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Publisher's Summary

In December 1667, maverick physician Jean Denis transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen. Days later, the madman was dead and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting expos of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.

©2011 Holly Tucker (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Excellent.... Tucker’s chronicle of the world of 17th-century science in London and Paris is fascinating.” (The Economist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sounds like text-to-speech not narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Can't even give an honest review of the story because the sound is so bad I can't stand to listen to it.

Would you be willing to try another book from Holly Tucker? Why or why not?

Sure, if I could hear a real narrator read it.

What didn’t you like about Julia Farhat’s performance?

Sounds like text-to-speech, over-enunciates, choppy, terrible!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ok Book, Awful Narrator -- Warning

What made the experience of listening to Blood Work the most enjoyable?

Interesting medical history for period about which little is commonly known.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator does not appear to have professional voice -- my wife and I both felt that her inflection and tone were incredibly "grating". Attempts at dramatic inflection just made things worse. Almost painful to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

While enjoyable, it was not such a compelling narrative that I felt the need to get through it in one sitting. Part of the problem was the poor narrator. Listening for too long was just painful.

Any additional comments?

I will exercise care never to order a book with this narrator. Audible should not use this narrator again -- at least for any kind of non-fiction (which is genrally all I listen do).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Is that even a human narrator?

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

After listening to the authors interview on Stuff You Missed in History Class, I was keen to read Blood Work. Unfortunately I could not find it locally and it isn't available on kindle, so I purchased the audio book. I wish I had looked at the reviews first!!!
The narration sounds like a text to speech computer programme. After 2 minutes I couldn't cope any more and turned it off. I'm sure the book is great, but the audiobook should be avoided.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Couldn't finish it

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I couldn't finish this book as I found it sensationalized the gory and dragged out the story

What didn’t you like about Julia Farhat’s performance?

Quality of her voice

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sam
  • brunswick, GA, United States
  • 06-05-13

A great book about history and science

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is one of the best science books I have listened to on audible. Well researched and engagingly written. Tucker builds a compelling narrative around the facts of the trial of Jean Baptist Denis, a fascinating and lesser known participant in the scientific revolution.

What did you like best about this story?

The solid research that underpins this book makes the extraordinary tale even more compelling.

Which scene was your favorite?

Tucker's description of transfusion and vivisection in the seventeenth century are a grisly but fascinating onslaught.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

if it bleeds....

Any additional comments?

Farhat's narration was also very good.

I hope that Audible will publish more science books of this quality and less of the dubious self-help and pseudoscience vanity books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Danyel
  • Speedway, Indiana
  • 02-22-18

Narration is horrible

I will have to read this book because I couldn’t make it through chapter one with the narration.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

amazing!

This a must read for anyone interested in history, medicine, or true crime. the story reads like a novel and contains many excerpts from personal letters that provide insight into the central figures of the story. the author goes into great detail about the historical context and setting.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting story, terrible reader

What would have made Blood Work better?

The story is a bit meandering although some of the most random-seeming tangents (the story of Medea) wind up having some more important meaning later.

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

There are many names of different scientists who are hard to keep track of. I wound up getting the book out of the library to help me out. There was a Dramatis Personae at the beginning that was quite helpful. Adding that as a companion to this would have been very helpful.

How could the performance have been better?

The French pronunciations that would more than challenge me seems accurately enough rendered but the reader is exceptionally robotic.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The author draws parallels between the hysteria around blood transfusion and our current debates about embryonic stem cell research that some people may not think accurate but i thought were very apt. It's very frustrating that religion still had such a say in scientific research.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very entertaining in parts

Any additional comments?

I lost interest in the middle of the book, but it starts out great and ends well. It gets a bit muddled in the middle with more facts than storytelling. Still a great nonfiction work.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting and Insightful

Loved this book left me wanting more. It truly shows me that we really do affect the future.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful