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Publisher's Summary

A professor of surgery and writing at Yale, Selzer opens windows on the world of medical oddities in this collection of candid, introspective essays. His subjects are sometimes grisly but always offer tantalizing insights. Selections including Sarcophagus, Pages from a Wound-Dresser’s Diary, and Love Sick reveal Selzer’s boundless curiosity about medicine, life, and art.

©1979 David Goldman and Janet Selzer, Trustees (P)1995 Recorded Books, LLC

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Before there was Oliver Sacks...

there was Luria and Selzer, bringing the mysteries of neurology and medicine to the layman through rich, sometimes poetic narratives, telling the tales of ordinary people who have had extraordinary things go wrong with their bodies. There is a distance, a gruffness, in Selzer which gives him the surgeon's impersonal removal from the other humans he must cut up (sometimes one feels that Sacks could use some of this professional distance) and yet his absolute devotion to healing and helping others in the way that he has chosen comes through in every essay. Of special note is "The Discus Thrower," a piece I have taught in my English classes for nearly two decades.

(I almost never comment on the narrators, as I feel they should be irrelevant to a book review, even if the book is read aloud, but the narrator chosen for this book is perfect for Selzer's removed first person storytelling.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful