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Horrible histories for adults, these gruesome, bizarre and often hilarious medical case histories trace the evolution of modern medicine and the astonishing resilience of human life, both in body and spirit!

· A mysterious epidemic of dental explosions…
· A teenage boy who got his wick stuck in a candlestick...
· A remarkable woman who, like a human fountain, spurted urine from virtually every orifice...

These are just a few of the anecdotal gems that have until now lain undiscovered in medical journals for centuries. This fascinating collection of historical curiosities explores some of the strangest cases that have perplexed doctors across the world.

From seventeenth-century Holland to Tsarist Russia, from rural Canada to a whaler in the Pacific, many are monuments to human stupidity – such as the sailor who swallowed dozens of penknives to amuse his shipmates, or the chemistry student who in 1850 arrived at a hospital in New York with his penis trapped inside a bottle, having unwisely decided to relieve himself into a vessel containing highly reactive potassium. Others demonstrate exceptional surgical ingenuity long before the advent of anaesthesia – such as a daring nineteenth-century operation to remove a metal fragment from beneath a conscious patient’s heart. We also hear of the weird, often hilarious remedies employed by physicians of yore – from crow’s vomit to port-wine enemas – the hazards of such everyday objects as cucumbers and false teeth, and miraculous recovery from apparently terminal injuries.

Blending fascinating history with lacerating wit, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth will take you on a tour of some of the funniest, strangest and most wince-inducing corners of medical history.

Reviews

Delightfully horrifying.

Popular Science

Blending fascinating history with cutting wit, surgical historian Thomas Morris mines the medical journals and explores some of the strangest cases that have perplexed doctors across the world.

Big Issue

A Ripley-esque collection of 'compellingly disgusting, hilarious, or downright bizarre' medical oddities... accompanied by the author's witty and often humorous, colloquial commentary.

Kirkus Reviews

Replete with tales such as "the human pincushion" and "suffocated by a fish", The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth is a bewildering walk through medical history that will astonish readers. This book proves that truth is indeed stranger--and more stomach-churning--than fiction. Between the toasting forks projectiles and deadly dentures, there are lessons a-plenty on how not to die.

Lydia Kang, MD, author of Quackery

This delightfully bizarre compendium of medical mishaps will certainly tickle you--what's not to love about exploding teeth?--but something deeper is at work. Morris offers a wryly generous view of the fallibilities of the body and psyche (read: the sailor who wouldn't stop swallowing knives) and doctors' inventive, often heroic attempts to remedy same, as medical science developed. At heart, this is an exploration of our humanity, in all its absurdity and valour.

Dawn Raffel, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney

The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth is such a weirdly wonderful tour through the history of medicine - from wandering bullets to apparently evil cucumbers - that on one level it's just pure fun to read. But Thomas Morris' intelligent story telling also makes it a fascinating look at medical history with all its mistakes, superstitions, and eventual understanding of the ever mysterious human body.

Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780593080320

    October 29, 2018

    Bantam Press

    400 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780593080344

    October 18, 2018

    Transworld Digital

    400 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

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