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

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Diane S ?

    We are lucky that we can read a book like this and be grateful that though medicine today is far from perfect, it has certainly come a very long way. This is a gorgeous book, the cover, the full color...

  • 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 ...

  • Science (Fiction) Comedy Horror and Fantasy Geek/Nerd

    People's creativity is shown in special medical agony options to deteriorate the state of health.Please note that I have put the original German text to the end of this review. Just if you might be in...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • ellis

    as a sawbones/mcelroy fan, i was suuuper excited for this! and i wasn't disappointed. the book for this was stunning - i flipped through and read sections. it's well formatted and full of typical mcel...

  • 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 ...

  • Ryan Wait

    This is a fantastic adaptation of the podcast - it maintains the exact tone and humour that is so iconic to all the McElroy media, and I hope that having it available as a book now will introduce many...

  • 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...