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The Corpse Reader by [Garrido, Antonio]
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The Corpse Reader Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Length: 494 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

A native of Spain, a former educator, and industrial engineer, Antonio Garrido has received acclaim for the darkly compelling storytelling and nuanced historical details that shape his novel The Corpse Reader. This fictionalized account of the early life of Song Cí, the Chinese founding father of forensic science, represents the author’s years of research into cultural, social, legal, and political aspects of life in the Tsong Dynasty, as well as his extensive study of Song Cí’s own five-volume treatise on forensics. In 2012, The Corpse Reader received the Zaragoza International Prize for best historical novel published in Spain (Premio Internacional de Novela Histórica Ciudad de Zaragoza). Antonio’s previous novel, La Escriba, was published in 2008. Garrido currently resides in Valencia, Spain.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1717 KB
  • Print Length: 494 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612184367
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing; Reprint edition (28 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AB09KGO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,299 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 May 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel follows the life of Ci Song (or Song Ci), in thirteenth century China. When we first meet Ci, he is a young man who regrets the fact his father has left the capital city of Lin'an for the village, where he finds himself at the mercy of a bullying elder brother with no respect for learning. Through a series of tragedies Ci becomes a fugitive and finds himself on the run with his sickly little sister, Third. His ambition is to return to the Ming Academy, but he is an outcast with no prospects and is responsible for a seriously ill child. Ci has a gift to 'read' bodies, and an inability to feel pain, which results in his eventually being given a chance to become a scholar again. However, his life has many ups and downs, with all manner of betrayals, difficulties and loss to endure before the end of this novel. During his adventures he travels across the country by barge, works as a gravedigger, meets up with a con man, is resented, betrayed and cheated.

Although this is a mystery, there is much more to the book than just the crimes he is sent to investigate. More than half the book is taken up with Ci's life story before he is ordered to the Imperial Court, to find the murderer of several horribly mutilated bodies. If you are looking for a book with an unusual storyline and setting, which examines the life of this incredible young man who became the first ever forensic science expert, then you will enjoy this novel. It is amazing to think that even though Song Ci died in 1249, some of his innovations are still in use today and he completed the first scientific treatise on forensics in history. This really is an original read and I hope, with Song Ci being a young man at the end of this novel, that he will have more adventures in the future - this is calling out for a sequel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realise I am swimming against the tide here, but I thought this was a great book that had been smothered inside something really quite poor. The main character was possibly meant to be naive or too trusting, but in the end I got tired of 'everyone was against him/couldn't be trusted' as well as getting jaded with the never-ending series of disasters that he came up against - the catastrophes (largely of the character's own making) occurred just a bit too often for me.
The forensics and the descriptions of China were largely okay, but my antipathy towards the main character made me eager to be rid of the book. The writing was very simple (it read at times like a children's story book, apart from the number of dead bodies...) but that may be the translation and there were too many deus ex machina for my taste. Despite the unending stream of catastrophes, I didn't find much tension in the book.

Apologies if you really loved it. It did nothing for me at all and I was heartily glad to be done with it. I have left reviews before where I have disliked a book and then been slammed by someone else who has adored it, so I am now far more hesitant to leave a bad review (which makes me wonder if others are too? The reviews on Goodreads for this are slightly more evenly split between those who love it and those who don't).
If you loved it - great - everyone has their own tastes. This was not to mine, for the reasons outlined, but please do not post diatribes against me because I don't like what you like. Thank you.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Antonio Garrido has here made a gripping historical thriller incorporating real and fictional people. Based on the legendary Song Ci (or Ci Song if you write his name in our language) the creator of the 'Hsi Yuan Lu Hsiang I', which is really the world's first forensics manual as such. With novels and tv dramatisations of crimes being solved with forensics it is sometimes forgotten that this isn't that new an idea, although technology has now progressed and it is universally accepted.

The real Song Ci I don't believe much biographical information is available, so because of that the earlier part of his life is here fictionalised. Here we see Ci start off his life not too badly, but things take a sudden change with the death of a relative, and then other tragedies hit the family. Ultimately left to bring up his sickly younger sister Ci's life seems to have taken a drastic turn for the worse, with him having to abandon his ambitions, and finding that he is a fugitive. We follow him through his ups and downs, and when he is asked to look at a dead body by order of the Emperor he finds himself embroiled with the Imperial Court and its life.

This is well researched, bringing to life the 13th Century of China under the Tsong Dynasty, where the country is under attack from the North. If you are thinking that this is just another historical crime thriller though, you would be wrong. This story as such can be seen as a series of parts. Firstly you have the part with Ci growing up and caring for his little sister, which takes in some adventure, then followed by his being called in to look at a dead body. This in itself leads to other horrific deaths and Ci becoming caught up in the subtleties of court life, and then a part which is more like a courtroom drama.
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