NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A must-read owner’s manual for every body. Take a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body in this “delightful, anecdote-propelled read” (The Boston Globe) from the author of A Short History of Nearly Everything. With a new Afterword.
“You will marvel at the brilliance and vast weirdness of your design." —The Washington Post
Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body—how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Brysonesque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular.
As Bill Bryson writes, “We pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted.” The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information. As addictive as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best.
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.
Let me out of your damned site!
Combines education and fun reading
Great walk through the history of human medicine, treatments, great successes, and painful mistakes. Bill Bryson’s clever and clear prose transforms a textbook-esque subject into a fun paperback read.
I learned so much from this book. Informative and extremely well written. Definitely a must read!