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The Nose: A Profile of Sex, Beauty, and Survival Hardcover – August 27, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A breath of fresh air. -- Christian Science Monitor

A quirky, but well-told book that examines its place in history and cultures. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 30, 2002.

Glaser explores all things about the nose and how it defines us. -- NPR, All Things Considered, September 13, 2002

In her deeply researched narrative, Gabrielle Glaser throws herself headlong down the nose's dark and mysterious passageways. -- The Washington Post, November 5, 2002

Natural history meets pop culture. -- USA Today, February 12, 2003

About the Author

Gabrielle Glaser is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Mademoiselle, Glamour, The Washington Post, and Health, among other publications. Her first book was Strangers to the Tribe: Portraits of Interfaith Marriage. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Oregon.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067103863X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671038632
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,645,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a literary academic, I was reluctant to buy this book. We've had a good many books on body parts and "objects," and frankly many of them have been poorly reserached, pretentious, and badly written. Still, the cover drew me and the author's name sang. I browsed. When I turned to Part I and read the first sentence--"In the beginning, the world stank," I was hooked. As it turned out I made no mistake. "The Nose" is an intelligent piece of serious reserach; it never pretends; and it is exceptionally well written. The tidbits Glaser uncovers are often wonderful. Did you know that the inspiration of the first stick-on deoderant was the invention of the first ballpoint pen? But there are major facts here about the nose in all its profiles, and the overarching discussion of "smell" holds the book together, cover to cover. Still, if this book had been only "clinical," the it would be have been less entertaining. What Glaser achieves in giving us, gracefully and with ease, is the almost seamless tale of the nose paralleled by her own personal memoir--of her nose, her chronic battle with her sinuses, her own life of smell, both her temporary loss of it and how she suddenly regained it. So the book is both factual and instructive and detailed (the descriptions of the surgeries she observed and experienced are not for the faint of heart) blended with her life-long relationship to her own nose and its special sensitivities. Glaser is deeply read in the history of her subject, medical and literary, and she has full command of her "object." This book is both instructive and pleasurable.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had heard about this book in a variety of places - a review here, a radio show there. Like the reader from Waltham, I was curious (and dubious). But I picked up the book the other day, and read. And read, and read. Like Glaser, smells have affected my life powerfully -- I recall an occasion at a friend's house where I caught of whiff of the soap my grandmother used. I became so overwhelmed with longing for her (she died years ago), that tears filled my eyes even before I knew what was happening. In "The Nose," Glaser describes precisely the power that odors have on our lives, but so very much more. As someone committed to alternative health, I, too, have often been puzzled by the abundance of drugs and surgery geared toward "curing" chronic sinus problems (which I have suffered in the past). Glaser's chapter on doctors at Mayo who have researched this poorly understood disease makes for riveting reading. So, frankly, does the entire book. (I was a bit puzzled by the inclusion of a chapter on snorted drugs, however. It was interesting, but felt a bit out of place.) At any rate, this is a deeply intelligent, beautifully written book on a fascinating subject. Glaser mined history, pop culture, medicine and science for a wondrous narrative. This is an impressive and important book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Wow! When I heard this on All Things Considered, I ordered it immediately. It's fascinating! I am a Robert Siegal junkie, so when he uses words like "astonishing" and "fascinating," I take it seriously. I always thought I was alone in my nasal obsessions. Glaser points out that throughout history, the nose has mattered immensely. I loved the first chapter, on the history of smells, as well as her introduction. The science chapters are riveting, and she makes an interesting point. If medicine is so good for us, why is my local CVS so full of nasal meds? This is a really cool book. The illustrations are amazing, too. What a great idea - and a great gift idea!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I heard the teaser about "The Nose" on a talk radio show the other day, I couldn't believe my ears. Finally, someone has defined the meaning of the nose in all aspects of our lives - in sex, how we look, how we feel about the things we smell. I am a therapist who deals primarily with women, and at least a dozen times a week, my clients discuss how scents affect their psyche, their work, even their marriages. Glaser's book explores all this and more, in an entertaining and fascinating format. She takes us from ancient Egyptian deodorants to the world of celebrity nose jobs, and she describes (in lay terms!) how scientists are unlocking the mysteries behind smell and the brain. A terrific book for anyone who smells!
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