Dr. Mutter’s Marvels Review and Promo!!

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

(I first want to apologize. This post should of been up on October 6th, but I’ve been having some technical issues on here and wasn’t aware of it until recently.)

In celebration of the paperback release of the New York Times best-selling nonfiction book Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz will be in conversation with Archivist from the Texas Surgical Society and a Clinical Professor of Surgery, Mellick T. Sykes, MD. In addition to lively talk about the life and times of Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter (founder of the (in)famous Mütter Museum of medical oddities in Philadelphia) and the oftentimes treacherous (and fascinating) world of medicine and surgery during the 19th century, the Texas Medical Association will be bringing vintage surgical tools, ether masks and other artifacts of 19th century medicine to showcase. The event will take place at BookPeople in Austin, Texas on October 12th at 7 PM, and the talk will be followed by a brief Q&A and signing.

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 mid-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 renowned Mütter Museum.
Award-winning writer Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter’s efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation—despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them: Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter’s “overly modern” medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the “[P. T.] Barnum of the surgery room.”
Amazon  Penguin 

One of the best nonfiction novels I’ve read in a long time! When a piece of nonfiction work can read like a piece of page turning fiction, I am hooked right away. Aptowicz found a way to take such an interesting piece of medical history and turn it into a piece of literature that I am sure many would enjoy. I am usually quite worried when I pick up a book that is medical based, because of all the medical terminology and jargon that is used, but Aptowicz does a great job of keeping all that quite simple for the reader, which helps a great deal with reading and understanding everything.

Another great addition to Dr. Mutter’s Marvels are all of the pictures that are used throughout the book. The pictures truly help add a whole new level to the book, especially the full page shots that were usually at the start of every chapter.

My biggest issue with Dr. Mutter’s Marvels, is that there seem to be quite a few grammatical errors throughout it, that I was noticing. I believe I was reading a final draft, but I might be mistaken and it was not, it just seemed like the book could of gone through one more round of edits, before releasing the final draft.

Overall I really enjoyed Dr. Mutter’s Marvels and I am giving it 4/5 stars.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is an award-winning non-fiction writer, poet, and touring author. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she first visited the Mütter Museum in the fourth grade. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Website   Twitter  Facebook 

blog tour services provided by


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s