Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum

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9780465079681: Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum

We assume we know our bodies intimately, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. How many of us understand the way seizures affect the brain, how the heart is connected to well-being, or the why the foot holds the key to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning author Gavin Francis leads readers on a journey into the hidden pathways of the human body, offering a guide to its inner workings and a celebration of its marvels.

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 life and in death. When assessing a young woman with paralysis of the face, Francis reflects on the age-old difficulty artists have had in capturing human expression. A veteran of the war in Iraq suffers a shoulder injury that Homer first described three millennia ago in the Iliad. And when a gardener pricks her finger on a dirty rose thorn, her case of bacterial blood poisoning brings to mind the comatose sleeping beauties in the fairy tales we learn as children.

At its heart, Adventures in Human Being is a meditation on what it means to be human. Poetic, eloquent, and profoundly perceptive, this book will transform the way you view your body.

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Recensione:

PRAISE FOR ADVENTURES IN HUMAN BEING:

2015 Saltire Literary Award – Non-Fiction Book of the Year
The Economist – Books of the Year 2015
The Independent (UK) – Best Summer Reads
The Guardian (UK) – Best Science Books of 2015


“Gavin Francis's engaging and edifying book Adventures in Human Being breathes life into the study of anatomy by situating it in the larger landscape of human experience, connecting the body to art, literature, music, astronomy, and history.”
New York Review of Books

“This sort of book has been done before but not nearly so well as Dr. Francis does it. He brings certain necessary equipment to this task. These include a keen sense of the marvelous, a prose style as elegant and cutting as a scalpel, and a breadth of clinical experience that is unusual in an age of specialization… Adventures in Human Being, with its deft mix of the clinical and the lyrical, is a triumph of the eloquent brain and the compassionate heart.”
Wall Street Journal

“Delightful... The joy of Mr Francis's work lies in the fact that although he delights in the body's physical reality, he takes care not to reduce human experience to that alone.”
The Economist


“In Francis's beautifully written, exquisitely thoughtful, and completely captivating cartography, the body is a superbly-lit museum filled with treasures, and Dr. Francis the perfect guide who deftly weaves together science and story to reveal the wondrous flesh-and-blood underpinnings of our daily lives. It's a spellbinding view.”
—Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife and The Human Age

“A sober and beautiful book about the landscape of the human body: thought-provoking and eloquent.”
—Hilary Mantel

“Wonderful, subtle, unpretentious.... I have never read a book like this one and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Reading it, you feel better.”
—John Berger, author of Ways of Seeing

“[A] brilliantly original and highly engaging book that takes you on a journey that is both familiar and unfamiliar, a book that marries both the physical and metaphysical with such imaginative wit and eloquence.”
The Independent (UK)

"… It promises an intriguing voyage and delivers it in great style. Thoroughly recommended.”
“So enthralling and so well written that it should win [a] clutch of prizes… immensely engaging and often unexpected… Some of the chapters are small masterpieces of insight and information.”
Sunday Times (UK)

“In a series of deft essays on anatomy, starting with the head and working down to the feet, Francis moves skillfully between the scientific and the aesthetic, anatomical fact and emotional consequence, to craft a profound yet highly readable account of the intimate, inextricable relationship between the physical body and what some still call the soul.”
Irish Times

“Clever, strangely beautiful… The style is crisp and fast and the human tales irresistible.”
The Times (London)

“[Francis] is a fine, subtle and observant writer… this is an illuminating and arresting book.”
Herald Scotland

“A quietly radical, three-dimensional view of issues such as reproduction, birth, death and disability that has the power, at times, to make you stop mid-sentence and carefully reassess some of your most basic assumptions.”
Scotsman

“Since he is both a GP and a travel writer, a better-suited guide than Francis to this bag of flesh, fluids and bones would be hard to find. There is much to astonish in [his] travel through the ‘most intimate landscape of all.'”
Sunday Express (UK)

“It is grand, eloquent stuff, occasionally humorous, frequently moving, and invariably informative. In other hands, Adventures in Human Being might well have become cluttered with cliche, detail or sentimentality but Francis has a lightness of touch that helps him avoid these pitfalls. His use of quotes is sparing but erudite and his lack of self-importance – often a failing in his profession – is welcome. The end result is a thoroughly entertaining, provocative work.”
The Guardian

“That Adventures in Human Being is an astonishing, moving and enchanting book can be explained in part by Francis's unique range of experience, his erudition and his enthusiasm.”
New Statesman

“[Francis] offers an unusually upbeat medical perspective…His essays form a kind of anatomical atlas in which Francis proceeds from head to toe, stopping along the way to explore the lungs, genitalia, liver, and other organs.”
Boston Globe

“[Francis] gracefully integrates elements of philosophy, medical history and literature to add a contemplative element to what is an already mesmerizing book. He writes from a medical perspective without being pretentious, and his simple yet highly descriptive prose beautifully communicates the science and drama bound up in the human form.”
BookTrib

L'autore:

Gavin Francis is a physician and the author of two books, including Empire Antarctica, which won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Costa Prize, and was named a best book of the year by The Economist and the Financial Times. A regular contributor to the Guardian and the New York Review of Books, Francis lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Descrizione libro The Perseus Books Group, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 210 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Adventures in Human Being, with its deft mix of the clinical and the lyrical, is a triumph of the eloquent brain and the compassionate heart. --Wall Street Journal We assume we know our bodies intimately, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. How many of us understand the way seizures affect the brain, how the heart is connected to well-being, or the why the foot holds the key to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning author Gavin Francis leads readers on a journey into the hidden pathways of the human body, offering a guide to its inner workings and a celebration of its marvels. 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 life and in death. When assessing a young woman with paralysis of the face, Francis reflects on the age-old difficulty artists have had in capturing human expression. A veteran of the war in Iraq suffers a shoulder injury that Homer first described three millennia ago in the Iliad. And when a gardener pricks her finger on a dirty rose thorn, her case of bacterial blood poisoning brings to mind the comatose sleeping beauties in the fairy tales we learn as children. At its heart, Adventures in Human Being is a meditation on what it means to be human. Poetic, eloquent, and profoundly perceptive, this book will transform the way you view your body. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780465079681

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