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The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido
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The Corpse Reader (2011)

by Antonio Garrido

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Definitely a good historical fiction story. It had flaws and was a little too long I thought. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and did not guess the ending ahead of time. ( )
  scot2 | Apr 6, 2018 |
While this was an absorbing read, and in many ways very interesting, - I know nothing about medieval China - I didn't much care for the protagonist. On reading the historical note at the back I see that he was a real person, who wrote some of the earliest treatises on forensic science. It's a pity he wasn't written as a more sympathetic character. ( )
  Only2rs | Jan 14, 2018 |
"The Corpse Reader" by Antonio Garrido is a historical mystery set in 13th-century China, with a hapless young hero whose fortunes start out poorly and just go down hill from there. Set within such a restrictive society, the young student has few opportunities and fewer lucky breaks.

I was disappointed that the author did not flesh out any of the characters, even the hero. Readers have no clue what most of the characters are thinking, so we have no idea why they take the actions they do. The poverty and injustice throughout the book were depressing, and unless you’re familiar with the Chinese medieval mindset, you can barely relate to the story. Descriptions are acceptable, but given this unusual setting, they could have been a real highlight for today’s western readers.

The book includes quite a few gory scenes (the hero works with corpses), some violence, but no foul language or sexual references. ( )
  mcfitz | Jan 12, 2018 |
I just love stories from/about the Orient. This one takes place in China at the beginning of the 13th century. It is the story of Ci who finds himself an orphan and his struggles to clear his father's name and to stay alive! Ci Song is a scholar and a forensic student. There is much intrigue in the courts and at the palace of the emperor. The book is about Ci Song's bad luck and stupid mistakes. I found it somewhat confusing with the plethora of minute characters. The last third of the book seemed to drag; it was about only one episodic story line. Another downside was that sometimes there was not enough differentiation amongst the Chinese names: Fung, Mung, Fang, Shung, Song, Shur, Shi, etc. All in all though, it was a good average read. 494 pages 3 stars. ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | May 26, 2017 |
This was one of those books that you know very little about when you start it but quickly captivates you and has you hooked. This tells the incredible story of Ci Song and his early life. Ci Song is often known as one of the founding fathers of forensic science, having lived in late 13th century / early 14th century China.
If you are interested in historical fiction, Chinese history or the early days of forensic science I would certainly recommend this book to you. Ci Song has such early adventures it is a wonder he ever lived to become the founding father of forensic science. Three words, read and enjoy! ( )
2 vote Andrew-theQM | Jun 22, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Antonio Garridoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bunstead, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"After his grandfather dies, avid scholar and budding forensic investigator Ci Song begrudgingly gives up his studies to help his family. But when another tragedy strikes, he's forced to run and also deemed a fugitive. Dishonored, he has no choice but to accept work as a lowly gravedigger, a position that allows him to sharpen his corpse-reading skills. Soon, he can deduce whether a person killed himself--or was murdered. His prowess earns him notoriety, and Ci receives orders to unearth the perpetrator of a horrific series of mutilations and deaths at the Imperial Court. Ci's gruesome investigation quickly grows complicated thanks to old loyalties and the presence of an alluring, enigmatic woman. But he remains driven by his passion for truth--especially once the killings threaten to take down the Emperor himself."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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