An outstanding investigation into the functioning of the human body - original, stimulating and highly entertaining.
In this remarkable book Jonathan Miller considers the functioning of the body as a subject of private experience. He explores our attitudes towards the body, our astonishing ignorance about certain parts of it and our inability to read its signals. Taking as his starting point the experience of pain, Dr Miller explores the elaborate social process of 'falling ill', considers the physical foundations of 'dis-ease' and looks at the types of individuals man has historically attributed with the power of healing.
His explanations are so lucid, so wide-ranging and so whole-heartedly entertaining it is often hard to believe one is reading about the facts of one's own body and what can go wrong with it. His use of metaphor and suggestive models, particularly when tracing the historical development of certain leading ideas in human physiology, is highly stimulating. Above all, there is the keen originality and sheer enthusiasm of Dr Miller's approach to his subject which makes The Body in Question such an outstanding book.
“The book will stand by itself as a tribute to the ingenuity of nature and to those who try to unravel its secrets”
New York Magazine
“He manages to synthesize physiology, medicine, psychology, philosophy, history and art with astonishing skill, clarity, erudition and wit... the most complex subjects are rendered comprehensible and entertaining... An excellent book which bridges two cultures”
David Mendel, Observer
“[The Body in Question] reveals the range and variety of the author's skills: those of a physician, (especially a neurologist), a comparative anatomist and a philosopher... Among the various allotropes of Jonathan Miller cited above, we must number also the entertainer and the wit: Miller is exceedingly amusing... His text is distinguished by innumerable felicities of thought or expression”
P. B. Medawar, Times Literary Supplement
“A brilliant mixture of medical, metaphorical and philosophical commentary”
Richard Holmes, The Times
“This tour de force has... sheer gusto and kinetic energy”