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Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form Paperback – June 29, 2004
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The cleft where the buttocks begin to form into two hemispheres--the butt crack famously exhibited by fat plumbers who drop wrenches--was once called the nock. The word survives elsewhere, as the name of an arrow's notch to accommodate the bowstring.
As engaging as it is fact-filled, Adam's Navel brings together delightful anatomical trivia with abundant evidence that we pay as much attention to breasts, fingers, and patches of hair as we do to whole people. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
For instance, after regarding the face, its relative hairlessness, the thirty-six ways of moving the eyes, and the way faces are inherited as shown by the photos of your ancestors on the mantel, Sims treats us to pages about the Face on Mars. What this silly case, and all the other faces-in-the randomness manifestations, show is that we are evolutionarily programmed to see faces even if they aren't faces. Not only do newborns know to fix their gaze on faces (thereby getting attention from the more competent humans around them), but predators such as ourselves are better off mistakenly making a snap judgement "Hey, there's a face!" and then sheepishly refining the assessment if it really isn't one.Read more ›
Times have changed (some would say for the worst!) and I, for one, find it refreshing to have the WHOLE BODY examined in "Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form," by Michael Sims. While numerous books have appeared on this and related subjects in recent years, Sims has contributed by given us a solid popular overview. His accounts of the biology and lore of the hair, head, face, eyes, nose, lips, ears, arms, hands, breasts, navels, genitalia, and legs make fascinating reading.
Certainly, despite the more open climate, prudery has not left us. We still live in times when an Attorney General is afraid to appear in the same photograph as a statue of Justice with a naked breast! This incident led to numerous jokes and did little to improve the image of the office!
If you are interested in the external human body (probably most everybody as we are "owners" and "operators" of the same) you will find numerous anecdotes, facts and fables relating to our intimate selves.
the human body-their origin, function and meaning. The history
of the handshake is explained. The integration of hand movements and language has an interconnection according to the author.
The nose is cited as a part of the body which gets the least
respect as body parts go. The purity of breasts is extolled in
pop art. Overall, the book is a celebration of the human body.
A criticism is that it seems to lack a unifying theme or purpose.
It is unique in that the information content is out-of-the-
ordinary. The author even has a passage describing the arrid
landscape on the Marsian planet. The author experiments with
a bold escape from conventional writing themes in favor of
amorphous theoretical concepts not subject to exact quantification.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This little tome is chock full of "facts" about the human body...dated, a bit, but fascinating!!!Published 17 months ago by Fantom
The item that I purchased was for my son's class in High School. The product came in excellent condition. I saved about $10 on this product by purchasing it through Amazon.Published on September 28, 2010 by Momma Jen
Entertaining review of the human body by an author at home with the written word- an easy read.
This is an ideal book to give to an intelligent 12 year old who is curious... Read more
I found this book quite hard to enjoy because of the author's political and religious insults. If he could have just written about the body parts and not fill the pages with his... Read morePublished on May 8, 2007 by bucket
A very readable book. Our bodies are our most important point of reference for the rest of the observable universe of course, and also a source of much myth and creative analogy. Read morePublished on November 23, 2006 by Alaturka
After reading the first few paragraphs of Michael Sims' "Adam's Navel," I was delighted by the tone and style, which immediately reminded me of many of Diane Ackerman's books,... Read morePublished on October 13, 2005 by p. jones