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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure-Trove.
This is a fascinating book for the reason that it is written by someone who is not a practising anatomist. Neither are the majority of the rest of us so it starts well! This book is about so much more than anatomy with minimal use of latin terminology that is so off-putting and baffling to meet. I can remember meeting the words "radius" and "ulna" when I broke my arm...
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. H. V. Minor

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not enough science content
Author Hugh Aldersey-Williams had a real success with his chemical elements book Periodic Tales, so was faced with the inevitable challenge of what to do next. He has gone for a medical tour of the body, intending to reach into the bits we don’t normally find out about to uncover the hot research topics.

After a quick canter through the history of the way...
Published 2 months ago by Brian Clegg


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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Science Book, 14 Dec 2013
This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
Having read his book Periodic Tales and really enjoyed this, I was really looking forward to this one.

The book is split into three sections, The Whole, The Parts and The future.

The first section looks at the the history of anatomy, from the grim ways that early medical studies were undertaken on cadavers that were acquired from executions or other dubious means. There are lots of gross things in this part, I won't enlighten you completely, but it was a grim and sordid task. He also gets to meet his first dead body.

In the second section he goes on to look at separate significant body parts, from the head to the feet, and lots of the bits in-between internal and external. There are lots of facts and anecdotes in all the separate chapters, and he does describe his first dissection of a pigs eye.

The final section is on the future of the human body, and the enhancements that are now available from replacement limbs to medical advances that keep people alive.

He writes in an engaging style, and assumes that if you have picked this up then you will not be a doctor or biologist. The facts are presented clearly, and he does participate in events from watching dissections to sketching nudes for the chapter on skin. Well worth a read if you have managed to avoid biology since school!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to tackle, 22 Nov 2013
By 
A. Horner "Andrew Horner" (Erskine, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
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A really brilliant book, written in an easy and entertaining way without being flippant or below the level of the target audience. Hugh Aldersey-Williams has tackled this at just the right level. The Amazon blurb says the book is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body and this is an accurate description.

I loved it and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anatomies, 14 Oct 2013
This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
In Anatomies Hugh Aldersey-Williams takes a long, hard look at the gruesome glory that is the human body. Inspired by the perplexing decline in efficiency of his bladder, Aldersey-Williams sets out to discover why bodies (or, rather, their constituent parts) work and fail in the ways they do and why said bodies remain so mysterious to their owners. In doing this, he takes the reader on an intriguing journey through the history of medicine and physiology, including a healthy dose of superstition and bonkers best practice, by way of literature, art and philosophy. There's a good amount of solid science in Anatomies but Aldersey-Williams presents his explanations and factoids in a very readable fashion with plenty of emphasis on the oddities of the human condition. He considers not just how we see our own bodies but how we perceive other's and how common (mis)conceptions about bodies have played a significant role in cultural and political life over the centuries. Anatomies is a fascinating (occasionally stomach-churning) book that manages to both inform and entertain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, not what I expected, 11 Sep 2013
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This book more discusses social reactions to part of the body and the theory of how these were constructed over time. This is not quite what I expected but I enjoyed it never the less.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 14 Aug 2013
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Dinah85 "Dinah93" (Cleveland,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
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I got this as it piqued my interest as a medical student, however it's really aimed at a much wider market. The book has lots of interesting facts about the body, rather than being focussed solely on the medicine. There are lots of pictures throughout the book, and it's very easy to dip in and out of. Good for a general interest book if you have an interest in the human body, without wanting anything too technical.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective, 14 Aug 2013
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Priyanka Gomes "PG" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
An interesting perspective. The writer combines history and art in to his explanations of the anatomical parts in a away that captures ones interest
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Dip into' Book About the Human Body, 12 Aug 2013
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G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
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Hugh Aldersey-Williams produced an excellent book on the table of elements a couple of years ago, that was a joy to read - offering a bit of history and a bit of science into the bargain. Overflowing with interesting tales and facts about tose important gases, liquids and solids that our very existence depends upon.

He's now turned his attention to the human body - all parts of it, including the rude bits! - and he's produced another entertaining and informative read. Exhausing research has obviously gone into producing this book, and the author has managed to sift through mountains of material and has emerged with pure gold in his pan.

This would be a great gift for anyone interested in human biology, physiology, or simply for someone who enjoys cramming their head with obscure facts. It would also provide a treasure trove of original material for quiz-setters, or, indeed, quiz contestants.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ramble, 10 Aug 2013
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The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
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I quite enjoyed reading this. It is probably best to see this as a book to dip into. It is well written and informative.
It could be criticises as lacking depth or rigour but that would probably miss the point of the book.

If possible I would have rated this as three and a half stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining, 1 Aug 2013
This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
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This is an accessible, clearly presented book that takes you on a tour of the human body and points out some fascinating facts along the way.

Not too basic but not too focussed either on the biology side of things, the emphasis is refreshingly on the historical and social aspects of the various parts of our bodies as much as anything else, and this makes for an interesting, often illuminating and entertaining book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book to dip into, 29 July 2013
By 
Nick Flynn "NickF" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Hardcover)
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I don't really have much of a scientific bent, but as I get older, I am interested in the human body.

I did not want an academic tome, and therefore was attracted to many of the reviews stating how accessible the book was.

It is well written, not too wordy, and entertaining and has provided me with enough to satiate my need for knowledge.

I doubt that the serious student would be able to learn too much from the detail, but I'm sure they would enjoy it.
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Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell
Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell by Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Hardcover - 7 Feb 2013)
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