The Corpse Reader

Antonio Garrido, Author
Antonio Garrido, trans. from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 trade paper (528p) ISBN 978-1-61218436-4
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-1606-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-1596-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-0791-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-1601-0
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Song Cí, the real-life 13th-century Chinese “founding father” of forensic medicine, has ample opportunity to display his genius in this digressive historical from Spanish author Garrido (La Escriba), his first novel translated into English. Some people in his rural village try to take advantage of the young Cí, with the result that he constantly finds himself in trouble, often betrayed and seemingly doomed to be cast out from any brief haven he finds. At age 16, Cí moves with his family temporarily to the imperial capital of Lin’an, where he gets his medical training in the Fields of the Dead (the cemetery); at the feet of his father’s boss, Judge Feng; and at the Ming Academy, where Professor Ming champions him. When Emperor Ningzong recognizes his talents, Cí is charged with solving a series of puzzling murders that enmesh him in palace intrigues. Garrido’s impressively detailed descriptions of daily life and Cí’s innovative methods offset his hero’s overlong, overdone tribulations. (May)
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