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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black Cover

ISBN13: 9781594746161
ISBN10: 1594746168
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Hudspeth provides the biography of fictional 19th-century scientist and surgeon Spencer Black, whose work takes a dark turn when he develops a theory that birth defects are latent body memories — the body's attempt to return to some earlier, more 'perfect' form. Black's attempts to recreate these genetic models are described through biographical writing and excerpts from his diary, creating an image of a dreadful human who is blinded by his own faulty theories. The majority of the work is taken up with Black's magnum opus, The Codex Extinct Animalia, which contains brief descriptions of the creatures Black created, along with extensive drawings showing their appearance, skeletons, and musculature. While the textual portion of the work is horrific, the artistic portion is almost clinical in its detachment, making the interaction of the two all the more disturbing. The book is a welcome addition to any library of dark fantasy, with its beautiful portraiture and gripping description of a man's descent into perversity." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“The vivid imagery unveiled becomes the dark fantasy response to Gray's Anatomy.” Filter Magazine

Review:

“Disturbingly lovely...The Resurrectionist is itself a cabinet of curiosities, stitching history and mythology and sideshow into an altogether different creature. Deliciously macabre and beautifully grotesque.” Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus

Review:

“A masterful mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe and Jorge Luis Borges, with the added allure of gorgeous, demonically detailed drawings.  I’ve never seen anything quite like The Resurrectionist, and I doubt that I will ever forget it.” Chase Novak, author of Breed

About the Author

E. B. Hudspeth is an artist and author living in New Jersey. This is his first book.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

code7r, April 26, 2013 (view all comments by code7r)
I wish that I could give different ratings to this book as it is really two books in one. “The Resurrectionist” by E.B. Hudspeth contains a story set in the mid to late 1800s about a doctor named Spencer Blank. His story is told through narrative, letters, and diary excerpts. When Spencer Black was a child, both he and his brother would help his father steal corpses from their graves. Their father was a renowned surgeon who would use the corpses to further his research. Spencer Black followed in his footsteps to become a renowned doctor in his own right. Dr. Black becomes obsessed with deformities, which becomes his downfall as this obsession takes over his life and ends up turning him into a mad scientist. This story is not for children. It is rather disturbing (especially with Dr. Black’s wife and the poor beagle) and may give a person some sleepless nights. The story is a fairly quick read as it is only 65 pages long. I am not a fan in general of horror stories, but those who are would probably like to see this as a full novel. I did like the way that the story took place, through narrative, letters and diary entries. It gave it an authentic feel. All in all, I would give this section three stars.

The second half of the book I loved. It is illustrations that are supposedly drawn by Dr. Black. Dr. Black through his madness feels that mythological creatures did exist and he gives us detailed anatomical illustrations of such creatures as the sphinx, minotaur, chimaera, and Pegasus to name a few. Just an example of how detailed the illustrations are, let us take a look at Sphinx Alatus. Dr. Black includes the kingdom (Animalia), Phylum (Vertebrata), Class (Echidnae), Order (Praesidium), Family (Felidae), Genuis (Sphinx), and Species (Sphinx altus). There are a couple of paragraphs dedicated to the history of the sphinx. Then we get to the drawings. There are seven pages where we can see and learn every bone in the sphinx and the musculature. We see the sphinx from the front, back and sides. Each bone and each muscle are labeled. I almost feel as though this creature was real! The drawings are excellent and no detail is left uncovered. This half of the book could have been a stand alone. This section I give five stars. So, between the first and the second half, I will give it four stars all together.

If you are a fan of disturbing stories, then you will love this book. If you are a fan of detailed anatomical drawings, then you will love this book. I do feel that the first part could have been more fleshed out, but it was a nice setup to the second half of the book. This book is not for everyone, but I am glad that I gave it a try. It is appropriate for teenagers and up, although the drawings would probably appeal to children.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594746161
Subtitle:
The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
Author:
Hudspeth, E. B.
Publisher:
Quirk Books
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130521
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
10.8 x 7.9 x 0.81 in 1.8 lb

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Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black Sale Hardcover
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$9.98 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Quirk Books - English 9781594746161 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Hudspeth provides the biography of fictional 19th-century scientist and surgeon Spencer Black, whose work takes a dark turn when he develops a theory that birth defects are latent body memories — the body's attempt to return to some earlier, more 'perfect' form. Black's attempts to recreate these genetic models are described through biographical writing and excerpts from his diary, creating an image of a dreadful human who is blinded by his own faulty theories. The majority of the work is taken up with Black's magnum opus, The Codex Extinct Animalia, which contains brief descriptions of the creatures Black created, along with extensive drawings showing their appearance, skeletons, and musculature. While the textual portion of the work is horrific, the artistic portion is almost clinical in its detachment, making the interaction of the two all the more disturbing. The book is a welcome addition to any library of dark fantasy, with its beautiful portraiture and gripping description of a man's descent into perversity." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “The vivid imagery unveiled becomes the dark fantasy response to Gray's Anatomy.”
"Review" by , “Disturbingly lovely...The Resurrectionist is itself a cabinet of curiosities, stitching history and mythology and sideshow into an altogether different creature. Deliciously macabre and beautifully grotesque.”
"Review" by , “A masterful mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe and Jorge Luis Borges, with the added allure of gorgeous, demonically detailed drawings.  I’ve never seen anything quite like The Resurrectionist, and I doubt that I will ever forget it.”
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