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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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7108126,466 (3.19)24
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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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
I have butchered many men. All are innocent and equaled when they are on the table. All are exquisite and grotesque.

RTC. ( )
  XSassyPants | Jun 11, 2022 |
I have never felt like such a fence-sitter as I do now, having completed this book.

The story of Dr. Spencer Black is fascinating, if light. The reader gets a brief 65-page write-up of the life of Dr. Black, every moment of it an amazing story. It leaves you REALLY wanting more. More depth, more details, more everything. This story could in itself fill a 400-page novel. Instead we get what we get, with so many of our questions unanswered.

The remaining 140-odd-pages are Dr. Black's Codex Extinct Animalia. Essentially we get a few entries of mythological creatures that Dr Black claimed were once real, and his anatomical drawings of them. At first glance, the drawings are interesting, but after about 3 creatures you realize that there isn't much substance in these entries. Readers that are well-versed in anatomy would find the diagrams lacking, and those without any anatomical knowledge wouldn't be able to make heads-or-tails of it (excuse the pun).

Personally I think this would have been a great sidepiece to an amazing novel of a mad scientist and his decent into the creation of these creatures. But it's not, so I just kind of don't know how to feel about it. ( )
  sublunarie | Jun 2, 2022 |
Very interesting and very creepy. The anatomical diagrams look like something out of a (perverse) medical textbook. I intend to keep this in my library simply because of the *representation* aspect (illustration) of it. Book is very well designed, with patterned endpapers, and even *smells* like an interesting book! ( )
  MarkLacy | May 29, 2022 |
2.5 stars rounded up

When I got the book I was weary because it wasn't a chapter book but a little children's looking book. I put off reading it because of how small it was, I was disappointed at how little pages there were because I had tremendous hopes for this book and I couldn't wait to read it. There are only 61 pages describing Dr. Spencer Black which are divided into chapters, each chapter describes a specific time period in his life ie, childhood, university, etc. That really disappointed me as I wanted to read about his whole life bit by bit because I found the summary very intriguing. I wanted to read about Dr. Black's life and how he spiraled into madness and in detail his creations of sowing the animals together, I got some of it but not enough that I was satisfied. The writing style was nice and was interesting but I wish the author had went more in depth.

The second book in this book was based off of Dr. Black's The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy of mythological creatures. The drawings were really detailed and gave us the exact locations of bones and muscles. Also included was the known information about that animals. I thought it was interesting reading about the creatures and looking at the anatomical illustrations for them. Though this book was just a disappoint in my opinion. ( )
  yulissaeuceda_ | Jan 21, 2022 |
2.5 stars rounded up

When I got the book I was weary because it wasn't a chapter book but a little children's looking book. I put off reading it because of how small it was, I was disappointed at how little pages there were because I had tremendous hopes for this book and I couldn't wait to read it. There are only 61 pages describing Dr. Spencer Black which are divided into chapters, each chapter describes a specific time period in his life ie, childhood, university, etc. That really disappointed me as I wanted to read about his whole life bit by bit because I found the summary very intriguing. I wanted to read about Dr. Black's life and how he spiraled into madness and in detail his creations of sowing the animals together, I got some of it but not enough that I was satisfied. The writing style was nice and was interesting but I wish the author had went more in depth.

The second book in this book was based off of Dr. Black's The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy of mythological creatures. The drawings were really detailed and gave us the exact locations of bones and muscles. Also included was the known information about that animals. I thought it was interesting reading about the creatures and looking at the anatomical illustrations for them. Though this book was just a disappoint in my opinion. ( )
  yulissaeuceda_ | Jan 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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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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