Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black, by E.B. Hudspeth

Rating: 4/5
192 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Library book

Description: 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.

Review: I loved the detail in the pictures of The Codex Extinct Animalia.The artwork, a sample of which is on the cover, is amazing. I spent a couple of hours looking at them in detail, and, sadly, there's not that many mythological creatures covered.

The story itself was less satisfying. Its not badly written, and there's a nice touch of ambiguity to the fate of Dr. Black and a few other characters. And I liked the characters a lot, which I think was the biggest flaw.

Due to the format, a collection of letters and diary entries, we get to know the characters, but we don't really get to spend a lot of time with them. While I really wouldn't want the ending to be changed, I would have liked to see the events leading up to it fleshed out a bit more thoroughly.

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