Friday, September 14, 2018

They Lost Their Heads, by Carlyn Beccia

Perhaps it IS a bit early for the macabre, but it's also a bit too early for so much pumpkin spice*. So I'm just going to go with it.

You know what they say about life being stranger than fiction? Well the decidedly morbid content of They Lost Their Heads: What Happened to Washington's Teeth, Einstein's Brain and Other Famous Body Parts is truly better than anything the Horror Movie industry could cook up. Here, author Carlyn Beccia has collected dozens of twisted and true tales of Black Market body parts**, consumption of vital organs, and other freakish bits and pieces*** from throughout history. Seriously, it's so fascinating you can't look away. There's even a particularly gruesome story about a man who had a 4-foot metal rod driven through his skull...and lived to tell about it****. Although it's true that he was never quite "right" in the head after that little ordeal. You'll find all this here and more. It's actually pretty awesome. Not for those with weak stomachs*****, but awesome nevertheless.

I picked up They Lost Their Heads because my curiosity finally got the better of me, and was SO glad I did. It was entertaining from cover to cover, and I actually learned quite a bit of odd factual info to add to my "Did you know..." arsenal. Such as what happens to peoples' tonsils when they have them removed (eww!), what's really in that seemingly-empty test tube residing Henry Ford Museum's Edison display (hmmm), and just how far an Elvis fangirl went to make sure her collection paying tribute to the King was the best (seriously-EWW!). 

I 100% recommend this one! --AJB

* Which, by the way, has already reached epidemic proportions...and Autumn doesn't even officially begin until next Saturday.

** Stolen, of course.

*** Literally and figuratively.

**** For more about Phineas Gage and his brain, check out Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science, by John Fleischman

***** And perhaps not the best thing to read (or speak about) during mealtime.

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