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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius to madness
Author E.B. Hudspeth, has, through journals, newspaper reports, diaries and letters, made this pseudo-history seem almost real. Thanks to an unconventional youth as a grave-robbing ghoul, Spencer Black was destined to become a scientist, obsessed with reanimation. Parents eh? Black's father unwittingly started something that would consume his son for a lifetime with...
Published 22 months ago by Daniel Cann

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy if you like illustration!
I'm so annoyed with this book. It's looks so gorgeous from the cover. But there is an old saying....
I'm not gonna lie I bought this for the drawings. I waned unctuous Victorian looking creatures bodies and creepy skeletons. I don't care about building up mythologies of fictional people's lives. But therein lies the kicker; most of this book is fiction. The drawings...
Published 3 months ago by Ms. J. A. Wajdner


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy if you like illustration!, 30 Dec. 2014
By 
This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
I'm so annoyed with this book. It's looks so gorgeous from the cover. But there is an old saying....
I'm not gonna lie I bought this for the drawings. I waned unctuous Victorian looking creatures bodies and creepy skeletons. I don't care about building up mythologies of fictional people's lives. But therein lies the kicker; most of this book is fiction. The drawings are the smallest part. And they suck. They really suck. It is so badly drawn I can't express. The heads are drawn out of proportion, (doesn't the 'illustrator' know that the number one rule of drawing heads it that eyes are half way down the face not up in the forehead?) the faces are laughable, creatures do not look seamlessly joined, they look like the illustrator has copied a snake say and then a lion and stopped drawing where they should meet. The hands are classic 'can't draw hands' style hand drawings. It's terrible. I have attached a picture for you to see. Look how flat and weird the hair looks! And it's so poorly presented inside. As i said, I'm proper annoyed at this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius to madness, 1 Jun. 2013
Author E.B. Hudspeth, has, through journals, newspaper reports, diaries and letters, made this pseudo-history seem almost real. Thanks to an unconventional youth as a grave-robbing ghoul, Spencer Black was destined to become a scientist, obsessed with reanimation. Parents eh? Black's father unwittingly started something that would consume his son for a lifetime with tragic consequences.

This book charts a talented doctor and scientist's descent from sanity, respectability and professionalism to obsession and madness, all sadly at the expense of his wife and children.

Hudspeth has cleverly juxtaposed a story about ghouls and mythology with the puritan values of nineteenth century America. Couple the story of the first part with the anatomical artwork and this is a very clever idea expertly executed.

It is a little thin on story, but that is perhaps a deliberate ploy to make Black more enigmatic and mysterious. Suffice to say, I read this quickly and was hooked throughout. This is a Gothic, tragic, and at times, shocking work of fiction. The artwork is beautiful as well as thought provoking; Hudspeth should be applauded for tackling a controversial subject of vivisectionist work and science against the backdrop of a highly moralistic society. Genius to madness has been covered before, but this is a moving and understated work where the realms of myth and fantasy meet the real world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death and Taxes, 19 Jun. 2013
By 
Alex (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
The Resurrectionist is a book that compiles diary entries from a ficticious 'Dr. Spencer Black' as he ascends from childhood into adulthood as a master surgeon, and then back down again as he begins to enter madness, believing that he can recreate the long-since-dead mythological beasts.

The first half of the book consists of his diary entries, all of which are quite well written, if bordering on the improbible at times. While the second half shows anatomical and skeletal diagrams for how mythological beasts would have been 'constructed'.

If you're interested in mythologcal animals and anatomy, I'd suggest getting this book, even if just as an odd curiosity to pick up and thumb through the nice diagrams.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Biology of mythology, 24 Feb. 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
They say not to judge a book by its cover. But with the cover of "The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black," what you see is what you get.

And to be honest, the picture of a winged-humanoid skeleton, with every bone carefully catalogued, was enough to reel me into checking out this book. It's a pseudo-biography of a fictional man who devoted himself to the scientific study of ancient mythical creatures -- and while E.B. Hudspeth spins a fine fictional biography, the illustrations are what really took my breath away.

The book tells the story of Spencer Black, a 19th-century physician whose father was a grave-robbing professor of anatomy. That fascination with anatomy carried over into Black's career -- first he became fascinated by transformation in the insect world, and then by the workings of the human body. But when he encounters the corpse of a "fawn-child," his research took an unexpected turn.

After that, Dr. Black came up with a shocking, controversial theory: that mythical creatures were not only real, but were ancestors of humanity. According to him, birth defects were just those ancient genetic traits trying to resurface. So he tried to create his own "mythical" creatures by grafting together body parts from different animals -- which, unsurprisingly, the scientific community was unimpressed by.

The late 19th century is a perfect era for the fictional Dr. Black -- it was a time of massive technological advances and strange new pseudosciences. Just think of the Fiji Mermaid. So while "The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black" is an entirely fictional work, EB Hudspeth manages to blur the boundaries between fiction and reality -- you can almost believe it is a biography of a real person.

He also does an excellent job writing a pseudo-biography, exploring the events in Black's life (failed surgery, death of his children) that fueled his obsessions. Hudspeth even writes letters to/from Black, as well as a journal entry from his brother Bernard about his first, horrifying "graft."

But the most fascinating part of the book is not the fictional biography, but the "The Codex Extinct Animalia." In this, we can see beautifully detailed drawings of sphinxes, harpies, fluttering multi-finned mermaids, dragons (serpentine and regular), pegasi, and countless other mythical creatures. Not only are these the most realistic depictions of mythical creatures I have ever seen, but they are the most scientifically plausible.

Hudspeth achieves this by examining these creatures down the muscles, organs and bones, which are catalogued in painstaking detail. He even catalogues them by different orders and fictional families -- for instance, the Siren Oceanus is a member of the family Sirenidae and the genus Siren, with internal lungs covered in gills.

"The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black" is an exquisite piece of work -- a solid, sometimes horrifying pseudo-biography, followed by exquisitely realistic depictions of mythic creatures. If nothing else, read this for Hudspeth's beautiful illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and brilliant, 23 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
Easily one of the most haunting books I've read lately. It takes a simple premise and gives you a brilliant story of scientific genius and its subsequent fall into madness and despair, while creating a sense of unease by telling you only just enough and allowing your imagination to run rampant. The collection of 'zoological' illustrations is astounding and in addition to being a fantastic read, the book makes for an amazing idea source for artists and writers wanting to work with mythical creatures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 19 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
This is a gorgeous book; a well of macabre creativity and mythological detail. The marriage of science, folklore and art is beautifully executed and richly detailed, making it an excellent gift for aficionados of the occult. I received my copy as a Christmas present and it looks equally magnificent on my bookcase and my coffee table.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grey's meets beastiary, 28 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
It's really cool, I could go into massive detail but basically it's a cross between Grey's anatomy and a beastiary and it's super interesting
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5.0 out of 5 stars So interesting!, 12 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
This book is really cool and I love all of the illustrations inside. Would definitely recommend as an odd curiosity for book collectors :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars intresting, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
gid this to help me out in a school project, the ilustraton are quite good, i just thought there would be more of them
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice book, 26 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black (Hardcover)
I ordered this book because it is a unique and well written book with beautiful drawings and made a very lovely birthday present.
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