The Mys­tery of the ex­plod­ing Teeth and other Cu­riosi­ties from the His­tory of Medicine

Be­lieve it or not, the ti­tle ac­tu­ally un­der­sells it

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Au­thor: Thomas Mor­ris Pub­lisher: Ban­tam Press Price: £14.99 / $26 Re­lease date: Out now De­scribed on the cover as ‘Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries for adults’, Thomas Mor­ris’ new book is im­me­di­ately given a lot to live up to. Ad­mit­tedly, by call­ing his first chap­ter ‘A fork up the anus’, he makes a pretty de­cent fist of do­ing so. Af­ter all, how can you not read on af­ter that? Gal­vanis­ing this read­erly good will, Mor­ris pro­ceeds to de­tail a whole host of mad­den­ing med­i­cal case stud­ies. Not all of them are as eye-wa­ter­ing as the open­ing chap­ter (even though some seem to have been beamed straight out of Brass Eye, no­tably ‘The boy who vom­ited his own twin’), but each of them re­tains his gift for keep­ing you trans­fixed. Stylis­ti­cally he re­calls Bill Bryson, such is the pure com­pul­sive­ness of his fact­in­fused prose. Hon­estly, we can’t re­mem­ber the last time we en­joyed read­ing a sci­ence book so much. It may not teach you ev­ery­thing you want to know, but it’ll def­i­nitely re­gale you with a num­ber of things you won’t ever for­get.

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