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The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupre
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May 2020: Other Books > The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupré - Sarah Kathryn York - 2*

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Elise (ellinou) | 524 comments Edouard Beaupré was born in 1884 with a disease that made him grow, and grow, and never stop. At the time, he had no choice really but join a circus, because when you measure over 8 feet there’s not much normal you can do. So he toured with a circus for a few years, and died in 1904 of tuberculosis. This very small book is told by a scientist studying his skeleton, which is shrinking, each chapter telling a part of his history, both before and after his death.

I’ll be very upfront about this: the story was not at all what I expected, and that’s why I’m giving it only two stars, because I’m left confused as to what I actually read.

I thought it was non-fiction, a biography of this man, and that the author was the scientist narrating. As such, it was interesting, little tales of his life interspersed with photos. But then somewhere halfway through the book I realized the scientist/narrator was a man, so couldn’t be the author, so was a made-up character, and I was completely thrown, unsure of what I was reading. Edouard had been real, that was for sure, but how much of what I’d read was fact and how much was pure fiction? I was very confused.

Also, just now, I went to the GR page for this book, and in the summary they say this: “It is also the story of an anatomist with a rare disease, whose only cure is buried in the secrets of Edouard’s shrinking corpse.” It is?! I did not see that AT ALL!


LibraryCin | 8007 comments I can't remember what I gave it, but I'm sure I liked it better than you did. It might have helped that I grew up near Willow Bunch and have been to the museum and had some background knowledge, as well.

(Now... off to check my review... Oh, I liked it a lot better at 4 stars.

Here is an excerpt: "I think I initially thought it was a biography, but it’s actually fiction, but it sounds like a lot of research went into it and so it sounds like most of it is probably fairly accurate. I found it very interesting and a little bit sad, for him."

I guess I initially thought biography, as well, but must have switched gears fairly quickly when I realized and enjoyed the book, anyway.


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