The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine
* a young woman from Providence, Rhode Island whose unfortunate ailment resulted in her producing urine from every orifice - her ears, nose, eyes, navel; and of course, * the clergyman who, in 1817, suffered from excruciating toothache, but found instant relief when his teeth sud... read full description below.
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|Library of Congress
||Medicine - Miscellanea - History, Medicine - Humor
||Humour: Collections & General
||General/trade;Professional and scholarly;General/trade
Description of this Book
During the course of his research, historian Thomas Morris discovered hundreds of gruesome and often hilarious old medical case reports which for centuries have lain unnoticed in archives and journals. Intrigued by his discovery, he posted these bizarre tales on his blog, and before long what started as a niche online compendium attracted thousands of visitors every week. Indeed, one day his blog received 10,000 visits. Gathering momentum, feature articles also appeared online and in major publications such as National Geographic, and Thomas's readership grew to include prominent medical and science writers who retweeted these comic, entertaining stories. With Thomas's witty interjections - sometimes sympathetic, sometimes sceptical, often downright irreverent - and fascinating anecdotal gems scattered throughout, `The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth' is just one of many colourful tales to be found in this cabinet of curiosities. For example, we are introduced to... * a mid-nineteenth-century German boy who ended up with the larynx of a goose stuck down his throat - and who honked accordingly; * a young woman from Providence, Rhode Island whose unfortunate ailment resulted in her producing urine from every orifice - her ears, nose, eyes, navel; * the eighteenth-century man with a fork stuck up his bottom, which was later `drawn out through the buttock'; * the young chemistry student who arrived at a hospital in New York with his penis inextricably trapped inside a glass bottle; and of course, * the clergyman who, in 1817, suffered from excruciating toothache, but found instant relief when his teeth suddenly, and quite inexplicably, exploded. Impeccably researched and hugely entertaining, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth preserves the quality of the original text where possible, and it is largely the voices of the doctors themselves that bring these compelling, graphic accounts to life. However embarrassing the ailment, or ludicrous the treatment, the tales trace the evolution of modern medicine. They also reveal something about the beliefs, customs and culture of an earlier age, and the astonishing resilience of human life, both in body and spirit.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||Delightfully horrifying. * Popular Science * Blending fascinating history with cutting wit, surgical historian Thomas Morris mines the medical journals and explores some of the strangest cases that have perplexed doctors across the world. * Big Issue * A Ripley-esque collection of 'compellingly disgusting, hilarious, or downright bizarre' medical oddities... accompanied by the author's witty and often humorous, colloquial commentary. * Kirkus Reviews * Replete with tales such as the human pincushion and suffocated by a fish , The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth is a bewildering walk through medical history that will astonish readers. This book proves that truth is indeed stranger--and more stomach-churning--than fiction. Between the toasting forks projectiles and deadly dentures, there are lessons a-plenty on how not to die. * Lydia Kang, MD, author of Quackery * This delightfully bizarre compendium of medical mishaps will certainly tickle you--what's not to love about exploding teeth?--but something deeper is at work. Morris offers a wryly generous view of the fallibilities of the body and psyche (read: the sailor who wouldn't stop swallowing knives) and doctors' inventive, often heroic attempts to remedy same, as medical science developed. At heart, this is an exploration of our humanity, in all its absurdity and valour. * Dawn Raffel, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney *
||Bertrams Star Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Thomas Morris worked for the BBC for seventeen years making programmes for Radio 4 and Radio 3. For five years he was the producer of In Our Time, and previously worked on Front Row, Open Book and The Film Programme. His freelance journalism has appeared in publications including The Times, The Lancet and The Cricketer. In 2015 he was awarded a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for non-fiction. He lives in London.