The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Bill Bryson. Doubleday, $30 (464p) ISBN 978-0-385-53930-2
Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling), known for his travel narratives and, more recently, popular scientific works, turns his humorous and curious eye to the human body. Through anecdotes about scientific history and startling facts that seem too extraordinary to be true—the DNA in one person, if stretched out, would measure billions of miles and reach beyond Pluto—Bryson draws the reader into his subject. Tracing the beginnings of the modern understanding of the human body, Bryson introduces his audience to such foundational figures as Henry Gray, whose book Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical (better known as Gray’s Anatomy) has taught generations of medical students since its first publication in 1858, and Wilbur Olin Atwater, a chemist whose 1898 The Chemical Composition of American Food Materials “remained the last word on diet and nutrition for a generation.” Bryson also describes the often bewildering mystery of diseases, the science of pain, and the advances made in medical treatment, all with care and concern. Bryson’s tone is both informative and inviting, encouraging the reader, throughout this exemplary work, to share the sense of wonder he expresses at how the body is constituted and what it is capable of. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/12/2019
Release date: 10/15/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-385-68574-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752691-5
Paperback - 800 pages - 978-0-593-10629-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752693-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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