Death's Acre: Inside the legendary 'Body Farm' Paperback – 14 Oct 2004
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Bass's moving account is a surprisingly accessible read. (THE TIMES)
It embraces some of the great issues: the perpetual conflict of good versus evil, and the human virtues of enthusiasm, commitment and intellectual inquiry. It just happens, also, to be extremely well written. (James Le Fanu, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
Blackly funny and unsparing in its clinical detail, this is a fascinating documentary of forensic research as well as an eye-opening adjunct to the novels of murder and mayhem to which we are addicted. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)
Sensitively written. (INK)
* In 1981 DR. William Bass founded the Anthropology Research facility at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the world's only laboratory devoted to the study of human corpses. This is his personal account of the real 'Body Fam', the only one of its kind in the world.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As background along the way, we are also treated to a brief history of forensic anthropology. We see the development of the science, and how crucial techniques investigators now use in their work first came into being. The “body farm”, of course, does feature, sometimes very heavily, but it is not really the focus of the book. Still, readers who pick this up solely for a book about the farm shouldn’t be disappointed; we still discover plenty about it and its history, still get an insight into its workings, the methods of those who work there to investigate the processes at work on the body after death, and still get plenty of anecdotes about how the work at the body farm has helped in many forensic cases. There’s a wealth of information, but there is a lot more about other general matters.
“Death’s Acre” is possibly the perfect book for anyone who is marginally interested in forensics. It doesn’t glorify it by any means (anyway, is it possible to truly glorify decaying flesh?Read more ›
The fact remains that the study of death in all its aspects is
valuable not only for the secrets of the human story it holds, but one of immense moral significance because it reveals indisputable truths about certain events - and it is truth alone that can alone attain that highest human ideal of justice.
Dr. Bass has done us a great service in enabling the ordinary person a close view of the value of the study of the death process and how he has achieved this remarkable advance in forensic science. I look forward with anticipation to finding and studying his academic articles and works.
Although, as the reviewer below mentions, it is more of a autobiography of Bill Bass than a book solely about the Tennessee Anthropology Research Facility, I think it would have been a rather less-exciting book if it had only focused on the Body Farm itself.
This book contains accounts of actual forensic cases which help to explain how the Body Farm came into being and, rather than being purely factual, the author weaves all of these short accounts into a brilliant true story.
It is extremely well-written and there is a lot of information about human physiology, anthropology and forensics, which, because of the clear and friendly way it is explained, is very easy to understand (there are even anatomical drawings of the human body and skull at the back of the book).
Reads like a novel; you might even find that you learn something along the way.
Very enjoyable read.
Still sprightly in his 80s today, he outlines how he came to the nascent science of forensics many moons ago, citing many anecdotes (both humourous and scientific) to exemplify the pioneering work that he has been involved in. This continual exploration over the years has broadened the limits and knowledge of the subject. Peppered throughout with anecdotes about landmark murder cases and discoveries, he describes how he came to set up the "Body Farm" research project as immortalised by crime novelist Partricia Cornwell.
Read this if you want a sober, non-sensaltionalist introduction to forensic anthropology.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing story of a unique life and a grim but very engaging development of phorensic sciencePublished 6 months ago by a muppet fan
A brilliant book for all those with a curious and ghoulish mindset. A great read, I really enjoyed every page.Published 6 months ago by Carole
I don’t usually read factual books but was prompted to read this one after having enjoyed several crime novels by the Jefferson Bass duo - I was not disappointed. Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2013 by Crimebuff