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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Careers of some famous unique people in recent history
Extreme hairiness, giants, a human colossus, dwarves, horned people, Siamese twins, gluttons and more, ranging from the 16th to the 19th century. In a few cases comparisons are made with recent examples. The book is by no means an exhaustive overview of the subject. The choice of the author is a personal one, leaving out famous examples like the elephant man or Tom Thumb,...
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Peter De Ridder

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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bore for the boar faced boy
I have read many "freak" books in my day, from the short and sweet to the medical journals, this book although given high praise, which i am still not sure to why, is probably one of the dullest i have ever read.
Maybe it is aimed at people who know little about "freaks" but I was already aware of most of the stories, and the most intresting are the "dog faced"...
Published on 5 Sep 2010 by J. Winn


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Careers of some famous unique people in recent history, 14 Mar 2012
By 
Peter De Ridder (Mechelen (Belgium)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freaks: The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square and Other Medical Marvels (Paperback)
Extreme hairiness, giants, a human colossus, dwarves, horned people, Siamese twins, gluttons and more, ranging from the 16th to the 19th century. In a few cases comparisons are made with recent examples. The book is by no means an exhaustive overview of the subject. The choice of the author is a personal one, leaving out famous examples like the elephant man or Tom Thumb, whose stories were told by others before. It is a collection of freak stories, primarily focusing on the public careers of the protagonists and how they were seen by their contemporaries. They were real celebrities in their time. The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square is included although she is a mere legend. Some chapters give a medical explanation to the afflictions (not always easy to follow for a layman, but never too long). All in all I had mixed feelings reading this book. In a few instances the detailing of the medical background gets in the way of the story; in the chapter of the Biddenden Maids, the story gets bogged down in antiquarian details; the summing up of public appearances can get boring sometimes. In between, there are many good stories to be found here, however, and that is why the book deserves a good rating. The 118 black-and-white illustrations are grouped in the middle of the book and are a good help to imagine the strange world of the book's subject.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bore for the boar faced boy, 5 Sep 2010
By 
J. Winn - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freaks: The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square and Other Medical Marvels (Paperback)
I have read many "freak" books in my day, from the short and sweet to the medical journals, this book although given high praise, which i am still not sure to why, is probably one of the dullest i have ever read.
Maybe it is aimed at people who know little about "freaks" but I was already aware of most of the stories, and the most intresting are the "dog faced" people. Many of the oddities in the book should really be labeled as early urban legends and should not really be in a book about freaks as there is very little proof of these "freaks" existing, which the author actually admits throughout the chapters. which begs the question why use one of these unproven "freaks" as the title of your book.
The choice of illustrations are also rather pointless as there are amazing pictures out there, and the ones chosen are of minor interest.
As for the chapters themselves, they go on for far too long with little information about the medical reasons except for the conjoined twins chapter when this author must thing every one reading must have a P.H.D is medicine, also that we all speak fluent French as throughout the odd french sentence is thrown in with no translation. Which really reaks of protention.

I would say if you would like to read about freaks as a guilty pleasure this is not the book for you at all, if you want to know about medical reasons this is also not the book for you- if you want to know about what some doctors of the time thought of such "freaks" you may find this of minor interest.
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