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The Sawbones Book

The Horrifying, Hilarious Road to Modern Medicine
Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A compelling, often hilarious, and occasionally horrifying exploration of how modern medicine came to be!

Wondering whether eating powdered mummies might be just the thing to cure your ills? Tempted by those vintage ads suggesting you wear radioactive underpants for virility? Ever considered drilling a hole in your head to deal with those pesky headaches? Probably not. But for thousands of years, people have done things like this - and things that make radioactive underpants seem downright sensible! In their hit podcast, Sawbones, Sydnee and Justin McElroy breakdown the weird and wonderful way we got to modern healthcare. And some of the terrifying detours along the way.

Every week, Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin amaze, amuse, and gross out (depending on the week) hundreds of thousands of avid listeners to their podcast, Sawbones. Consistently rated a top podcast on iTunes, with over 15 million total downloads, this rollicking journey through thousands of years of medical mishaps and miracles is not only hilarious but downright educational. While you may never even consider applying boiled weasel to your forehead (once the height of sophistication when it came to headache cures), you will almost certainly face some questionable medical advice in your everyday life (we’re looking at you, raw water!) and be better able to figure out if this is a miracle cure (it’s not) or a scam.

©2018 Weldon Owen Inc. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Good but not quite as good as podcast

I liked it a lot, don’t get me wrong!! I just found that it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the podcast, and I think that’s because in the podcast they have a much less scripted back-and-forth banter that seems a lot more natural. Listening to the book, it felt a bit stiff and forced and like they were reading every joke off a page. But overall I still would recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Becky Roe
  • 2019-01-16

Gross and Entertaining Medical History

Sawbones delivers on amusing and disgusting accounts of medical mishaps and poor decisions over the ages. The sections are broken into themes of treatment types or specific ailments. Mostly read by Sydnee, the doctor, the book is punctuated with asides and goofs from Justin, the not-doctor. It's a good book for passing time on a commute, but not great dinner conversation.

26 people found this helpful

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  • David Hird
  • 2019-01-10

Just like an extended podcast episode

Listening to the authors read this book is just like a 6 and a half hour podcast episode. My advice, buy the hard cover for the pictures, and get the audiobook to hear the book how it was meant to be read.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-02-03

Fan of Podcast Loves This Book

I was worried that I would be basically paying to listen to a podcast I’ve already heard. But I didn’t feel that way at all, it was not the silly conversation format but like getting a personal collegiate interesting lecture from Sydnee.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Colleen Kost
  • 2019-02-27

Sawbones for Life!!

Get this book. If you’ve listened to the podcast.. get this book.. if you haven’t listened to the podcast, GET THIS BOOK!!! And start listening to the podcasts you fool. The correct answer to any question is “get this book.”

I love their podcast and even though much of the content of the book is in their podcasts it’s fun to listen and read along with them. It’s like remembering old times with good friends over a glass of wine.

By the way, Sydnee if you’re reading this.. I listened to every single episode of Sawbones while driving to and from work in less than a year. I meant to only listen to one a day so I’d have it for the whole year but It’s addictive and I couldn’t wait for the next topic. Now... I have to wait for the next topic because I listened to all of them..

31 people found this helpful

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  • dana
  • 2019-01-07

this book cured my anxiety

i would listen to justin & sydnee read a phone book! fortunately, this book is a million times more interesting than that. if you’re looking for something hilarious, informative, and insightful, this is the book for you. also, if you want to hear justin’s voice get progressively more gravely, this is the audiobook for you.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Kayla D. Welzant
  • 2018-11-16

I loved it

this book was fun, informational and awesome!! It is also not for those with a weak stomach.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Allen
  • 2019-02-14

Very enjoyable listened to it in one day!

Loved listening to this. I spent all my time while working listening to these two awesome people talk about medical history.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Allen
  • 2019-02-27

Awesome!

I loved it! Justin and Sydnee's first book is amazing. I love all the fun and not so fun facts!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Zach
  • 2019-02-20

Funny and Informative

I loved the way this book is organized. The authors/ narrators had a flawless performance.

6 people found this helpful

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  • 2019-01-04

Esculent Macabre for the Ears.

This book is great if someone has never heard the Sawbones Podcast in their life, or if they've never missed an episode.
Thouroughly enjoyable romp through medical history, hosted by people well practiced in voice work!

7 people found this helpful