adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

What won't we try in our quest for perfect health, beauty, and the fountain of youth? Well, just imagine a time when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When liquefied gold was touted as immortality in a glass. And when strychnine - yes, that strychnine, the one used in rat poison - was dosed like Viagra.

Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious "treatments" - conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists, and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil) - that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams. This book seamlessly combines macabre humor with science and storytelling to reveal an important and disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.

©2017 Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Quackery

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    314
  • 4 Stars
    147
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    290
  • 4 Stars
    97
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    12
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    284
  • 4 Stars
    126
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive is an understatement

I didn't get into this book or the performance until I was well in, but I ended up settling in comfortably after a while. This book is CHOCK FULL of interesting facts and kooky treatments; it would be difficult not to get hooked once you get accustomed to the generous sprinkling of gratuitous corny jokes (the narrator does a good job of handling them by the way). It's a good addition to your library if you're into medical history.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

I’ve been waiting to read this book for a while so I was super happy when audible got it, and I was not disappointed. This book is a fascinating blend of history, “science” and wit. I consider myself well read in medicine and medical history and though some stories I’ve heard before, I still learned about from this book! I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t, unless you majored in medical history.

Although the narrator was perfect, I found whatever they used to record her to sound a little too robotic. This distracts from how engaging the book is imo. It wasn’t as bad as other books as I still finished, but I still wish it sounded more human.

That being said, if the title peaks your interest I highly recommend this book as I doubt you’ll be disappointed. However, if you have the time to pick book vs audible, id recommend getting the book due to the slightly “robotic” narration. Or at least give the sample a go!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My New Favorite Book

First, I am listening to another book now, and all I can think about is how much I wish Hillary Huber were narrating it! Her reading of this book was perfect--she got the tone just right, with its mix of grim facts, humor, and fascination. Going forward, if there is a book I am on the fence about, and then I see that she is the narrator, I will buy that book.

Second, I loved the book. Educational, weird facts, humorous, well-research, documented, detailed, sectioned by themes, historical, medical--so much of what I want in a non-fiction book.

The title and subtitle are fairly self-explanatory. Some of the historical and truly awful ways humans have used to cure ailments and boost health include the use of: blood, mummies, color, poisons (tobacco, strychnine, alcohol, etc.), light, water, skin, animal parts, fasting, and blood-letting.

The authors did a great job of being specific and detailed, but never needlessly gory. I was particularly worried about this when I got to the chapter about animal parts, but I was able to listen.

If you have friends or family who are forever getting caught up in trends--I believe that right now it is cinnamon, although the only cinnamon with actual health benefits is both expensive and rare, and too much can be hazardous--this book will give you some ammunition, as in, "Oh, yeah. That sounds like this weird thing people did back in the 1800s."

For any other non-fiction, history, medicine, trends, and sociology fans out there, as well as folks who like the learn while being entertained.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Computer-generated Narrator. Dated Humour.

There are some genuine nuggets of information in this book, but you really need patience to listen to it. It is loaded with the most cringe-worthy humour, laborious chapter headings/sub-headings and an inexplicable choice of narrator. It sounds like an exaggeration, but she really sounds like she is a computer-generated voice. I am baffled. Would someone speak like that deliberately? Is it a real person? The book is already challenged with its writing and they choose that kind of narration? It is the definition of an "own goal."

It's a shame because if it had been written as a straight informational nonfiction book and read by a decent narrator, it would have been perfectly acceptable.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting book

The story is very interesting and informative but narration... whole different story! Sometimes it sounds like listening to computer generated voice. Plus, tons of “any takers?”, “OK?”, “yammy!”, “mind you”, etc are really not this necessary IMHO.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

eh

Easy listening vignettes about various poisons. It seems like the authors are intentionally using as much stigmatizing language as they can. Being deliberately insulting doesn't actually constitute humor but go off.
Ex: Repeatedly say that addiction is a disease, also call alcoholics sots and make frequent jokes about how fun it is to get high and/or drunk.
There's also some inaccuracies and anachronistic takes that a fact checker should have flagged. I'm guessing this was a cheap book packaging deal? Idk. I bought this to listen to while sick and slipping in and out of sleep and it serves that job acceptably. Don't recommend purchasing unless you're running a fever and don't care. In that case, enjoy and I hope you're feeling better soon.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

not bad for it's demographic

I found it alright, although the humor was mediocre at best. There was also a hint of the author's political beliefs in here, though it felt out of place for the book this is. I would have preferred a more unbiased and factual alternative to this book, but for people who enjoy storytelling to compliment non-fiction this is a decent read.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Bad all the way through

lots of shock value with little explanation of the logic or events leading up to the "Quackery ". Plenty of "Oh!" or "Ouch" side commentary all delivered in the slow, sardonic tone of the narrator. horrible book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A fun read

A fun and interesting subject to read. And the narrator is a hoot! Love the humor!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read for nurses

As a nurse I fully enjoyed this book. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, you need a strong stomach for some of these quackeries.

5 people found this helpful