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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 24 months ago by Mrs. H. V. Minor

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of generally interesting essays on the body
Anatomies is a set of essays looking at general aspects of anatomy or specific body parts from the point of view of science, medical history, art, culture and society. Each is interestingly written and informative. However the book lacks a level of incisiveness (or incision?) to lift it above the growing mass of general science writing.

If you love reading,...
Published 20 months ago by Martin Turner


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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Periodic Tales, 17 May 2013
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Paperback)
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An interesting look at the discovery, exploration and quirks of the human body. Written in an interesting and jocular way, this book details the advent of modern medicine right through to some of the complex chemical reactions that take place in our bodies.
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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 (Paperback)
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reflection on the cultural history of the human body, 31 May 2013
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Paperback)
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Aldersey-Williams takes us on a guided tour of a subject that is both earthily familiar and a great unknown to us: our own bodies. He writes fluently about the history of how our bodies have become known through science and literature, and how that understanding has changed over the centuries. He moves from introducing us to the men and women such as Galton and Hippocrates who have helped us understand the functions of the body to quoting Shakespeare who speaks a great deal about the body, as metaphor, similie and curse. Aldersey-Williams also relates his encounters with a wide range of people who are in themselves experts in their field: neurologists, blood donor nurses, a professional clown, artists (conventional and tattoo), atheletes, pathologists, psychologists and many more. He relates his own experience of witnessing dissections, anatomy lessons and attempting life drawing.

The book is split into three sections which gives it a pleasing and coherant structure. The first part takes 'the whole', narrating how we have historically understood and mapped the human body.

He then goes on to take the parts and how we have come to understand these parts as separate with a chapter on each: head, face, brain, heart, blood, ear, eye, stomach, hand, sex, foot and skin.

And finally he speaks about the future, about meeting a paralympian and how technical innovations can augment and enable our bodies to function.

A real education, a sweeping introduction to the history of how we have come to our current understanding of the human body.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anatomies - a good read!, 21 Mar. 2015
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A fascinating and humorous look at the body and the history of its exploration. I agree with all the reviews!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little anaemic when I really wanted guts and gore!, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Paperback)
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I had a curious relationship with this book. I made a rather foolish mistake re authorship of a couple of popular science books written about chemistry by John Emsley. I muddled up Emsley's book on The Elements - Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements with Aldersley-Williams book on the same subject matter, The Periodic Table. One of the problems with reading books on the Kindle is it is very easy to forget authors and titles, compared to reading a real book, where title and author are permanently in front of you when you pick the book up.

So, I began Anatomies, with somewhere in my mind the idea that Emsley, the Chemist, was now writing about biology, and kept wondering why I wasn't being gripped and fascinated in quite the same way, when I have greater knowledge and interest in anatomy than in theory I do in chemistry. Then I realised that Hugh Aldersley Williams was not the author of those 2 excellent books about chemistry!

This is perfectly entertaining, but it is a much more anecdotal and less scientific book than I was expecting. I wanted sinew and gristle to engage with, not just bonne bouche! I know this is a very different sort of book, but for a more reflective, literary approach to one part of our anatomy, I prefer Gail Godwin's Heart: A Personal Journey Through Its Myth and Meanings. And I wish John Emsley would write a book on anatomy!

Its also not particularly well structured, so that, for example, in a chapter about the heart, Aldersley-Williams spends as much time talking about the kidneys than he does the beating organ. And, for my money, misses some really interesting newish information about memory and transplants.

There are also some strange omissions - the lungs for example.

This was enjoyable, but never really lifted me into excitement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Paperback)
Bought as a present very Informative
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Paperback)
Great book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit weak, 7 Mar. 2013
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I was expecting this to be a really thought provoking book which would lead me to want to read more. I personally found it lacked substance and in places seemed ill thought out and rather jumbled. I would have liked the book to have been a little more challenging, perhaps not what the author wanted. Not quite sure who it is aimed at. Not an unpleasant read but nothing special.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, 11 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Anatomies: The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell (Paperback)
I have flicked through the book and it looks interesting but I have not had chance to read it yet
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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 (Paperback - 7 Feb. 2013)
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