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Adventures in Human Being | Gavin Francis | Review

*Image and ebook provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


"Drawing on his experiences as a surgeon, ER specialist, and family physician, Francis blends stories from the clinic with episodes from medical history, philosophy, and literature to describe the body in sickness and in health, in living and in dying."


The best way I can describe this book is that it is a medical sciences book for the humanities enthusiast, while also being a humanities book for the medical sciences enthusiast. Many of the procedures and anatomy depictions are saturated with medical terminology, but it is also has so much poetry and history. Francis does a great job of seamlessly interweaving history, literature, anthropology, and art with his own history of working in medicine. We get to hear stories about Francis' own patients* as well as his medical training and see how procedures have evolved from ancient times to medieval to renaissance to contemporary. 

Some depictions are rather graphic, so if you are squeamish, you may not like this book. But, for the most part, this book is about the poetry of human body and how ingrained various myths and facts about it have been ingrained in our society. Adventures in Human Being is an engaging blend of autobiography, medical book, and humanities primer. I highly recommend this for everyone except the incredibly squeamish. 

*Names are changed, of course.

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