Dr. Mütter's Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Dr. Mütter's Marvels

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 mi...

Details Dr. Mütter's Marvels

TitleDr. Mütter's Marvels
Release DateSep 4th, 2014
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography, Science, Medical, Audiobook, Historical

Reviews Dr. Mütter's Marvels

  • Kit✵
    ***4 FULL stars***What a magnificent biography! This should be required reading material for anyone intersted in pursuing a career in medicine, or just intersted in history - because it's truly immersing and eye-opening.Though the novel is called "Dr. Mutters Marvels", it's not only about him - but also about the many other doctors whom he'd worked with and had been inspired by throughout his life. Mainly, however, it was about his story and his ...
  • Dr. Godot
    The readers who will love this book are those who prefer their history presented as fictionalized adventure starring a hero who triumphs over a villain and becomes a Great Man. Such readers will not mind that a great deal of this “true tale” derives from Aptowicz’s imagination: the long description of Mütter’s imagined seasickness during his first ocean voyage, the imagined half-eaten Parisian meals right down to the imagined menu, the i...
  • M.R. Graham
    I have never before found it difficult to put down a biography. Aptowicz's work is sensitive, informative, and enchanting - a work of elegant prose and loving research. A beautiful book about a beautiful man who, thanks to Aptowicz, is now further protected from obscurity.
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    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 ...
  • Darryl
    I was somewhat familiar with Dr. Thomas Mütter, the famed 19th century Professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, whose personal collection and funding led to the creation of The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, which is my favorite museum of medical history. However, after reading Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's fascinating and compulsively readable biography of Mütter I realized how little I knew...
  • Shappy Seasholtz
    If you have ever been to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, which houses one of the largest collections of medical oddities in America, it is more likely you will walk out of the museum with your head full of questions such as "Why did that woman turn into soap?" and "How did that guy walk around with a 300 pound colon?" However, you might not ask yourself, "Who collected all of this weird, freaky stuff and why?" and that's what Cristin O'Keefe A...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 His parents cherished him as a young boy but he would lose his whole family to illness. Despite this, he would become a fantastic surgeon and although dying early, he would leave a lasting legacy.Wonderfully told, entertainingly written, the is a story of a man ahead of his time. He believed in cleanliness of supplies, room and person, at a time when doctors would routine pass germs from one person to the next. He would discover the use of et...
  • Becky
    A few years back, the hubs (then boyfriend) and I visited the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, because I'm kind of morbid and curious like that, and it was something to do. For such a small museum, it was packed with interesting bones and tools and casts and molds, as well as the stories behind them. It was fascinating, as well as somewhat sad, to think that these were artifacts from real people who existed... and were considered "monsters" because...
  • Rachel
    Most excellent book!Written in a way that draws in the reader, as with a beloved mystery, this non-fiction book compels the reader forward with brilliant use of language and creates an accessibility for the laymen that isn't in any way "dumbed-down".While having been fascinated by the Mutter Museum and its treasures, I had no idea how many contributions Thomas Mutter made to modern medicine, including the most basic hygiene in an era where germs ...
  • Kasia
    This should be a mandatory reading for anyone in medical profession. Wonderful story of a man whose determination and talent created and transformed field of surgery and medicine. Now I want to go to Philadelphia to see his museum.
  • Jim
    WOW!!! This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Cristin's writing style is unsurpassed. Filled with stories and facts that can easily boggle the mind, Cristin lays it out so fluidly and effortlessly. Easily followed and understood, the reader is captivated by each and every page that follows the life of Dr. Mutter and those around him. Definitely a book that deserves to be on everyone's shelf!
  • Mike
    This was an enjoyable read. Mutter's career saw many big changes in medical theory and practice, and the author celebrates his role in championing plastic surgery for the deformed and burn victims, the use of anesthesia, germ theory, and the importance cleanliness; the author also argues that his compassion and insistence that patients be treated with dignity and decency were perhaps his greatest legacy, for many of his students went on to great ...
  • Amanda
    A highly readable biography of the seemingly kindest doctor I've ever heard about. This is also a great overview of innovation in early American medicine. If you can't handle descriptions of surgeries, then I wouldn't recommend this. I found them harrowing at times, but appropriate and helpful in understanding what early medicine looked like. I wanted to visit the Mutter Museum before, but I want to see it even more now!
  • Lisa Shafer
    Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.This is very good narrative non-fiction.Before my copy arrived, I read a couple of the negative reviews posted on Goodreads, and I was concerned. However, now that I have read Aptowicz's book, I find I disagree with most of what these negative reviews say.I really enjoy narrative non-fiction done right. But that is what this is: narrative. If you want only historical facts pre...
  • Allen Murphey
    Exhaustively researched and fifteen years in the making, Cristin Aptowicz’s biography of Dr. Thomas Dent Muller, 1840s and 1850s Philadelphia surgeon and teacher, is much more than a narrow biography. Aptowicz paints detailed portraits of Philadelphia society, of the early state of American medical training, and of the conditions of Western medicine before the Civil War. Mutter began his surgical career before anesthesia, before the infectious ...
  • Joanne Moyer
    Extremely interesting story of a man not many have probably heard of. Dr. Mutter practiced medicine, or practiced what was called 'medicine' in his time, during the mid to late 1800s. This was a time when cleanliness apparently was not considered close to godliness, doctors saw no reason in washing their hands between treating patients, or cleaning their instruments between surgeries, which not surprisingly, caused a lot of pain and death of pati...
  • Kate
    I've said it before and I'll say it again - thank goodness for modern medicine! I visited Dr. Mutter's museum in Philadelphia years ago and would love to revisit it now that I know more about his life, contributions, and philosophies.
  • Jeff
    I got this book thru the Early Review program on LibraryThing and Gotham Books. It is generally the biography of 19th Century plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Mutter, but it is also a history of the dawn of modern medical schools in Philadelphia.I had never really heard of Dr. Mutter, except for the museum that bears his name. (A very eclectic medical collection that I would like one day to visit). The book documents his quick rise at the Jefferson Med...
  • Shannon
    In the early 1800’s, anesthesia had not yet been developed for medical use. The use of leeches for bleeding was common practice and the spread of bacteria was so misunderstood that post-operative infection was seen as a sign of healing. While some doctors felt content in practicing medicine as it had been practiced for years, by the mid-1800’s, others began to seek progress.In Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz follows the un...
  • Heather Bales
    Not only a beautiful retelling of the life of one of medicine's brightest and most sympathetic souls, but a lovely remembrance of how he went on to shape the face of modern medicine after his much-too-early death. I particularly enjoyed the tracing of his effects upon the lives of his students and how they, in turn, fathered institutions and practices that further cemented Mutter's impact on medical history, not just in his lifetime, but changes ...
  • Dennis Mitton
    Buy this book now. If you have any interest in science, medicine, oddities, or general woo and weirdness you will love this book. Thos. Mutter has been quietly hailed by medical types for years as a forward thinking and flamboyant early practitioner. Born in 1811 when there was little difference between medicine and manning the butcher shop Mutter got his license and then sailed to France to watch the best for a year. He returned to Pennsylvania ...
  • Laurie
    A lot of people, especially ones with a bit of a macabre turn of mind, have heard of Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. It’s a medical museum, filled with skeletons, body parts in jars, and engravings of surgeries. But collection was not meant to be some sensationalist tourist stop; Mutter’s collection was for teaching medical students by showing them what diseases looked like in the body so they could recognize it. He felt it was vital that spe...
  • Michelle
    Let me start off by saying that I received this book as an ARC Goodreads Giveaway.Aptowicz's biography proved to be a delightful read. In Dr. Mutter's Marvels she examines the life of Thomas Dent Mutter, a brilliant plastic surgeon in 1800's Philadelphia. Besides innovating the Mutter flap that would be used for over a hundred years after his death he also was among the first to successfully use anesthesia during surgery. Most importantly for his...
  • Meredith Allady
    This was not what I expected--it was much better! From the cover and the description I went in thinking it would probably be vaguely creepy (and that I probably wouldn't finish it). Then I started it and was surprised again by the format--lots of illustrations and "filler" pages that looked attractive but mainly added bulk but no text, so that I began to feel as if I was reading "biography lite." Fortunately, the writing itself is so good that I ...
  • Jessie
    his is, hands-down, the best biography I’ve ever read. It’s an intimate glance into history, medicine, change, and compassion. It’s the finely crafted life story of a man that we should know, but sadly, many of us don’t. But that’s about to change, thanks to the hard work of writer, researcher, and poet Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in her new book, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels.We interviewed Aptowicz to find out the backstory - read more about...
  • Christine
    I understand that this book may have been written with some embellished fiction, but I really enjoyed it. It was a very interesting read and I found the history of "modern medicine" in that day fascinating. This is not normally a book I would read, but I'm very glad I did.
  • Kristina
    If you want to be a doctor, read his book. If you are interested in medicine, read this book. If you prefer nonfiction, read this book. It’s interesting and there were several sections that were really interesting and there were some that I just zoned out on. But overall, I’m not disappointed. I learned a number of things, and I am really thankful this guy existed because he changed a number of things in medicine that have helped advance medi...
  • Ayan
    Finally finished this book! It was interesting, but this reminds me why I rarely read non-fiction... it bores me! In the end, I have to say I enjoyed reading about Dr. Mütter.