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Group reads > The Body-Snatcher (Halloween 2014) spoilers

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message 1: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson

A young man studying medicine in Edinburgh is asked by his professor to be responsible for receiving the cadavers to be dissected by the school's students. Though he knows many are stolen from graves, he keeps his silence. Then one night he recognizes one of the cadavers as the victim of murder. Instead of turning in the culprit, he allows himself to be drawn deeper into the gruesome intrigue. But justice has the last laugh when the evidence of the man's crimes -- evidence he thought long since dissected and disposed of -- mysteriously resurfaces to his everlasting horror.

message 2: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
It's our one day - Halloween read. Honestly who read this? Maybe just me. Oh, well.

Stevenson was a master of suspense. This is a creep fest based on actual events. I have this stand alone illustrated edition - it's only a short story - but I also have this in a collection with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You can read it on-line as well.

The great Robert Wise made a great film with Boris Karloff in the 1940 - it should not be missed.


message 3: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I haven't read this one yet. RLS keeps coming up in conversation, so I think I need to put him on my list. It's been a loooong time since I read him.

message 4: by Buck (last edited Oct 31, 2014 03:06PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments So, I heard the audiobook version of this this afternoon, October 31, some 130 years following its publication. It seems to take a lot of explaining, of setting up, and in Victorian prose of which I am not enamored. But finally, it gets pretty good when Fettes and Macfarlane SPOILER ALERT go together to snatch their body, and then on the return trip in the rain and darkness they get the spooks. The ending though, with the unexpected change of cadaveral identity left me bemused. I didn't get it. But it was fun to hear a scary story in the midst of Halloween preparations.

message 5: by Mmars (last edited Nov 01, 2014 02:45AM) (new)

Mmars | 588 comments Ivan - I'm so sorry.....Looked for it at library one day and didn't find it and then forgot about it. Tracked it down at another branch now, so I'll hopefully get it today.

message 6: by Mmars (new)

Mmars | 588 comments Read it. Personally I like the language. "Late one afternoon the pair set forth, well wrapped in cloaks and furnished with a formidable bottle. It rained without remission --- a cold, dense, lashing rain." Oooh....nothing good could come of that!

I've read a couple books where bodies/cadavers were dug up in the name of science. Michaelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy) did it to study human anatomy for his drawings. It was also done in the U.S.- (an Ann Rinaldi book for YA, though I forget the title.)
So the ending - had the pair gone crazy? It couldn't have been a practical joke. Being a ghost is the "logical" answer. Unless I missed something.

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