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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr.…
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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

by E. B. Hudspeth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
The Resurrectionist is the fictitious biography of Dr. Spencer Black, 0chronicling his life and career, his projects and incredibly strange ideas. The son of a grave robber, 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 novel is actually two books in one. The first, the biography of Dr. Spencer Black, and the second 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. I found the biographical portion of the book strange and at times horrifying and gut-churning. Interestingly, The Codex’s illustrations and artwork are fascinating and beautiful. I never fully understood the point of the book, but did appreciate the beauty. 3 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Jul 13, 2017 |
Horrible book. Like a book version of criminal minds. The guy's insane, his journal writings are horrible and little or no additional information about him are supplied. All vague references to what he did. More info on his "brilliant work on Ward C would have been useful." What happened to him and his brother? Ending left much to be desired. His mythical chimera beings are just plain stupid.

Seems to be put together with snippets of information ( )
  swalcker | Oct 4, 2016 |
I found the main character increasingly disturbing and disliked the disjointed storytelling method of using journals. If you enjoy reading about serial killers from a first hand perspective, and don't mind getting into their head a little, and if you're really dedicated to Victorian Era novels, then you might make it through this one. There were no redeeming qualities about this character at all. The one quality that was initially somewhat redeeming - his scientific curiosity and intelligence - becomes increasingly subsumed by madness. The artwork is amazing, and the attention to detail is wonderful. I really felt like I was reading the diary of a madman, and not a fictional work. ( )
  RecklessReader | Jan 24, 2016 |
I'm having difficulty shelving this, I have to admit. Although this is definitely not a horror novel (for me) it is unsettling, intriguing, and at the very least, interesting. Dark, bitter, and brooding is my jam. It isn't often that I wish a book were longer - in most cases I feel novels could do with removing a good third of useless padding - and being a person who loves a bitter end, I don't care often for sequels, but my word do I wish this were a longer story! Dr. Black is a fascinating, dark character which is my favorite sort. I would love to learn more about his life, his wife, his children, and what on earth happened to them after the end. The illustrations at the end, in The Codex Extinct Animalia are lovely, and I'm thrilled to see a pegasus that doesn't have nonsensical construction for once. I can definitely call myself a fan of novels written as non-fictional accounts, and The Resurrectionist is one of the most fun in that genre that I've yet read (seventh grade me was in love with The Dragonology Handbook!) I eagerly await a sequel!

If you like weird, creepy novels then this is a great and quick read for you. ( )
  fowlie | Aug 4, 2015 |
The Resurrectionist by E.B. Hudspeth takes the form of a brief biography of the notorious Dr. Spencer Black, a renowned scientist whose bizarre beliefs on mutations in the human form lead him increasingly into madness. Interspersed with accounts from his personal letters and diary entries, the book tells the tale of a genius’s fall from grace and his slow steps into insanity.

While the premise is already intriguing, the book never quite lived up to its potential. “Brief” is a key word, as the actual biography part takes up only 65 pages, with the rest being in-depth anatomical drawings of the bizarre creatures Dr. Black envisions in his Codex Extinct Animalia. It felt like a flimsy pretext, as if the pictures – though admittedly gorgeous and just twisted enough so that you can’t look away – were created first and the rest came after. This ordinarily wouldn’t bother me, except it felt like the same lavish devotion that was given to the pictures was not shown toward the story; parts of it felt rushed, and the author missed that balance between “just enough to be scary” and “not so much detail that it doesn’t become scary”. It is the difference between, “You are alone in a dark room” and “You are alone in a dark room when you hear the tap-tap of claws along the floor”. The reader’s imagination is an extraordinary thing, one that horror writers are keenly attuned to, knowing exactly how much to leave to the imagination, but not giving enough just feels cheap. The ending is deliberately left ambiguous, which is par for the course in horror novels, but several times during the story, the reader is left wanting. There is a brief anecdote regarding an incident when “one of his creatures, the Serpent Queen, attacked a member of the audience” but “Nothing more is known about the performance or the victim” (59). Later, there is mention of his son, Alphonse, carrying on his father’s work, but “little is known of Alphonse or his work” (63). There is even another instance where he discontinues the Codex for reasons unknown (66). His brother also disappears mysteriously (65). The story portion, as I mentioned, is only 65 pages; the trick is oversaturated in that short amount of time.

The Codex Extinct Animalia, as I mentioned, has some truly beautiful, bizarre, and weirdly compelling pictures of the anatomical properties of the mythological creatures Dr. Black argues really existed; they are oddly intriguing, but there are so many of them and they are so in-depth that I had to question who this book was really for. Even I couldn’t be bothered to read every single skeleton and muscles that were labelled in each of the drawings. For something that took up a major portion of the book, it didn’t have enough to it to keep it interesting. Some additional notes from Dr. Black, perhaps showing further his descent into madness, might have added something to it to keep the reader’s interest.

A good novelty read, but not something that is destined to make a lasting impression, I’m afraid. Hudspeth’s drawings and writing are more than serviceable, and if he chose to develop them more, I’m certain he could write (and draw) a perfectly chilling novel; The Resurrectionist, however, was just too short and overused the same tricks too often to win me over. ( )
  kittyjay | Jul 18, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hudspeth, E. B.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Horner, DoogieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGurk, John J.Production managementsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dr. Spencer Black and his older brother, Bernard, were born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851, and 1848, respectively.
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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.
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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.… (more)

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