The Resurrectionist

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

Can I just start out by saying that I was THRILLED when Eric from Quirk Books sent me the summary of this book?! It instantly caught my attention, especially when he said it was a "cross between Mary Shelly's Frakenstein and Gray's Anatomy." I mean seriously, how could that NOT get you excited?! It was hard, but I saved it to read during Dewey's Read-a-thon, and enjoyed it in one sitting!

About the book:
Philadelphia. The late 1870s. A city of cobblestone sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages. Home to the famous anatomist and surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a “resurrectionist” (aka grave robber), Dr. Black studied 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 his humble beginnings to 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 black-and-white anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

My thoughts:
I absolutely LOVED The Resurrectionist. It really is two books in one, and both are exceptional. The first half of the book is all about Dr. Spencer Black. Hudspeth put this part of the book together as if it were a short biography of the mysterious Dr. Black, gathered through letters and journal entries. As I was reading, it was easy to get caught up in the story and almost forget that this was fiction. I loved that. There was a lot of mystery surrounding Dr. Black, however I do think that his character could be flushed out a bit more. I understand we need mystery, but I would have loved to know a bit more about him.
I also really enjoyed the inclusion of journal entries and letters throughout the first half of this book. It added a dose of historical relevance and dialogue that illustrates just how ahead of his times Dr. Black was.
The second part of this book is in one word stunning. Hudspeth is a masterful artist. The Codex Extinct Animalia reads like a beautiful anatomy text. This is not only Dr. Black's crowning jewel, but E.B. Hudspeth's as well. The artwork within is simply incredible. My breath was taken away more than once as I read through The Codex. Extremely detailed is both illustration and text, this second half of the book is more than worth the splurge of glossy hardcover. With anatomical renderings of such animals as Pegasus Gorgonis, Ganesha Orientis, and Minotaurus Asterion, you will be blown away and transported to another worth where these creatures just could exist.
The Resurrectionist is incredible. It is one of those stories that comes around once in a blue moon and leaves you wondering how one mind can create such mystery and beauty.

4 stars! Great read!!!
As if you need any more convincing... check out this youtube video, A Conversation with E.B. Hudspeth

About the author:
Author E.B. Hudspeth is an artist and author living in New Jersey with his wife and two children. This is his first book.

{Summary, book & author information, and video provided by Quirk Books}

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: This book was received from the publisher for a fair and honest review
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1 comment:

  1. What a good review. I am so looking forward to reading this. My only question before your review, I think you answered. I read almost all my books on Kindle now (black & white e-ink). I am afraid the illustrations in this book will not make the conversion well. Have you heard of anyone reading or reviewing the Kindle format of this? But, like your review says, I bet it will be worth the splurge for the hardcover. Time to put it on my shopping list. :-)