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The Two-Headed Boy, and Other Medical Marvels: The Albany Congress of 1754

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  121 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A successor to his popular book A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities, this new collection of essays by Jan Bondeson illustrates various anomalies of human development, the lives of the remarkable individuals concerned, and social reactions to their extraordinary bodies.

Bondeson examines historical cases of dwarfism, extreme corpulence, giantism, conjoined twins, dicephaly, and
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Cornell University Press (first published 2000)
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Bondeson writes like this is the book he's always wanted to write. Through the whole thing it's like he's saying, "Let me show you my Pokemon cards. I have so many, and I love them so, so much." But, instead of boring little cartoons who can only speak their names, he presents living human beings who were so much more than their problems. Many of these people were once very famous and had all kinds of things written about them so his task is to find out what's plausible and what was just hype.

May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was certainly a fascinating book! Each chapter focused on a different medical abnormality. Some chapters were quite disgusting - particularly the explanation of the 365 children born at once to one woman. While the book was meticulously researched, it lost some of its credibility with the author's own opinions sprinkled throughout. Had Bondeson been less opinionated, I would have liked the book more - his own views just really contrasted with the rest of the historical nature of the book.
Interesting and thorough. The author is very careful to be "scientific" consistently referring to teratolgy and defending his interest in the unusual. Would have liked more genetic information, though I know it can't always be determined what caused a particular mutation
Nov 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, 2007
This is another book I read while in the midst of my conjoined twin obsession and after reading One of Us. Needless to say, it was another disappointment. I'm not sure what Bondeson was trying to achieve: retell myths? use modern-day science to explain these anomalies? figure out whether these myths were based on reality?

Some of his writing was frankly boring. At other times, he rebuked both the common person and the scientifically educated for their lack of respect for conjoined twins and peop
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I am fascinated with the bizarre, the weird, things that defy the laws of nature, and folklore. And this book was certainly filled with human oddities and tall tales. The author does get bogged down in some medical jargon that caused my eyes to cross a few times, but overall it was an informative read with wonderful illustrations. I must say, I even found myself a little squeamish at times, especially considering how a normal human can munch on a live cat...not an image I will forget for a long ...more
The last of Bondeson's oeuvre was a quick read because he's recycled so many chapters from his other, less well-organized books, but overall this is still a very good book. It focuses entirely on teratological deformities (birth defects) with the exception of the last chapter on people who eat living animals. (Why that chapter was included is beyond me.) So, if you like the subject matter and its historical impact followed by an analysis on the medical issues behind the marvels, read some Bondes ...more
Melynda Yesenia
jan bondeson's stable of books for strange readers is impressive. though this one is not his strongest title, it delivers exactly what it promises to.

this is where i learned about hydatidiform moles and where i learned more about madame dimanche. who knew that there was more to learn about the widow sunday?
Aug 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, skimmed
This book is about human physiological anomalies. Like, a lady who laid two eggs. Seriously. It's a long story as to why I got this book, but parts of it were pretty interesting.
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love medical oddities. there are many fantastic images in this one.
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Outside of his career in medicine, he has written several nonfiction books on a variety of topics, such as medical anomalies and unsolved murder mysteries.

Bondeson is the biographer of a predecessor of Jack the Ripper, the London Monster, who stabbed fifty women in the buttocks, of Edward 'the Boy' Jones, who stalked Queen Victoria and stole her underwear, and Greyfriars Bobby, a Scottish terrier
More about Jan Bondeson...

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