Review: The Resurrectionist

resurrectionistThe Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
by E. B. Hudspeth

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (May 21, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1594746168
ISBN-13: 978-1594746161

(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)
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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

Product description:

Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

My thoughts:

resurrectionist mermaidA Nineteenth Century setting with dark macabre scientific experiments — how could I not love it? While the book is dark and creepy with a strong Frankenstein-esque vibe,  I don’t think that it is too over the top. Much of the story of Dr. Spencer Black, plays out in our imagination.

Easily the high point of the book has to be the eye-popping illustrations. It’s a book that I plan to keep on my coffee table rather than hide in a bookcase. Sphinxes, sirens, satyrs, and mermaids are all beautifully dissected and artfully displayed for our grisly perusal.

It begs the question, if this is the art of a madman, what does it say about a person like myself who enjoyed it so? Hmmm.

I enjoyed “The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black” and give it 5 skeletal dragons out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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