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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black Hardcover – May 21, 2013


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The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black + The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594746168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594746161
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Color us captivated. This collection seems a treat for anatomy enthusiasts and creaturephiles alike."—io9

“E.B. Hudspeth’s The Resurrectionist is PFA (that’s pretty freaking amazing)”—ComicsBeat.com
 
“These detailed and fantastical drawings will intrigue any reader curious about the hypothetical anatomy of mythical creatures such as mermaids, minotaurs, and harpies. In the context of the story that precedes them, they prompt disquieting thoughts about the extreme lengths to which the fictional Dr. Black may have been willing to go to prove his assumptions, and what—or who—may have served as his models.”—ForeWord Reviews
 
“…a bit of Charles Darwin and a bit of P.T. Barnum.”—Inked Magazine
“Doctors Moreau and Frankenstein should make room for a new member of their league of extraordinarily grotesque gentlemen, for there is a new mad scientist in pop culture.”—Aaron Sagers, MTV Geek

“The vivid imagery unveiled becomes the dark fantasy response to Gray's Anatomy...”—Filter Magazine

“The book is a welcome addition to any library of dark fantasy, with its beautiful portraiture and gripping description of a man’s descent into perversity.”—Publishers Weekly, “Pick of the Week”

“Disturbingly lovely . . . The Resurrectionist is itself a cabinet of curiosities, stitching history and mythology and sideshow into an altogether different creature. Deliciously macabre and beautifully grotesque.”—Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus

“A masterful mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe and Jorge Luis Borges, with the added allure of gorgeous, demonically detailed drawings.  I’ve never seen anything quite like The Resurrectionist, and I doubt that I will ever forget it.”—Chase Novak, author of Breed

About the Author

E. B. HUDSPETH is an artist and author living in New Jersey. This is his first book.

More About the Author

Eric was raised in Colorado but lived in several states throughout the U.S. while growing up. He worked as a snow and ice sculptor for nearly ten years, always writing and painting. His love for the arts led him all over the country and eventually to Pietrasanta, Italy where he worked as a marble sculptor. While in Italy, working on anatomy designs of impossible beings, he created the beginnings of what has become The Resurrectionist. Now living in New Jersey with his wife and two children, Eric continues to work as a professional artist. You can learn more about the book by visiting these websites:
www.quirkbooks.com/TheResurrectionist
www.ebhudspeth.com

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Customer Reviews

Keep in mind it's not a terrible book, it just could have been so much more.
Gaelan
I think it would have been much more interesting if written as an actual short story or novella rather than a biography.
Miss Bonnie
He has a good imagination, a way with words as well as a talent with pen and ink and anatomy drawings.
James R. Holland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By joyful VINE VOICE on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Had the book only contained the intriguing, very detailed anatomical sketches of mythical creatures with human characteristics (or vice versa), The Resurrectionist still would have been a curious but fascinating tome. Hudspeth's imaginative rendering of fantasy in a pseudo-medical setting is ingenious. But the sketches are preceded by a biography of the enigmatic Dr. Spencer Black, which provides a very sinister dimension, one that is only fully realized once the reader arrives at the last set of sketches.

There's a quietness to the narrative style which makes the strange events of his life all the more startling, beginning with a childhood spent robbing graves of their corpses to provide anatomy specimens for his father, a medical doctor. From there, Dr. Black's life seems to settle into normality, only to veer into the macabre, and then the horrific.

Warning: bad things happen to animals.

With the exception of one very graphic scene, however, Hudspeth mostly clouds Dr. Black in suggestive mystery. Is he mad? Is he a genius? A charlatan? What happened to his wife? What happened to him? The biographical section ends with all of these murky questions swirling around. But with the illustrations of these strange human/mythical hybrids, some of them are answered. I turned the last page, thinking, "Oh!"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Terry Weyna on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The first 65 pages of The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth is a fascinating “biography” of the titular doctor, a man who believed that the creatures of mythology actually existed at one time and could be reborn into our world with the proper surgical technique. It’s a tragic tale of a medical prodigy who had already completed medical school with high honors at the age of 20. Black was a man of intense curiosity who reveled in dissecting every type of animal, including humans (which he had dug up from their graves for his father’s scientific work when he was a child, hence the “resurrectionist” label). But his curiosity took a tragic turn when he began his work of recreating mythological creatures, starting with the grafting of wings onto his beagle. His brother describes the scene in his journal, making one remarkable note that passes without acknowledgement: “The animal flinched in response to Spencer’s voice; its wings flapped as it tried to stand.” The wings were functional? Wow.

I could have used much more of this story, in much greater detail; that is, I’d have loved a fully-fledged novel. But Hudspeth’s imagination apparently tends more toward images than the written word. The bulk of this book is a copy of a fictional Codex Extinct Animalia, allegedly written and drawn by Black. Only six copies were ever printed, Black’s “biography” explains, because for some reason Black withdrew it at that point. This is a copy of one of those six extant volumes, we are told. It is full of remarkable artwork, with drawings of the bones and musculature of various types of mythological creatures, from the sphinx to the harpy. I would have liked more explanation of how the animals worked, anatomically.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Williamson VINE VOICE on May 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love these kinds of literary hoaxes that purport to be lost manuscripts/documents/etc., and Hudspeth pulls it off nicely. The previous reviews tell you what it's about, so just let me add that it's done quite nicely. The Codex Extinct Animalia is the most fun part of the book, with its highly detailed views of, shall we say, *outre* animal biology, but the biography of Dr. Black is well worth reading. Darkly and delightfully charming, it tells how these illustrations were created, and the posters, articles, and other illustrations are well done and lend verisimilitude to the whole. The only thing lacking is a bit of a human touch -- it's more intellectually stimulating than emotionally involving, but is well worth a few hours perusal, and more than well worth adding to your shelf of...oddities...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Briggs VINE VOICE on April 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent read as well as a great art book as well. The first half is the biography of the fictional Dr Black; his childhood, his education, his marriage and family lif and his disection of a fawn.? Yes, a fawn. He theorizes that the semi-human creatures of legend might be evolotionary offshoots of humanity. He gets disgraced in the medical community, but turns to the side-shows to show off his "recreations" of the creatues of legend.

The second half of the book is the art of his "recreations" shown as medical diagrams of the skeleton and muscles of Mermaids, Centaurs, Chymeras, Harpies and more. I do hope we get a follow up book, there are no many other creatures they could show; Nagas, Lamias, Gryphons, etc.

If you are a Role Player, then this book would make a great prop for your game and possibly give you some ideas for new adventures as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gaelan on September 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expectng something completely different from this book. There is very little use of creative anatomy other than maybe the mermaid, most of the 'monster' or 'creature' skeletons being nothing more than exact animal and human parts thrown together with little imagination.

A hobby of mine is making monsters and weird creatures in my spare time, and you don't want to simply put a human's head on a lion body with no change to either anatomy or muscular structure and call it good, especially not with the stiff, surgical style of a grey's anatomy book. You could get more interesting interpretations of mythical biology from a Dragonology book by a long shot.

What I thought was going to be macabre and interesting turned out to be weirdly dull. If you love reinterpretations or scientific speculation on weird or unique creatures, I recommend you look to other books and sources first.

Keep in mind it's not a terrible book, it just could have been so much more.
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