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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black PDF, ePub eBook Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotau Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?   The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

30 review for The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darth J

    Morbid curiosity drew me to this book. Seriously, you need a morbid curiosity with this book due to the speculative subject matter and the depraved experiments that are entailed within. The Good: The story is interesting and captivates you in a really twisted way. The level of detail that went into the artwork is astounding, and is the biggest draw of the book. The Bad: The actual story is only 65 pages long. There areclass="gr-hostedUserImg">The Morbid curiosity drew me to this book. Seriously, you need a morbid curiosity with this book due to the speculative subject matter and the depraved experiments that are entailed within. The Good: The story is interesting and captivates you in a really twisted way. The level of detail that went into the artwork is astounding, and is the biggest draw of the book. The Bad: The actual story is only 65 pages long. There are too many loose ends. In conclusion, I really loved this as a whole for what it was. The illustrations alone make this a worthwhile read. This is one of the rare occasions I would recommend buying the physical book over a digital copy because of the artwork. I was expecting more of a story though, and that is the only reason why I didn't give this a whole 5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    It never occurred to me that I wouldn't love this book, but it just never really came together for me, the excellent anatomical illustrations of mythical beasties notwithstanding. The cover itself is riveting, depicting the skeletal structure of a harpy. This is the fictional biography of one Dr. Spenser Black. Son of a grave robber, the seed of madness was planted early. As a grown man, his hypothesis was that we have evolved from satyrs, harpies, the chimera, dragons, and the like. The ways in It never occurred to me that I wouldn't love this book, but it just never really came together for me, the excellent anatomical illustrations of mythical beasties notwithstanding. The cover itself is riveting, depicting the skeletal structure of a harpy. This is the fictional biography of one Dr. Spenser Black. Son of a grave robber, the seed of madness was planted early. As a grown man, his hypothesis was that we have evolved from satyrs, harpies, the chimera, dragons, and the like. The ways in which he goes about proving his theory are grotesque. Had my name written all over it, but it just didn't work for me at all. It made me skim. I hate when that happens.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black I'm pretty unclear on the fiction to non-fiction ratio going on in this book (mythical creatures notwithstanding). However, having endured several semesters of the history of science and cranked out more than one term paper on curiosity cabinets, I can safely say that almost all of this could have been true. Scientists, doctors, surgeons and whatnot by necessity were talented artists (if you don't believe me, check out Galen and Vesalius' circulation dia The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black I'm pretty unclear on the fiction to non-fiction ratio going on in this book (mythical creatures notwithstanding). However, having endured several semesters of the history of science and cranked out more than one term paper on curiosity cabinets, I can safely say that almost all of this could have been true. Scientists, doctors, surgeons and whatnot by necessity were talented artists (if you don't believe me, check out Galen and Vesalius' circulation diagrams). "Resurrectionists" (aka grave robbers and/or body snatchers) were requisite suppliers for surgeons and medical students throughout the 19th century (see also The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London). And, what's more, the natural historians' "cabinets of curiosity" did branch off into the very un-P.C. "freak shows" and circuses. Dr. Spencer Black's tale involves all of the aforementioned elements at their darkest and most horrifying. Convinced that mythological creatures were evolutionary offspurts, and that he could re-unlock the key to past lives in living creatures, Black's descent into madness took quite a few twists and turns. The book is short and full of illustrations, so I don't feel all that guilty not offering much in the way of a summary. Sidenote: As someone who cried during the Fox and the Hound and was left catatonic after seeing White Fang (to say nothing of Old Yeller), there were definitely parts of this that I had to skim.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    According to Dr. Spencer Black, mythological creatures -- mermaids, fawns, minotaurs, etc. -- were the evolutionary ancestors of humankind. In attempt to prove his theory, he ventured down a dark path, cobbling together body parts in the depths of a gaslit storage shed. His progress was cataloged in a number of chilling letters written to his brother, and the result of his work was The Codex Extinct Animalia: A Study of the Lesser Known Species of the Animal Kindgom, replete with detailed anatomical ill According to Dr. Spencer Black, mythological creatures -- mermaids, fawns, minotaurs, etc. -- were the evolutionary ancestors of humankind. In attempt to prove his theory, he ventured down a dark path, cobbling together body parts in the depths of a gaslit storage shed. His progress was cataloged in a number of chilling letters written to his brother, and the result of his work was The Codex Extinct Animalia: A Study of the Lesser Known Species of the Animal Kindgom, replete with detailed anatomical illustrations. His biography, letters, and the Codex are included in this imaginative, wonderfully disturbing book. Black speculated that perhaps the human being is not the best result of evolution; perhaps our ancestors shared traits with some of the ancient animals or, more accurately, ancient mythological animals. Black claimed that scientific evidence proving the existence of ancient mythological animals had been concealed by unnamed parties; taxonomy records were destroyed, constellation records were changed, fairy tales were altered and rewritten, all in an attempt to ignore our true history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Travis O.

    MAY 27, 2013 The Resurrectionist Review Do you remember when horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction were almost as fringe as the occult studies themselves? Unfortunately for many fans of the grotesque and horrible, the stratospheric rise of franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter have, whatever their individual merits, stripped us of our creepers and crawlers, nightmares and madness, and returned them as a sanitized, sterile, and often vapid caricatures for their former MAY 27, 2013 The Resurrectionist Review Do you remember when horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction were almost as fringe as the occult studies themselves? Unfortunately for many fans of the grotesque and horrible, the stratospheric rise of franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter have, whatever their individual merits, stripped us of our creepers and crawlers, nightmares and madness, and returned them as a sanitized, sterile, and often vapid caricatures for their former macabre beauty. It can be tough to find quality examples of twisted fiction in today's saturated market with its deluge of zombies, vampires, and dime-a-dozen serial killers, murderous vigilantes, and caped crusaders. But if, like me, you value true fright for the sake of its uncanny allure, if you like gazing over the edge of the abyss into the quivering, cannibalistic recesses of the human mind, I've got some horribl(ly) excellent news for you. The Ressurectionist, by E.B. Hudsperth, is a one-of-a-kind treasure. And it's damn beautiful, too. Quirk Books is a publisher of books that are, well, quirky. I'd be hard pressed to describe The Resurrectionist so lightly, though. When I think "quirky," I think ironic, dryly humorous and maybe with a tinge of underground dissent or unexpected cuteness. I don't think "mad scientist," I don't think "taxidermy gone knives-to-the-wall crazy," and I most certainly don't think "alternate evolutionary theories, Darwin be damned!" But that's precisely what's the the book purports to be. A fascinating blend of fiction and art, The Resurrectionist sinks its hooks into your guts and doesn't let go as it examines with the unflinching scrutiny of an autopsy the strange life of Dr. Spencer Black and his increasingly deranged work. The first half of the book is that biographic novella, which weighs in at 63 pages; the second half is an equally long full-page anatomical study of some of the most famous creatures out of myth and legend. These include skeletal, muscular, and tissue-level renderings. Hudsperth’s fantastic art is worthy of its own coffee-table book, providing plenty of examples for all levels of horror geeks to learn and examine. Think of this as a Grey's Anatomy of cryptids, and you'd be on the right track. But The Resurrectionist is not a one-trick pony. I might try to sell itself on the merits of the fascinating art in the back, but that doesn't mean the biography is allowed to skid by on easy heels. The study of Dr. Black's life is fully fleshed out and disturbingly believable. For fans of Lovecraft, Stephen King, or any quality horror writer, Dr. Black's archetype will be instantly recognizable: a misguided genius driven to psychopathy by the same enlightenment that elevated him in the first place. Characters like Richard Pickman, the musician in "The Music of Erich Zann," and of course the mad Arab himself would find kin in Spencer Black's spirit. Chronicling the rise of Black from his childhood all the way to his life, Hudsperth’s fictional reconstruction of Black's psyche reveals all the tells of a true madman: early, gruesome exposure to death, a fascination with the impossible, and the deep sense of isolated understanding genius is supposed to bring. His father, a grave-robbing anatomist, often called a "Resurrectionist" because of the bodies he steals, teaches his sons to study closely and carefully the secrets of the human body. By his early twenties, Spencer Black proves himself to be a prodigy surgeon, his genius is fourishing to perform medical miracles that win him fame the world over. But like the many evil geniuses before him, he is impatient with the knife, unsatisfied with the imperfect work it does. He turns to darker, older secrets, to the lore of the old world in which he finds, eventually, an alternative theory to the pervading Darwinian explanation of biological evolution. From this new understanding, he reasons, all of the monsters of myth and legend came to evolve into the human race. This belief drives him to the fringe, much the way of Dr. Taleyarkhan and others regarding Cold Fusion in the twentieth century. In his search for "evidence," Black's chronicler does little to discourage the reader from despising him. It reads like one would expect a textbook examination of a monster to read; the bias is clear and unshorn. This lends a further sense of credence to the tale, since it gives the illusion of a studied and long-held grudge against the man, similar to how we view Jack the Ripper nowadays with a macabre fascination and abhorrence. Indeed, Jack and Spencer share much and more. What struck me most about The Resurrectionist is how well it is put together. The novella is well-written and precisely paced, to be sure, but it works its magic in the conjectured diagnosis of Spencer Black's motive. The included letters from various participants, scribbled nonsense, and circus-style advertisements for his godforsaken sideshows crank the verisimilitude to 11. And, it bears mentioning that the typeface, coloring, and internal layout scream care and attention. It goes without saying, too, that a lot of love was poured into the anatomical portion of the book. Those strange taxidermist drawings are given both reason and justifications for existence by the unsettling tale that preludes them, which in turn requires the drawings to exist. The book could have been like any bargain-bin visual sell, one of the dozens perpetually resident in the Barnes &Noble clearance isles, but the production is as sleek and svelte as can be. I can't imagine this there; it belongs right in the art section, perhaps alongside the fantasy where normally your find art books dedicated to Tolkien and Lovecraft. Part Frankenstein, part Gray's Anatomy, and seemingly sprung from the mind of a man like H.H. Holmes, The Resurrectionist makes it nearly impossible to tear your eyes away from the horror and spectacle it presents. I can think of a hundred people who would find this a terribly disagreeable book.... and a lot more who wouldn't be able to set it down. The Resurrectionist exists with grim purpose and grotesque style, seeking to recapture our fascination with the politically-incorrect freak shows of yesteryear (we call it Reality TV today). For a fan of dark fantasy and horror, it represents the fusing of two distinct lines of interest into a peerless package of twisted genius.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    3.5 stars. Inventive idea to combine grave robbing, and mid-1800s medicine with carnivals and cryptids. Dr Spencer Black begins as an assistant grave robber for his father, then becomes a doctor and a gifted surgeon. He becomes fascinated by the idea that mythical creatures existed in the past, and human mutations (fused digits and other unusual bony and soft structures) are remnants of these creatures in our physiology. Spencer Black begins experimenting on animals, fusing different animals' bo 3.5 stars. Inventive idea to combine grave robbing, and mid-1800s medicine with carnivals and cryptids. Dr Spencer Black begins as an assistant grave robber for his father, then becomes a doctor and a gifted surgeon. He becomes fascinated by the idea that mythical creatures existed in the past, and human mutations (fused digits and other unusual bony and soft structures) are remnants of these creatures in our physiology. Spencer Black begins experimenting on animals, fusing different animals' body parts together, and eventually loses the respect of his peers for his claims and behaviours and beliefs. Spencer appears progressively crazy to others while he travels the world, first with a carnival, then on his own, searching for evidence for his hypotheses and continuing his experiments. Then he disappears. I liked the creepiness and though the style of writing didn't feel 1800s enough, I enjoyed the writing nonetheless. The codex of anatomy studies of various cryptids following the story of Spencer Black is well done, and feels like a serious study by an early surgeon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars A copy of The Resurrectionist was provided to me by Quirk Books for review purposes. 'I have butchered many men. All are innocent and equaled when they are on the table. All are exquisite and grotesque.' Dr. Spencer Black is a controversial surgeon in the late 1870's who has developed a fascination with the deformities of the human body. It's a gruesome and at times shocking tale of the lengths the good doctor would go to in order to continue his research. This/>'I My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars A copy of The Resurrectionist was provided to me by Quirk Books for review purposes. 'I have butchered many men. All are innocent and equaled when they are on the table. All are exquisite and grotesque.' Dr. Spencer Black is a controversial surgeon in the late 1870's who has developed a fascination with the deformities of the human body. It's a gruesome and at times shocking tale of the lengths the good doctor would go to in order to continue his research. This story definitely had potential to fascinate, especially regarding the aspects that Black believed deformities were actually 'evidence of a genetic code that was not completely eradicated'. The idea that mythological creatures were ancestors of humankind is really quite intriguing but unfortunately failed to stir any lasting interest. It all read like a Wiki page: informative yet dry and oftentimes tedious. I think it would have been much more interesting if written as an actual short story or novella rather than a biography. The best part of this book was the amazing artwork included in Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts. The artwork was incredibly detailed and Reading this book as an ebook would hardly do it justice considering this is very much a coffee-table type book. It's also a book that could be read through quickly (considering the text amounts to approximately 65 pages) but considering the style of writing it may be more interesting to read small bits at a time. Overall I found The Resurrectionist to be a macabre tale that will likely interest fans of Frankenstein and Dr. Moreau. The artwork is truly the most interesting part of this book and is worth checking out for that alone.

  8. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Lindberg

    Hybrid Art Forms in Man: At what point does “man” begin and “animal” end? The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black opens with a dense, interesting narrative: the biography of the dark protagonist. Readers tend to get bored with extended narratives, so this introduction is appropriately short. It is a compelling setup, of course, for the illustrations (the latter 2/3rds of book). The author sets the horrific tenor here, enticing the reader to share the excitement that Spencer feels for defi Hybrid Art Forms in Man: At what point does “man” begin and “animal” end? The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black opens with a dense, interesting narrative: the biography of the dark protagonist. Readers tend to get bored with extended narratives, so this introduction is appropriately short. It is a compelling setup, of course, for the illustrations (the latter 2/3rds of book). The author sets the horrific tenor here, enticing the reader to share the excitement that Spencer feels for defining the human condition. Only sensitive readers will cringe at the horror since author E.B. Hudspeth is tactful in his delivery of the macabre. He, like his character Spencer, merely wants to set the readers “free.” True to the role of speculative fiction, he presents art that appears real…then lets the reader ponder the boundary between fact/fiction. The below quote from Spencer seems to echo Hudspeth’s motivation: I hear them marvel at my work—my indignant science. I hear them call out in fear of what they see. And there are some gentlemen who doubt what I will tell them. They call me a liar and a charlatan or a quack. But in time the methods of science that I now employ to convince people will surely set them free—alas, this I cannot explain to the angry fools. The setting is ideal for redefining the nature of “man.” The turn of the 19th century was rich with advances in evolutionary theory, science, and even speculative fiction. Anatomists, philosophers, and scientists ruminated on how far to extrapolate Darwin’s assertions. Most understood that all vertebrates shared a common skeletal structure; but if animals and man were connected in their development, was it not reasonable to reconsider the existence of creatures termed mythological? Were centaurs real? Harpies? Demons? Spencer Black needed to know. Hudspeth uses him to lure us on this quest. There are real life analogues to the fictitious Spencer. Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) comes to mind. A dedicated, philosophical scientist with outstanding artistic skills, he documented thousands of life forms and published his beautiful plates in “Art Forms in Nature” (translated from German: Kunstforman der Natur). But then his fascination with Art-Nature caused an uproar when he tweaked his drawings of embryos in 1874. Haeckel envisioned familiarities across the embryos of fish, salamanders, turtles, pigs, rabbits, and humans; then he represented these in an evocative table. At a time when photography was not practiced, data was art…and vice versa. Some still claim his drawings were legitimate, but in any case, his artistic embellishments stirred a controversy. That controversy is the same the Hudspeth delivers: At what point does “man” begin and “animal” end? The fictional Spencer Black is more corrupt than the real Ernest Haeckel, but now their books share space on my bookshelf. I recommend the hardcopy so you can use it as coffee table book. The anatomical drawings of mythological creatures will certainly entertain and inspire. Preview his artwork at his website: http://ebhudspeth.com/blog/artwork/ .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather Faville

    **This book was received as an ARC from Quirk Books. The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is essentially two books in one, the first being The Life of Dr Spencer Black. Believing that mythological creatures are our (human) ancestors, Dr Black proceeds to embark on a journey of scientific discovery. A journey that seems to slowly drive him into madness and ruins any credibility he may have had within his field of study. I will give word of warning, this section is mo **This book was received as an ARC from Quirk Books. The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is essentially two books in one, the first being The Life of Dr Spencer Black. Believing that mythological creatures are our (human) ancestors, Dr Black proceeds to embark on a journey of scientific discovery. A journey that seems to slowly drive him into madness and ruins any credibility he may have had within his field of study. I will give word of warning, this section is most definitely not for someone with a weak stomach. It is very descriptive and there is a good portion dealing with vivisection, which is essentially surgery/dissection of a living creature. While it is very descriptive and gruesome, I found it also very intriguing and actually wish this section was longer. The second section is The Codex Extinct Anamalia in which Dr Black documents and illustrates his findings of the lesser known species of the animal kingdom. This section is mostly illustrations of various species muscular and skeletal structure done very similarly to Gray's Anatomy. It is well done artwork and for those with great interest in the structure and anatomy of mythological species this is a wonderfully detailed and well done section. I could even see tattoo artists using this as inspiration for pieces. The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is a very unique piece of work that would fit very well as a coffee table book in the right household. Filled with highly imaginative and detailed illustrations and a disturbing view into the psyche of what I view as a highly intelligent doctor turned mad by his obsession.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    Marvelously done anatomical drawings of creatures of myth, but a stale fictional biography. The Resurrectionist was written for a very specific audience – who that audience is I’m not exactly quite sure. It’s definitely not one that I can think of anyone right on hand to recommend it to. Perhaps those that enjoy fictional biographies, somber crazed scientists but in an overall droll package? This is the second fictional biography/autobiography I’ve read and it was interesting to see Marvelously done anatomical drawings of creatures of myth, but a stale fictional biography. The Resurrectionist was written for a very specific audience – who that audience is I’m not exactly quite sure. It’s definitely not one that I can think of anyone right on hand to recommend it to. Perhaps those that enjoy fictional biographies, somber crazed scientists but in an overall droll package? This is the second fictional biography/autobiography I’ve read and it was interesting to see how this was done. I definitely prefer the autobiography approach more so than the biography. Perhaps if it had been written as such Spencer Black would have been more dynamic and gripping of a character. I think it has a pretty accurate flavor of the time period right of the 1850′s to early 1900s. Of the 208 pages, really only the first 65 of those pages are the biography. The remaining portion of the book is made up of ‘The Codex Extinct Animalia’ which is exactly what it is but being of completely mythological and or creatures of legend. Every few pages you’ll see a different creature along with the notes about that creature from Spencer Black. The pictures were fascinating, and even some of the details about the creatures – They were gorgeously drawn, even considering your saw the musculature of them. Students with an Art Major I think would appreciate it. This was indeed the reason why I decided to read it, because I love art. Everything else in The Resurrectionist was rather stale and flat. I was expecting sensationalism, pizazz! – a mad lunatic doctor that performs experiments and was reminiscent of perhaps Dr. Frankenstein – but alas that isn’t what I got. I think there could have been more done to really connect you to Spencer Black to make the reader more interested in his life and then also his work. I think perhaps by keeping the tone of the work so close to what perhaps the time period was, and also too closely to that of a medical or research account of things that it left me as the reader no real desire to know about him or at time to even continue reading. There were also some gruesome scenes of animal experimentation that may not suit all readers. I didn’t mind that because I have a medical background. Also, I believe the blurb on the back gives ample warning of what you can expect by “Deliciously macabre and beautifully grotesque.” Admittedly I really didn’t know how to describe my feelings for this one – I’d have to settle on ambivalent. *A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are completely my own.*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    Morbid. Macabre. Shocking. OK enough adjectives for you. I will warn any readers who are shrinking violets to avoid this book altogether. The Philadelphia's Museum of Medical Antiquities helped in the publishing of this book by providing many of the preserved notes. It is a shocking and disturbing, depending on your mindset, biography of a deeply brilliant and shockingly disturbed Doctor. Born in Boston in 1851, Dr. Spencer Black and his older brother, Bernard, to renowned surgeon Gregory Black. Morbid. Macabre. Shocking. OK enough adjectives for you. I will warn any readers who are shrinking violets to avoid this book altogether. The Philadelphia's Museum of Medical Antiquities helped in the publishing of this book by providing many of the preserved notes. It is a shocking and disturbing, depending on your mindset, biography of a deeply brilliant and shockingly disturbed Doctor. Born in Boston in 1851, Dr. Spencer Black and his older brother, Bernard, to renowned surgeon Gregory Black. Dr. Black was a respected professor of anatomy at the Medical Arts College of Boston. But he had a dark side-many of the cadavers for his research came from grave-robbing. In fact, he took his sons with him on his escapades to find "subjects". The father dies of smallpox in 1868 and this convinces both brothers to pursue medical studies. Both brothers enter the Philadelphia Academy of Medicine and while Bernard is quite a good student, it turns out that Spencer is brilliant. Bernard focus on natural history, fossils and natural sciences. Spencer in his first year begins to specialize in the studies of mutations and focuses on sharpening his illustrations skills by sketching anatomy for other Professors. Eventually Spencer's brilliance leads him getting his own Ward-Ward C. Inside Ward C revolutionary medical procedures cement Spencer's reputation as a prodigy. His illustrative skill has also reached an exceptional level. The rest of the book-using his notes and diary entries shows the slow and steady disintegration of this brilliant mind. His fascination with vivisection and anatomy have caused him to alienate his other colleagues with his bizarre utterances about legendary creatures. I will not ruin the rest-but it is rather shocking and graphic when you find out what Dr. Black has really been up to. The rest of the book, which is divided into two parts, finishes the downright shocking and horrifying biography of a once brilliant, but now deeply disturbed person. I will warn you that what is described, is rather graphic. The second part of the book is the Codex Extinct Animalia- stunning reproductions of his vivisectional sketches. He thought there were real mythological creatures and spent time creating "real life" versions of these mythological beats. Again an interesting, but disturbing look, into a brilliantly decaying mind. If you like horror, I highly recommend this. A beautiful book, well illustrated and of high quality design. This one will grace my tabletop and shock my friends for a long time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Albert

    The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is a throwback to the old horror tales of Shelley, Stoker and even dare I say; Lovecraft. Yes I liked it that much. It is actually two books in one. The first book being the story of Dr. Spencer Black and the second being The Codex Extinct Animalia by Dr. Spencer Black. The Codex is a Gray's Anatomy tome to mythical creatures. The drawings of these creatures are detailed and fantastic. The story of Dr. Spencer Black is something altogether The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is a throwback to the old horror tales of Shelley, Stoker and even dare I say; Lovecraft. Yes I liked it that much. It is actually two books in one. The first book being the story of Dr. Spencer Black and the second being The Codex Extinct Animalia by Dr. Spencer Black. The Codex is a Gray's Anatomy tome to mythical creatures. The drawings of these creatures are detailed and fantastic. The story of Dr. Spencer Black is something altogether different. ...When I was a child I hadn't the conviction against the belief in God that I have now. My father was not a religious man, however my grandparents were, and they gave me a rigorous theological education. I was very much afraid of what we did those nights; of all the terrible sins a man might commit, stealing the dead seemed among the worst. In my childish imagination, God's wrathful arm was ever-ready and ever-present. And yet I feared my father even more than I feared my God... Born the son of a respected Professor of Anatomy, Spencer and his brother Bernard would go grave robbing with their father at the young age of eleven. As he became a young man Spencer then turned his studies to medicine and healing birth deformities. It was here, at Philadelphia's Academy of Medicine that Dr. Spencer Black would come to the theory that would change his life. The belief that birth abnormalities were in fact, the human body remembering what it once was. That the creatures of old, myths and legends, did at one time exist and that we humans, came from this. Unable to convince the colleagues he was once esteemed by, Black turns to Carnival's and Cabinets of Curiosities to prove his theories. One visitor to his show would exclaim - ...After only an hour, the man walked. Everyone applauded but I couldn't; how could I? I saw demon magic, on stage, everyone saw it. The devil has his own surgeon, and I saw him... The story of Dr. Stephen Black concludes in macabre and tragic fashion. Harkening to such excesses of science such as Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Shelley's The Modern Prometheus. There is horror here and it builds as Blacks descends into his own madness. I enjoyed this short tale very much. The artwork in the book is outstanding and the storytelling well paced and suspenseful. I recommend it highly. The book is done by a small publisher called Quirk Books and well worth the search to find your own copy. http://youtu.be/_6bBAvpzGbY Above is a link to the You Tube trailer, it is worth the look.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Naberius

    Dark and delicious. That may sound odd. but this book was the perfect combination of beautiful writing and dark subject matter that made me savor every page. Now, that's not to say that there are parts of this book that aren't a bit disturbing. Some of the descriptions of Dr. Black's experiments aren't for squeamish readers (and I will admit that a few times, I skimmed ahead slightly because of this). However, as much as I was repelled by Black at times, I felt compelled to keep reading. I suppo Dark and delicious. That may sound odd. but this book was the perfect combination of beautiful writing and dark subject matter that made me savor every page. Now, that's not to say that there are parts of this book that aren't a bit disturbing. Some of the descriptions of Dr. Black's experiments aren't for squeamish readers (and I will admit that a few times, I skimmed ahead slightly because of this). However, as much as I was repelled by Black at times, I felt compelled to keep reading. I suppose I was curious to see what he would do next, as he apparently was descending into madness as time went on. I felt the author did a nice job of combining historically accurate elements, such as some of the attitudes in the medical community during the nineteenth century, along with fantastical creatures. Black's decision to join a carnival, with his "Anatomical Museum" is also in keeping with that time period. he writing style is also interesting --- the story of Dr. Black is told as if by a researcher, who has come upon Black's papers and research. It lends an outsider point of view, which I liked. Something else that's really cool about this book is that the second half is filled with detailed drawings of creatures such as harpies and mermaids. I found myself poring over these, marveling at all the intricate detailing and labeling ---- and then wondering about this Dr. Black and the lengths he would have had to go through to make such illustrations. While I don't think this book will appeal to all readers, if darker fiction (and perhaps, even TV shows like CSI or Hannibal) appeals to you, you'll most likely find it a good read. I enjoyed this book, and was very grateful to receive a copy for my review (thank you!!). I've had this book on order for my library's collection, and had been eagerly anticipating it hitting the shelves, so it was a treat to see it ahead of time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    This kind of book has long been needed and I hope more mythical and folklore creatures get the same treatment.

  15. 4 out of 5

    fantasy fiction is everything

    I`m not sure the creature in this book actually exist or not?But it is an interesting book. I`m not sure the creature in this book actually exist or not?But it is an interesting book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This review was originally posted on my blog: www.acreads.blogspot.com. I was so incredibly stoked when I received The Resurrectionist - simply put, it is a beautiful and stunning book. The book is broken up into two sections - first, the biography of the fictional anatomist, Dr. Spencer Black and second, a fictional Gray's Anatomy of sorts, filled with beautiful anatomical sketches of mythological creatures. The Codex Extinct Animalia speaks for itself - it is gorgeous. The sketches are professional and I was s This review was originally posted on my blog: www.acreads.blogspot.com. I was so incredibly stoked when I received The Resurrectionist - simply put, it is a beautiful and stunning book. The book is broken up into two sections - first, the biography of the fictional anatomist, Dr. Spencer Black and second, a fictional Gray's Anatomy of sorts, filled with beautiful anatomical sketches of mythological creatures. The Codex Extinct Animalia speaks for itself - it is gorgeous. The sketches are professional and I was surprised by how accurate they were... well, as accurate as the skeletal structure of a harpy can be.... However, the biography of Dr. Spencer Black is what makes me hesitate about The Resurrectionist. At first, it was what I expected of any story regarding an anatomist and surgeon of the 1800's - grave digging and primitive dissections included. As Black's story progresses, he becomes a specialist in physical deformities and begins to believe that humans must be distant relatives of long extinct mythological creatures (i.e., webbed fingers or toes indicate a historical relation to mermaids). And this is where the story gets iffy. Obviously, Black is disillusioned and his fantastical notions are impossible to back up via science... and, in a desperate attempt to validate his theory, Black turns to really dark experiments....... (dun, dun, duuuun!) Don't get me wrong, this story was riveting... but it was also incredibly disturbing and pretty gory at some points. At times, I found myself physically cringing... and I don't typically get grossed out that easily. I think that if I read The Resurrectionist closer to Halloween, I would have appreciated it a lot more but for now, I found it pretty disturbing. If you're into dark story lines and can stomach some disturbing stuff, go ahead and pick up The Resurrectionist. I can guarantee that you will be blown away by the drawings. But, if you have a hard time stomaching gory images, I'd steer clear - this story probably won't sit well with you.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan (aka Just My Op)

    The illustrations and plates in this book are wonderful, and the book is aesthetically lovely. However, the short “biography” of the fictitious Dr. Spencer Black was more than I could handle. At only 65 pages, you'd think I could manage it, but I threw up my hands (and almost my lunch) around page 46. I'm usually game for something fairly grisly, and didn't have a problem (or so I thought) reading about grave robbers, “resurrectionists,” of the 19th century. Smelly old corpses being e The illustrations and plates in this book are wonderful, and the book is aesthetically lovely. However, the short “biography” of the fictitious Dr. Spencer Black was more than I could handle. At only 65 pages, you'd think I could manage it, but I threw up my hands (and almost my lunch) around page 46. I'm usually game for something fairly grisly, and didn't have a problem (or so I thought) reading about grave robbers, “resurrectionists,” of the 19th century. Smelly old corpses being exhumed and stolen in the middle of the night – hey, no problem. But I absolutely cannot read about vivisection. When I got to the part about crazy Dr. Black's experiments in that arena, I couldn't go on. Yes, I know it is fiction, this particular tale, but it is so very deeply disturbing to me that I am going to have trouble washing the images out of my mind. And this is with not finishing the book. Perhaps people with stronger stomachs than mine will do better with it, but I can't imagine anyone short of a serial killer in training actually enjoying it. Five stars for the creativity and artistry of the illustrations, but all the good is negated by the writing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Barrow Wilfong

    Interesting book, not like anything I have read before, which does not qualify it as the greatest book I've ever read. Still, there were some things to commend it. Hudspeth has written a fictional book in the style of 19th century Victorian writers of science fiction and horror or Steam Punk as it is called today. The first half of the book is the supposed letters, diary and biography of a Dr. Spencer Black who has arrived at the conclusion that deformed people, like those displayed a Interesting book, not like anything I have read before, which does not qualify it as the greatest book I've ever read. Still, there were some things to commend it. Hudspeth has written a fictional book in the style of 19th century Victorian writers of science fiction and horror or Steam Punk as it is called today. The first half of the book is the supposed letters, diary and biography of a Dr. Spencer Black who has arrived at the conclusion that deformed people, like those displayed at carnivals and sideshows are not deformed, but rather transitional mutations as a part of evolution. Furthermore, he believes that mythological creatures, such as Cerberus the three-headed dog; the Sphynx; Harpies, Mermaids and Sirens, Centaurs and Fauns, even angels, are actual creatures that evolved in certain ways, but have simply become extinct. Hudspeth cleverly leaves it to the reader as to whether Dr. Black is authentic or crazy. Black spends a lot of time in his laboratory trying to recreate these creatures by sewing together, in a weird mode a la Dr. Frankenstein the body parts of different animals, creating an amalgam of mythical beasts. The second half of the book is illustrations of the different creatures with an minute listing of each body part, muscle, blood circulation and skeletal frame. Hudspeth offers a unique perspective by providing a small encyclopedia of mythical beasts as if they were real. Therefore, one does not get an artful painting with a history of the myth's origins, but rather a "biological" analysis in the vein of how actual animals are studied. Hudspeth is the artist as well as the writer of this book and his art is fascinating and worth the price of the book alone.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Loureiro

    A very spooky read. A shame that it isn't longer. It's not a ''novel'' persay, but rather the retelling of a mad scientist. First half is the story part, the second half is creepy illustrations and descriptions of the various half-human abominations the Resurrectionist believed to have existed. If you are into horror and cryptozoology, I'd definitely recommend this. If you are looking a more conventional horror novel, then this might not be up your alley. You may however be pleasantly surpr A very spooky read. A shame that it isn't longer. It's not a ''novel'' persay, but rather the retelling of a mad scientist. First half is the story part, the second half is creepy illustrations and descriptions of the various half-human abominations the Resurrectionist believed to have existed. If you are into horror and cryptozoology, I'd definitely recommend this. If you are looking a more conventional horror novel, then this might not be up your alley. You may however be pleasantly surprised!

  20. 4 out of 5

    haton. (ibookowl)

    this didn’t disappoint at all ! my only complaint is that it’s short and the author has no further books published, I’d love to read more of him.

  21. 4 out of 5

    usagi ☆ミ

    3.5/5 stars! There's a lot going on in "The Resurrectionist", guys. It's not all pretty sketches of various people and mythical creatures (though those do make up a pretty big chunk of the book), but it's also all about one famous doctor's descent into utter madness. Or is it? Though this obviously draws a lot on historical bits of Americana (the vaudeville/carnie scene of the late 19th century/early 20th century) and Gothic atmospheric books like "Frakenstein", his tale is short, and 3.5/5 stars! There's a lot going on in "The Resurrectionist", guys. It's not all pretty sketches of various people and mythical creatures (though those do make up a pretty big chunk of the book), but it's also all about one famous doctor's descent into utter madness. Or is it? Though this obviously draws a lot on historical bits of Americana (the vaudeville/carnie scene of the late 19th century/early 20th century) and Gothic atmospheric books like "Frakenstein", his tale is short, and it kind of left me wanting more. If anything, it felt like a bit of a short summary of his life, and only really got detailed when he became obsessed with mythical creatures. Nevertheless, if you want to see some amazing pictures of what could have been our genetic ancestors (according to Dr Black) and be treated to a tale of evolving scientific academia, definitely give "The Resurrectionist" a try. This is going to be a short review, because, well, this is a pretty short book when you take out the massive amount of sketches/bestiary appendix in the latter half of the book. My biggest complaint about this one was although we do get some gorgeous pictures and the story of a man going mad (or is he?), it felt like one big summary of his life. I felt that there wasn't enough detail involved (especially when he starts in with the mystical creatures - only then do we get thrown a bone of sorts), and in parts, generally just felt dry in so many places within the prose. While it draws on famous stories like "Frankenstein" to give us that "mad scientist" feel to things, there were so many things missing. And that was disappointing. But what we did get was great. Not many outside of the US (and hell, even in the US, for that matter) know about the Americana history that is vaudeville/carnival culture that hit its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before it started its decline. We do get a fair amount of detail on that as it is a crucial part to the story, and as there's not much out there in fiction (regardless of adult or YA in genre) that talks about that, I was really happy it was included. Traveling freak shows, genetic deformities, and so forth were apart of this vaudeville/carnival culture, and those details were included, giving us a mini history of how that whole scene came to be, and how important it became to American culture at the time, as well as American medical academia. Other than that? This is going to be a really nice coffee table book. The sketches are breathtaking, but otherwise, I wish Dr. Black's story had been a little longer and more detailed. "The Resurrectionist" is out now from Quirk Books in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance! (posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This book takes a potentially fascinating premise and renders it duller than dishwater. Anatomical drawings of mythic creatures, ostensibly assembled and then dissected (huh?) by the fictional surgeon/vivisectionist/taxidermist/lunatic Dr. Spencer Black, lack explanations of the weird details while taking pains to clearly label obvious structures like the clavicle and the sacrum. The introductory biographical sketch of the aforementioned Dr. Black which begins the book could have benefited great This book takes a potentially fascinating premise and renders it duller than dishwater. Anatomical drawings of mythic creatures, ostensibly assembled and then dissected (huh?) by the fictional surgeon/vivisectionist/taxidermist/lunatic Dr. Spencer Black, lack explanations of the weird details while taking pains to clearly label obvious structures like the clavicle and the sacrum. The introductory biographical sketch of the aforementioned Dr. Black which begins the book could have benefited greatly from more historical research (for example, there is mention made of a "genetic code" in the late nineteenth century, decades before the establishment of "genetics" as a science and almost a century before the DNA "code" was unencrypted) and it was also, as another reviewer has said, "functional" rather than interesting. This is definitely a case where the book should not be judged by its cover.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jes

    Wow, this book creeped me out as much as House of Leaves, but took less pages to do so. I love this style where the fiction is so close to reality, I have to Google to make sure this didn't really happen. The story is believable, noir, and disturbing. The illustrations are beautiful and the way the biography unfolds is mesmerizing. Or at least it was to me. I had a hard time tearing myself away. This isn't a traditional plot, but this is a great book for people into graphic novels, gothic horror Wow, this book creeped me out as much as House of Leaves, but took less pages to do so. I love this style where the fiction is so close to reality, I have to Google to make sure this didn't really happen. The story is believable, noir, and disturbing. The illustrations are beautiful and the way the biography unfolds is mesmerizing. Or at least it was to me. I had a hard time tearing myself away. This isn't a traditional plot, but this is a great book for people into graphic novels, gothic horror, and odd books. This is definitely an odd book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    PopcornReads

    Book Review & Giveaway: When I saw the book cover for The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth, I couldn’t resist it. Once I received my copy and began to look through it, I knew there was a reason Publisher’s Weekly named it a top 10 sci-fi/fantasy pick for Spring 2013. If you’re into dark fantasy with a sci-fi edge then you’re going to be very intrigued by this one. And, thanks to the publisher’s generosity, we’re giving away a finished hardcover copy at http://popcornreads.com/?p=6068.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sapphyria

    The Resurrectionist is a wild tale of fiction but could honestly have been real during the time period in which this book is set. Dr. Spencer Black grew up as the son of a grave robber, eventually making his way to the Academy of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He speculates about there being scientific evidence proving that mythological animals existed and their existence was covered up. After he is shunned from the Academy of Medicine, Dr. Black uproots his family and joins the carnival.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Slater

    When it comes to playing God in the proverbial cobweb-infested laboratory, the one question that science fiction writers tend to focus on is not asking how, but why. Why should we alter the path laid before us? Can His work be improved, and if so, why should we alter it? Will He be ticked off if some poor, lowly scientist decides to jolt a corpse back into the realm of the living? Will there be any consequences (i.e. smiting and/or sizeable lightning bolts hurled When it comes to playing God in the proverbial cobweb-infested laboratory, the one question that science fiction writers tend to focus on is not asking how, but why. Why should we alter the path laid before us? Can His work be improved, and if so, why should we alter it? Will He be ticked off if some poor, lowly scientist decides to jolt a corpse back into the realm of the living? Will there be any consequences (i.e. smiting and/or sizeable lightning bolts hurled from the sky and such) if we decide to tinker with his Divine Plan? Yep. There will always be consequences galore. In sci-fi and horror literature, scientists are always overstepping the bounds of morality, civility and, of course, common sense to make the world a better place. That’s what Victor Frankenstein tried to do when he reanimated a grotesque corpse back to life. And, you can now add Dr. Spencer Black to that list of well-intentioned scientists with a knack for delving into the macabre. In E.B. Hudspeth’s The Resurrectionist, the aforementioned Dr. Black, the gifted scientist who took a wrong turn and ended up at the corner of Grave Robbery Drive and Playing God Boulevard, focuses his entire career on trying to understand why human beings suffer from physical deformities. The book, the first part of which is written as a sort of grisly biography, includes many first-account passages “lifted” from Dr. Black’s personal correspondence. Here’s one that highlights what’s bugging the good doctor: The questions regarding nature’s ability to malfunction disturb me greatly. I never believed in the delineation of God or nature, only that certain laws maintain—one of which is function. I’ve wrestled with the fallibility of this perfect organism—our body. Eventually, the doctor develops the theory that, when a person suffers from a deformity (such as Ectrodactyly, also known as claw hand) it’s really nature’s way of tapping into the previous evolutionary steps that man experienced long ago. Case in point, the doctor—who’s repeatedly labeled as “brilliantly gifted” to drive the whole madness theme home—finds a woman with Phocomelia, or disproportionally sized limbs, and theorizes that her body is trying to jump back down the evolutionary ladder. Since she has tiny arms, an extremely arched back and over-extended neck, her ancestor must’ve flown at some point. So, ipso facto, the doctor believes she must be descended from a harpy, a half-bird, half-man creature from Greek mythology. The biography lists all the ways that the doctor tried to prove that mythological creatures once existed and that we are descended from them: He finds mummified remains throughout the world, publishes papers and books, and even opens a carnival-style freak show to showcase taxidermy mythological creatures such as minotaurs and mermaids—all made by himself, using very fresh parts. The book hints that the doctor finally takes the plunge into madness by creating living mythological creatures—terrible patchwork monsters made from jumbled and mismatched parts, assembled solely because one fallible man believes that all “imaginary” creatures, from centaurs to satyrs, were once quite real. This is Hudspeth’s first book, and it’s a great first effort. The biography-style writing makes for an entertaining read, and the mad scientist tale is spelled out simply and succinctly, which is never an easy thing to do. However, if there’s one big flaw with the book, it’s that it raises more questions that it answers. You never understand how Dr. Black creates his creatures, or which creatures he successfully gave life to or which ones were only taxidermy toys. Also, little information is given about The Sleepless Man (no spoilers here) which is a big letdown, and the storyline gaps (why did the brother rarely intervene?) and the lack of setting detail left me feeling detached at the end. Though the premise is very interesting and promising, the illustrations throughout the biography seemed to outshine the story—which leads us to the second portion of the book. The second part of the novel is a Gray’s Anatomy-style codex of all the creatures Dr. Black believe once existed. The level of detail with these illustrations is enthralling—describing the maddening amount of medical minutiae that the author (who did all the illustrations) included in every illustration is frustrating and doesn’t do the work any justice. The story is a bit barebone, and needs some more narrative flesh. But the drawings are beautifully rendered, and the codex is a fine work of art. If you’re looking for a collection of delightfully deviant drawings with a hint of the macabre, then The Resurrectionist is for you. But if you need a bit more story, a horror classic like Frankenstein might be more up your grim and corpse-filled alley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    I uncovered The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black whilst "window shopping" at a local gaming & book store the other day. I use the scare quotes only because this book took the day's activity and transformed it from just-looking to I'll-have-this-thank-you-very-much territory. After but a few moments of flipping through it, I knew it needed to be added to my already pretty extensive collection of art anatomy books. Where this one differs from the rest of my collection is this: it I uncovered The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black whilst "window shopping" at a local gaming & book store the other day. I use the scare quotes only because this book took the day's activity and transformed it from just-looking to I'll-have-this-thank-you-very-much territory. After but a few moments of flipping through it, I knew it needed to be added to my already pretty extensive collection of art anatomy books. Where this one differs from the rest of my collection is this: it's a complete fabrication, but one done with obvious fascination for biomechanics. This was confirmed by watching an interview at the author/artist's website, in which he details how the book came to be. I recommend the interview, but probably only after you've read the book. Not because the interview is spoilery, per se, simply that it's more fun to discover the book on its own terms first-hand, then learn the backstory. I also recommend that you not read further in this review until that time comes. That's right, go get a copy, then come back after you've read it and we'll talk some more. Yes, I'm recommending it. Go on, get. I'll put a bit of this review behind a spoiler tag... (view spoiler)[So, I'm not saying this is a five star book, but this book is nevertheless a worthwhile expenditure of time, lovely and haunting in its execution. A trained eye, in flipping through the anatomical drawings, will note some pretty big liberties were taken. I won't venture too far into the weeds here, but for instance: a human doesn't have eight cervical vertebrae, nor can the 7th (or even the mythical 8th) cervical vertebra—or, heck, even the first few human thoracic vertebrae—neatly transition into the thoracic vertebrae of a lion, for instance. And before you ask, yes, I have actual anatomy reference books that detail the skeletal structures of both humans and lions in my library, conveniently enough. And while I have zero personal experience with lions, I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours studying human osteology when I was a student at UTK's Forensic Anthropology Center. However, if you view these same images again after having read the front half of the book, you come to realize what those drawings are meant to be, and, at least in my case, I was willing to suspend my initial annoyance/disbelief, and instead appreciate the work on its own terms. Could the book have done a better job at character development? Something to make us care just a little bit more about the people involved as opposed to just examining the insider's view of someone most people would think a madman? Possibly. But that wasn't the point, I don't think. This was meant to feel like a documentary, and documentaries are meant to have that third-person, clinical feel. There's just a tinge of sensationalism underneath it all, as would most likely be the case in any real-world exposé of this sort... and it's actually not that big of a stretch to think that a surgeon like this could have existed. The nearness of it all is what gives works such as this and Frankenstein such appeal. (hide spoiler)] In short, I enjoyed this. I'm delighted it was created, and I hope it does well. It makes one wonder what E.B. Hudspeth might do for his next release. Possibly the intent is to examine the life and times of Alphonse Black in more detail, or perhaps it will be a complete departure from the Black family and this sort of subject matter altogether. Nevertheless, I hope we see more, eventually, after Hudspeth's had time to enjoy The Resurrectionist's debut.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rakib_khan

    Have you ever read a fictional biography where for some of the initial chapters you really thought it was a real character? Well, that is what happened to me with this book. About 1/3rd of the way through the first part of the book I stopped reading and searched for "Dr. Spencer Black" on google and wikipedia to get real info on him and found out he was a fictional character. This was a rather new experience for me. As I am a doctor myself (recently passed) and have the desire t Have you ever read a fictional biography where for some of the initial chapters you really thought it was a real character? Well, that is what happened to me with this book. About 1/3rd of the way through the first part of the book I stopped reading and searched for "Dr. Spencer Black" on google and wikipedia to get real info on him and found out he was a fictional character. This was a rather new experience for me. As I am a doctor myself (recently passed) and have the desire to become a surgeon from the first time I read about the book I was interested in it quite a lot. I mean I am also a huge fan of fantasy genre and who from my background with such interest in books would not love to see a detailed anatomy of mythical beast? The book has 2 distinct parts. First part is the fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, a charismatic surgeon of congenital anomalies. This biography was written with quite a lot of effort to authenticity as far as I can tell as the first few chapters were so believable as truth. Although at first it was a bit boring for this "trying to keep it real attitude", the later parts were quite fast-paced and interesting indeed. This part tells the story of traumatic childhood to becoming an young and successful surgeon to ultimately fall into a dark path of false belief which finally lead the doctor into joining a circus. The story although a bit boring at times really show the effort the author had put into making it sound real. I really get the fact that there are some shock values for readers in some deeds of the doctor but frankly wasn't that surprised or shocked myself. The 2nd part is the best in many regards. As mush as the pictures and little explanatory notes before them was enjoyable the artist also tried to keep things real. Although I can't really get the idea around my head (or agree whatsoever) how the doctor explains he came to believe that mythological creatures are our ancestors I really liked the detailed drawings, and how the doctor tries to co-relate the bones and muscles with those present in human, he also uses quite innovative names for the new fictional bones and muscles. This as a recently passed medical student was really quite fascinating for me. And quite frankly it was not so much like "Gray's Anatomy" but like an "Atlas of Anatomy" of mythological beasts (which is much more interesting in my book). I would really recommend this to anyone interested in mythological beasts or any fantasy fans coming from a medical background like myself. This gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Dr. Spencer Black was a good doctor. His colleagues all respect him. That is until Dr. Black started his own experiments. This book is about Dr. Black and his experiments all the way leading up to his disappearance. In this book are all the pictures of the creatures that Dr. Black was researching. This book is creepy but memorizing at the same time. It was like I was really reading the journal of a mad but brilliant man. I say brilliant because Dr. Black although he may have turned into a monste Dr. Spencer Black was a good doctor. His colleagues all respect him. That is until Dr. Black started his own experiments. This book is about Dr. Black and his experiments all the way leading up to his disappearance. In this book are all the pictures of the creatures that Dr. Black was researching. This book is creepy but memorizing at the same time. It was like I was really reading the journal of a mad but brilliant man. I say brilliant because Dr. Black although he may have turned into a monster in the name of science he still was trying to further investigate and research all that science had to offer. When Dr. Black started creating his own blend of monsters in his lab and the results that was scary. However I was also intrigued by them as well. As you can tell I can not say enough great things about this book. This book needs to be turned into both a big screen movie and television series. Mr. Hudspeth holds nothing back with his first book. I anxiety await his next book. The Resurrectionist is a must read and probably one of the best books I have read in 2013! Don’t walk but run to the bookstore or type as fast as you can online to pick up a copy of this book today.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is the first book I have received through Goodreads, and what a fun way to start! The Resurrectionist is a book in two parts. The first half is a biography of Spencer Black; doctor, anthropologist, taxidermist, scientist, and madman. While Dr. Black is nominally fictional, his story sucked me in from the beginning. It was fascinating to watch his spiral into madness as he goes deeper into the world of his alternate history of evolution. The Second half of the book is a anatomy of This is the first book I have received through Goodreads, and what a fun way to start! The Resurrectionist is a book in two parts. The first half is a biography of Spencer Black; doctor, anthropologist, taxidermist, scientist, and madman. While Dr. Black is nominally fictional, his story sucked me in from the beginning. It was fascinating to watch his spiral into madness as he goes deeper into the world of his alternate history of evolution. The Second half of the book is a anatomy of various mythological beings that Dr. Black was studying. The introductory notes for each entry provide tantalizing details about where Dr. Black found various specimens for study and why he feels the beast in question evolved as it did. The illustrations are simply put, fantastic. with multiple pages devoted to detailed renderings of each animal's physiology from the bones up. It looks like a zoological textbook, only for creatures such as harpies, chimera, and sirens. This book reads like the kind of journal mentioned in various Call of Cthulhu roleplaying scenarios. In fact, it would make an excellent addition to some Keeper's campaign. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with a love of the Mythos or any kind of macabre alternate history.

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