Written in a style that incorporates some of Dr. Black's journal entries, poetry, and drawings, the biography abruptly ends with his disappearance adding to the mystery of the man. Nevertheless, the short biography sets up the tone for the second half of the book, The Codex Extinct Animalia. The codex features a brief introduction and anatomical drawings for eleven creatures shrouded in myth and legend including Sphinx Alatus, Minotaurus Asterion, and Canis Hades.
The Bottom Line: This gorgeous hardcover book is a keeper. I'm a big fan of books that are a bit different and dark; this one is definitely both. As I read it I was reminded of the anatomy and physiology texts I studied back in college. Having a basic knowledge of anatomy helped me appreciate the book even more. As other reviewers have mentioned, the text is somewhat lacking and repetitive in areas; however, I thought that may have been intentional since the main character is obviously mad. Hudspeth’s illustrations are fantastically macabre and spellbinding. Enthusiastically recommended for adult readers looking for something eccentric with a dark and disturbing twist. Also, recommended for those with an interest in mythology. This would make an interesting coffee table book to be sure. Note: Some sections describing Dr. Black's experiments are extremely disturbing. Additionally, due to the anatomical illustrations, this book is not recommended for sensitive readers or children.
Details: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E. B. Hudspeth. Hardcover published by Quirk Books in 2013. 192 p. ISBN: 978-1-59474-616-1