Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: Dr. Mutter's Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Title: Dr. Mutter's Marvels
Author: Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Gotham (September 4, 2014)
Source: Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Biography/Historic (Fictionalized)
My Rating: 4 Stars


Book Description:
A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities

Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the middle of the nineteenth century.

Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time.

Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.












I can honestly say I have never read a book quite like this one before. 

Fiction and fact, blended together so seamlessly that it is sometimes hard to tell them apart. To know when something was fictionalized from dramatic sake or because it really happened.

Either way, this book was quite interesting. No, quite fascinating and dare I say, even fun?

Once again I find myself in unfamiliar territory with this read. Something I never would have picked up on my own but truly enjoyed. 

I confess that I knew nothing about Dr. Thomas Mutter but am now quite curious about his life work and all the medical advances he made throughout his career. In fact, I would love to visit Philadelphia and see the museum that was erected in his honor and all the oddities that live there. 

The author did a fabulous job blended the fact with the fiction and making this read not only somewhat mesmerizing, but entertaining as well. I truly had fun learning about this remarkable professor and doctor and all that he had to offer the world, some of which, is still practiced today.

If you are looking for a different kind of historical read, then this is the read for you. 





*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

60 comments:

  1. I just love books that cleverly combine fiction and facts! It takes so much work and research, but it always pays off. This isn't something I would have picked up on my own either, but now I'm very intrigued.

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    1. This was my first real one and I did enjoy it. I need more now I think. ;)

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  2. Great and solid review you have done. Warm greetings!

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  3. I like the blend of fact and fiction. This one does sound unique.

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  4. I have a morbid fascination with the history of medicine, specifically how barbaric and crude some of the older methods of surgery was. This book sounds like an intriguing piece of historical fiction, I'm eager to check it out.

    Aentee at The Social Potato

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    1. It was very crude in the beginning, makes me shudder to think about it!

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  5. I like biographies but I don't care for history, so decisions, decisions. Lol. Glad you enjoyed this. On to the next great read :)

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    1. It didn't feel like most historic reads do so I think you would like this!

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  6. It's so fun to read something different and out of your comfort zone once in a while. I'm glad you liked it. It looks good!!

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    1. It really is and I've found a lot of fun reads and genres that way. :D

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  7. Well now I'm super curious too Ali! I want to know about all these oddities:)

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    1. It was sort of crazy and there were pictures! I could send you the book Jenny? :P

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  8. I'm curious about this one. I too enjoy books where fiction and real life are blended together. They make for such interesting reads. I'm glad this was enjoyable for you, Ali!

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    1. Thanks Nick, I really liked that aspect of it as well. :D

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  9. I like the sound of the odd and fun mix of fact and fiction and where they blend! I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Ali - I'm very curious about this Dr. Mutters and his Marvels :)

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    1. It really was a unique and interesting read for sure Kim!

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  10. now I am quiet curious. Have to admit, not something I would probably pick up myself either.

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    1. I know, I think that is what made it so much fun!

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  11. The museum of medical oddities makes me think of Ripley's Believe it or Not! Now you've snagged my attention!

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    1. I know right? I remember going to the coast as a kid and we always visited Ripley's every summer. It was one of my favorite parts of being near the ocean!

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  12. Wow. This one does sounds fascinating. I havent' seen it before, but you have me wanting to know more. Happy Monday!

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    1. Thanks Heidi, Happy Monday to you as well!

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  13. Wow, this does sound different! I really like that it's fact and fiction mixed together. I've never heard of this guy, I want to know more!

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    1. It was fun learning about him and others in his profession at the time.

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  14. This sounds really interesting - especially the facts mixed with fiction - Great review!

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  15. Look at that foreboding cover art though! This book sounds deeply intriguing with the blend of fiction and fact, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

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    1. I admit, the cover was the first thing I noticed as well and the whole reason why I gave it a chance LOL! Glad I did though, it was worth it!

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  16. This sounds beyond cool. I love when fact and fiction swirl together that you begin to lose sight of which is which. Awesome review!

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  17. Undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands? Eww! *Shudders* I don't think I have the stomach for this one, Ali!

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    1. It honestly wasn't that bad, at least I didn't think so! It was scary what they use to do though and sad.

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  18. This sounds so odd that I know I would enjoy it. I love how it blends the real world with fiction. Oh I need to read this one.

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  19. I'm not usually drawn to these types of books, but I love the sounds of it! I have never heard of Dr. Mutter but he sounds important! Glad you enjoyed a book you wouldn't normally pick up. Love it when that happens! :D

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  20. I had heard of this one and was immediately intrigued. I'm so glad you liked it!

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    1. Oh glad you have heard of it and thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  21. That cover alone speaks loudly of the kind of story we're in for. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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  22. This sounds awesome, a historical I'd love. That kind of stuff freaks me out though - surgery with no anesthesia. Yikes!

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  23. I love fictional biographies! I usually read "tabloid" fodder about royals and aristocrats. This sounds fascinating though.

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  24. Sounds like something I should definitely try! I love new concepts, especially when they're so well done. I'm reading The Girl In The Road, and the thoughts you expressed in this review could easily be mine :) New territory indeed - but fun to explore. Outstanding review!

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    1. Oh I'll have to check that one out too Ramona. I love discovering new stuff. ;)

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  25. Oh it sounds good! I love the cover and the story looks really interesting and different as well. It's really intriguing! thanks for the review!

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  26. Now this my son and I would both enjoy. I love the blending of facts and fiction. The thought of not being sedated for an operation...good god. I saw some of the tools they use to amputate and no..just omg no.

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  27. This sounds great and definitely something I haven't read before!! Awesome Review!

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  28. Oh interesting! I've been doing some historical fiction books lately and it really can be curious seeing the fact and fiction blend.

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    1. I bet you would like this, it really was fun!

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  29. I certainly never realized that plastic surgery even existed in the nineteenth century.That's interesting to me. I am glad you enjoyed the read :)

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    1. I know, I had no idea either. It was all very interesting!

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