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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine by Thomas Morris, read by Thomas Morris and Rupert Farley.

  • 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 17th-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 19th-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.

©2018 Thomas Morris (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

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What listeners say about The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

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Fascinatingly gory!

Brilliant short stories from the history of medicine from quack cures to freakish illnesses. Not for the squeamish...

3 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fascinating and thoroughly entertaining

If you've got even the smallest interest in medicine or medical science then this book is essential listening. You do not need to be a doctor as everything is explained in layman's terms.
As the title suggests this book brings together a while host of bizarre medical trauma cases or medical mystery cases along with their cleverly accurate solutions and conclusions as discovered in the 18th and 19th Centuries when physicians and surgeons did not have access to the scanners and X ray machines or clever lab tests of the 20th and 21st centuries.
One thing is for sure whilst this book is not gory it will leave you forever grateful that you were born in this era rather than in the 1700 and 1800s. Yikes!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting and amusing, if a little repetitive

Interesting stories though perhaps would have enjoyed it more as a real life book for dipping in and out, as it was a little repetitive in places and didn’t really keep my attention for the whole of my commute. The second narrator, who reads the excerpts from journals and such, also had terrible pronunciation and a cringeworthy American accent - he pronounced a lot of medical words wrong, which may be forgivable for some, but was a bit jarring to me.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Definitely my sort of book.

The stories ranged from amusing (I shall never resort to using a fork to relieve a costive condition) to the truly horrific (I'll leave you to find out). Never shall I swallow pocket-knives as a party-trick, nor insert anything where it is not intended to be inserted. Not that I've ever been in the habit of so doing, but after listening to this book, even the slightest temptation to do so has disappeared.

The delivery is similar to that of Angus Deayton in his HIGNFY heyday, and I loved the book. I didn't find the explanations or footnotes a problem: they melded well with the main body of the book. If I have a criticism, it is that when incidents based in France were quoted, the narrator did not seem to realise that "M" in front of a French name is not an initial but a title and should be pronounced "Monsieur".

1 person found this helpful

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A he!p with sleeping

Whilst good in parts, I found myself often nodding off listening to this book.! Maybe it should be made into a series as it is rather long !

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brilliantly weird!

hilarious account of some eye-watering injuries, well worth a listen. the narrator delivered the authors dry humour perfectly!

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Very witty and hugely interesting

Brilliantly read using different voices (his own ) to report the medical notes and then commented on by using his natural voice. The comparison between some of the most bizarre historical medical problems to a modern day take on things gives much hilarity. Very funny, brilliantly written and performed too.

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Exploding what now 🤔?? Fantastic listen

Amazingly interesting and bleakly hilarious. Well worth getting for the curious mind and goose throated sufferers enjoy 😉👍

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Hilarious

Loved it. Helpful footnotes for any of the quoted old-timey lingo and funny observations to break up the absurd stories - best book I've ever listened to.

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More books like this please!

Each story is as weird and wonderful as the last. I stayed awake listening to this for hours. The narration is clear and well paced. Not for anyone who might be squeamish but great for those who already have a medical mind or just interested in anatomy.