Cover Image: Immune


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Immune by Philipp Dettmer

I'll preference this by saying this is not the kind of book I would read as an e-book, so reading the e-galley was frustrating as pictures kept getting chopped in half, and its much harder to flip through and back and forth as an e-galley. I'd much prefer a physical coffee table style book for this.

That being said, the art in this volume was gorgeous and I want the illustrations as posters. I thought the level of detail was great without being overly complex or too dumbed down, but I am a pre-medical student and a senior in college, so someone in a different stage of their career or without an STEM experience might feel differently.
Was this review helpful?
"Immune" explains how the different parts of the innate and adaptive immune systems work. This was written by a science writer rather than someone who actively studies the immune system, so it's written for the average person. He used memorable analogies to explain what goes on, then explained it in "science talk" and finally summarized it all again to make sure the reader understood. I have some science background, and I thought the author did a good job of explaining this complex subject without simplifying to much. (His chapter on the lymph system included more information than a whole book on lymph that I recently read. It wasn't more difficult to understand, just more thorough.)

The author started by speculating about when the various parts of the immune system evolved. Throughout the book, he marveled at the complex, amazing immune system and how it evolved. He next talked about how the skin protects you and how the innate and adaptive immune system react when you're wounded. He then talked about mucus membranes and explained how the immune system fights a viral (flu) infection starting in your nose. He explained the individual parts of your immune defenses and how they work together. He also talked about allergies, autoimmunity, cancer, and how you don't actually want to boost your immune system (you want it in balance) and things you can do to support proper immune function (quit smoking and reduce stress). There were occasional graphics showing parts of the immune system or how it worked, but they're difficult to read on my Kindle. Overall, I'd recommend this informative, easy to follow book.
Was this review helpful?
Immune is a layman accessible and thorough look at the immune system by Phillipp Dettmer. Released 2nd Nov 2021 by Penguin Random House, it's 368 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

The author is a gifted teacher (from an unexpectedly non-academic background) and this is what I would call a layman accessible academic treatise of the subject in all its difficult subtleties. I enjoyed poring over the chapters.

I found the entire book quite interesting and fascinating. It is, admittedly, a niche book and will appeal to readers interested in biology and physiology. The language is accessible and informal. The author has a gift at distilling difficult and complex concepts into smaller digestible bits and I can imagine he would be an engaging and worthwhile lecturer.

Five stars. This is well and deeply researched and engaging.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
This gorgeous book was eagerly anticipated by our family, long-time fans of the Kurzgesagt youtube channel. I jumped at the chance to read it early, but it only confirmed that we wanted it. We've now ordered it from a local indie store, and just got word it's ready for us to pick up! I can't wait to pore over it in print.
Was this review helpful?
Immune is popular science at its best.  The author does a fantastic job simplifying the complex topic of the immune system in a way that is easily accessible without background knowledge or understanding of jargon required.  The writing is interesting, engaging, and I enjoyed the book thoroughly.  The illustrations are also beautiful, simple, and informative.  I would recommend this book to anyone with a curiosity about the human body.  Thank you to NetGalley for the complimentary advance copy of this book.  It is a five star for me.
Was this review helpful?
I want to thank Random House and Netgalley for this advanced copy of Immune in exchange for my honest review. 

Immune was a pleasure to read. It was a simplified description of how the Immune system works. I personally found it so fascinating as I do have an interest in the sciences anyway but I'm definitely not a doctor or professional in any respect so I appreciated how he had simplified the whole process for us layman so we could understand 
I found the process to be amazing and miraculous..I was impressed with how much there was to this process and I know this book just scratched the surface of what actually goes on
This is a book you will want to read and keep to refer back to for future use.
5 stars!!!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this fascinating book! The author made it easier to grasp the complexities of the immune system by using comparisons which were easy to understand. I never felt bogged down while reading this book. This book was very well done.
Was this review helpful?
When it comes to books on medical subjects, I tend to be a snob. Consequently, it is rare that I will give a medical book a five star rating (last one was Emperor of All Maladies) but this book deserves it.

To say that I loved this book is an understatement. Immunity is a very complicated subject because this is the human body we are talking about and our immunity system has to protect us against all invaders. To do so, our body has evolved a very complex system of ways to defend our bodies and trying to decipher it can be a daunting process. I’ve tried over the last few months to learn the complexities of the immunity system but every time I thought I understood it, I’d read more into the subject and become confused all over again.

Author Philipp Dettmer has not only managed to explain human immunity but makes it fun. So many science authors take their subjects very seriously – which they should – but there is nothing wrong than having fun with the subject and Philipp has a ton of fun.

This book is for those who are interested in the subject but don’t know where to start as well as those seasoned veterans who are interested in a fun read.

I cannot recommend this book any higher.
Was this review helpful?
What a neat book!  With engaging visuals and accessible language, this book helps the general reader to dive into the world of our bodies and what our immune systems are capable of.  The author has done a phenomenal job of breaking down the complex systems that take place throughout our bodies, and explained them in ways that are easy to understand without being too simple.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. It covers a wide range of topics in immunology and gives a great overview of the field. The book covers enough of the basics that a reader likely will not need to look things up in different sources to understand the text. Author Philipp Dettmer keeps the tone very conversational and friendly. The science is explained very well, through the use of great analogies. A frequent analogy is with war, and although I found a few of these distasteful, they were great at making the point. Also making the book a great read are the fabulous illustrations (kudos to Philip Laibacher) and Dettmer’s good sense of humor. Even the footnotes keep the same tone as the book and are definitely worth reading. Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Random House for the advance reader copy.
Was this review helpful?
This is very approachable, and definitely something you can use to introduce slightly more in-depth parts of the immune system to young adults! I wish there were more illustrations but they are beautiful where they are!
Was this review helpful?