The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine

The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine Review

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.

Table of Contents:
Part One: The Unnerving
The Resurrection Men
Fun w Galvanism
Weird Weight Loss
Miracle Cure: Opium
Black Plague
Heroes of Misguided Medicine: Pliny the Elder
Erectile Dysfunction
The Doctor Is In: Listener Questions Answered
Don’t Drill a Hole in Your Head

Part Two: The Gross
Mummy Medicine
The Guthole Bromance
The Unkillable Phineas Gage
Max Drank Poopy Water
Heroes of Misguided Medicine: Robert Liston
Golden Showers of Health
Miracle Cure-All: Radium
Dr. John Romulus Brinkley
The Doctor Is In Q&A
Just (Four) Humour Me
The Camel Dung Miracle

Part Three: The Weird
The Dancing Plague
Bad Medicine: Tobacco for Health
The Seasick-Proof Saloon
Miracle Cure-All: Vinegar
The Doctor Is In Q&A
Heroes of Misguided Medicine

Part Four: The Awesome
The Poison Squad
Bad Medicine: Self Experimentation
Eat Your Chocolate!
Heroes of Misguided Medicine
Parrot Fever
Miracle Cure-All: Honey
The Miraculous Polio Vaccine
The Doctor Is In


Title:The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Danielle

    The content of this book is great. Sydnee and Justin's contrasting takes on Kellogg was one of the funniest things I've ever read, and Teylor's art is wonderful. But I had bought this book to give to ...

  • Billie Cotterman

    I really enjoy this book. It's very much like the podcast, which I also enjoy. However, there are a lot of problems with the book itself. There are many, many typos, which are distracting. The paper i...

  • Trin

    I love Justin and Sydnee, but as others have pointed out, this book is poorly proofed and copy edited to an embarrassing, painful degree. Text is transposed and repeated. Words are missing, punctuatio...

  • Stephanie

    This is my favorite podcast, so I was excited to get my hands on this book. Unfortunately it fell a little flat. First, if you listen to the podcast or enjoy medical history this book is not going to ...

  • Liz

    This is a tough review to write. I love the podcast and I think that this book hits a lot of the same notes which made for an entertaining and informative read. The information covered was well resear...

  • Jackie B!

    I loved reading this book! It's funny and informative. The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars is because there were some major editing errors. Hopefully the typos all get fixed in the second pri...

  • Jessica Hadac

    If you're a fan of the podcast, you won't be disappointed in the content of the book. I laughed out loudly at every section more than once. That being said, I had to take a star away for the poor edit...

  • Leah

    Easily a 5 for content (even if none of it was new to me) and the gorgeous layout (illustrations, sidebars for 'fun' facts)...but the book loses MAJOR points for the awful editing. I can honestly say ...

  • McKenzie Rankin

    In terms of content, this book was wonderful. Funny, informative, and descriptive enough that I had to put it down several times to let the nausea pass. I fully expect that I'll pull this back off the...

  • Ksenia

    Another McElroy family product! How strange the phenomenon of podcast turned into book is. Sydnee and Justin did a great job bringing their mix of facts, banter, and myth dispelling to the page, and a...