The Man Who Grew Two Breasts: and Other True Tales of Medical Detection

The Man Who Grew Two Breasts: and Other True Tales of Medical Detection

3.0 1
by Berton Roueche
     
 
For 50 years, Berton Roueche's absorbing accounts of the unraveling of medical mysteries were a much anticipated feature of The New Yorker. At his death last spring, Roueche left behind seven new narratives that have never been published in book form. This book collects these works along with one earlier classic--all relating true tales of strange illnesses, rare

Overview

For 50 years, Berton Roueche's absorbing accounts of the unraveling of medical mysteries were a much anticipated feature of The New Yorker. At his death last spring, Roueche left behind seven new narratives that have never been published in book form. This book collects these works along with one earlier classic--all relating true tales of strange illnesses, rare diseases, and the brilliant minds who race to understand and conquer them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Devotees of the late Roueche's Annals of Medicine column in the New Yorker will be delighted to have this collection of seven original pieces and one reprint, even though the articles are neither uniformly engrossing nor as wondrous as the medical curiosities they explore. Some of the pieces dating from the '70s-one about the diagnosis of a 24-year-old woman's muscle problems as myasthenia gravis, for example-lack Roueche's signature tension that builds between the manifestation of a puzzling medical condition and its identification, which is perhaps why they remained unpublished during his lifetime. The more recent articles tend to be cautionary, such as one that tells of a 20-year-old Denver woman, a Jehovah's Witness who refused a blood transfusion and died from aplastic anemia caused by an oral tanning agent. And physical fitness adherents will be given pause by the 30-year-old New Yorker who was hospitalized with crippling pains in her right thigh brought on by an exercise machine, a condition her doctor dubbed ``thigh thinners thecitis.'' The resolution of the title piece, about gynecomastia, an estrogen condition that develops men's breasts, will have older readers grinning. (May)
Ray Olson
When Rouechedied last year, seven installments of his 50-year-old "New Yorker" feature, "Annals of Medicine," had not been put between book covers. Now they are. As usual with a Rouechemedical piece, each concerns a patient with a mysterious complaint and a doctor who, through medical ratiocination, correctly identifies it and empirically brings it to resolution. Formally, then, each is a detective story, so much in the manner of a Sherlock Holmes case that we recall perforce that the Holmes tales were recorded by two physicians--the fictional Dr. Watson and the real Dr. Doyle. Though no doctor, Rouecheshares Watson-Doyle's crystalline clarity and minimal fuss, as in these tales he presents the investigation of such conundrums as, besides the titular anomaly, a roomful of suddenly sick poker players and a little boy who's ill every week but always the picture of health when the doctor sees him.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567319736
Publisher:
MJF Books
Publication date:
11/20/2009
Pages:
197
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

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The Man Who Grew Two Breasts 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
hibikstriba More than 1 year ago
The stories included in this book were a little tedious. The maladies themselves, and the paths used by the physicians to diagnose them, were interesting, but the storytelling was drawn out. In particular I found the "conversational" style unappealing.