...somehow manages to pack all the emotional power of that film with far more granular detail and narrative force. I doubt any book on this subject will be able to match its access to the men and women who lived and died through the trauma and the personal testimony that, at times, feels so real to someone who witnessed it that I had to put this volume down and catch my breath ... the merit of this book is that it shows how none of this was inevitable, how it took specific, flawed individuals, of vastly different backgrounds, to help bring this plague to an end in a decade and a half ... the first and best history of this courage.
There are two things you need to know about David France’s book How to Survive a Plague. First: It’s flawless. Masterfully written, impeccably researched, and full of feeling for the living and dead heroes of the AIDS movement...Second: It’s too much. Exhaustive, and also exhausting ... a complete and correct record of this terrible story and its heroes.
...a remarkable book ... The book covers the same events [as the film] but goes deeper and takes a wider, more personal view ... It’s not easy to balance solid journalism with intimate understanding of a subject, and even harder to write eloquently about a disease that’s killing your friends and loved ones. France pulls it off.