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Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab    by Christine Montross order for
Body of Work
by Christine Montross
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Kelly Thunstrom

I'm going to start with a disclaimer. This book is certainly not for everyone, as the subtitle is 'Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab'. If you get squeamish easily, then move on to another review. If one of your favorite television shows is Dr. G., Medical Examiner, then keep reading.

This work of nonfiction grabs readers from the very beginning. Christine Montross (now Doctor) is entering her first year as a med student. She knows that her first class will be Gross Anatomy, and that she will be responsible for dissecting a cadaver throughout the term. She knows nothing about the person she is dissecting ... hopes, dreams, memories, cause of death, family, etc.. All she knows is that it is female, with no belly button. Therefore, she and her lab partners decide to name her Eve.

This book is hauntingly beautiful as it explores the making of a doctor. The author intersperses the detachment needed in her lab dissections with stories of mortality in her own family and in other countries. I give this book the highest rating, but again, don't say I didn't warn you.

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