held beliefs at the drop of a hat. Then they did totally unbelievable things--I'm sorry, but I don't care who you are, when you find you lover-of-the-week's boss's corpse decomposing in your missing research assistant's hotel room, are you really going to cut off his rotting hand and put it in your briefcase for a ride on the subway instead of notifying some sort of authorities? And why do none of the doctors or microbiologists who specialize in infectious disease have any inkling of what Yersinia pestis is without looking it up? Did nobody with any medical background proofread this book before it went to print? A couple of doctors talk about intubating a patient but instead insert an orogastric tube. And that's just a few of the myriad examples of the ridiculousness found in this book. Perhaps if you have as little medical background as this author does, this won't bother you as much as it did me. A little more research on the part of the author and a lot more care taken with what a real person might do would've gone a long way with this story. Overall this book was ok, but the high points weren't that high and I found lots of it to be quite aggravating.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
this is a wonderful book that spans hundreds of years. there are 2
ongoing stories;one set in 2005 (called the future as this book was
written in the 90's) in England. the entire world fought the good
with diseases and there are many people who did not make it. no
antibiotics work anymore and many medical professionals are being
re-trained in other areas.
the other story is set in Span and England during the plague times.
main character is a jewish doctor who is hiding from the
christians. he
finds himself in England being the physician to King Edward and the
royal family.

there are a few romances along the way.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This novel is about history's most feared disease: the Black Plague. This book is a tale of adventure and science. It joins two eras, 1348 and 2005, by a single trace of bacteria. This is a story of a race against time and mass destruction. If you enjoy forensics, medicine and darn good mystery-this is a must read! The author expertly blends the two time periods so the reader does not get lost and confused (as I sometimes do when they try this). I was fascinated by the comparison of how death and disease is treated-then and now. I liked this book and will read this author's works again.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 192 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A really neat story and I enjoyed it alot. It moves between a physician during the great plague and modern day researchers who unknowingly start another black death.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Part historical,part futuristic adventure...chock-full of curious lore and considerable suspense.
Anyone who likes knowing how "cures" were done in the olden days,will enjoy reading this.Great for school reports.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Switching between the 14th and 21st centuries, the stories of a physician battling the Plague and ignorance and a world now ruled by the fear of all disease where modern science coupled with law enforcement hunt down anyone suspected of illness.

The writing is excellent and the book is fast paced and an attention grabber. Although, personally, I enjoyed the historical chapters more than the current day ones. There seemed to be more truth to the characters and situations.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A great commuter read, fast paced, but at the same time it has some great quite moments you can appreciate.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book.
"Two eras are joined by a single trace of microscopic bacterium-- the invisible seeds of the new bubonic plague"

This book jumps often from 1348 to 2005.... but it's not at all confusing.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book kept me totally engrossed in both storylines. I couldn't put it down until I had finished & the two stories were finally merged at the end.
Great book!
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 306 more book reviews
This is one great book, keeps you reading and on the edge of your chair!
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 333 more book reviews
It's history's most feared disease. It turned neighbor against neighbor, the civilized into the savage, and the living into the dead.It starts out in the year 1348 and ends naerly 700 years later.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 23 more book reviews
This book has plots set in centuries 600 years apart. Janie Crewe is a former surgeon who, in 2005, travels to England to finish up degree work to be a forensic archaeologist. Alejandro Chanches, a Jewish physician in 14th century Spain, is caught with the body of a Christian he had dug up to autopsy. Each of them will become involved with bubonic plague. It's a great premise, but doesn't quite fulfill on the promise. I would have given the book 4 stars instead of 3 based solely on the historic portion of the book. But the modern story detracted from the book's overall appeal. Benson should have set it in 2050 instead of 2005 because there are futuristic elements that really strain credulity for early 21st century. Each of the plots also has a love story. I felt the historic romance worked. Usually, when one talks about chemistry it's in regard to characters in a movie. This was the first time I felt characters in a book lacked chemistry. At 670 pages the book was way too long. Banson's editor should have suggested she jettison the modern story; since the stories are told in alternating chapters, this would have been easy, and it would have had a much better book. I had previously read Benson's book Thief of Souls, again with two plots in medieval and modern times, about young boys at the mercy of sexual predators. It's a much better book.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 21 more book reviews
Excellent book.
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 6 more book reviews
Makes you think
reviewed The Plague Tales on + 285 more book reviews
Great book!