If there is a strange medical tale, it is recorded in the Mystery of the Exploding Teeth.
With section titles like Unfortunate Predicaments, Mysterious Illnesses, and Horrifying Operations, how could this book be anything but a rollicking ride through the pages of bad choices. In Unfortunate Predicaments, we meet young men who did many ill-conceived things to their nether regions. We also meet a man who ate four knives on a dare and didn’t go to a doctor when only three came out his other end. A lifetime of doing this trick eventually killed him. In Mysterious Illnesses, a woman makes herself a human pin cushion and a boy vomits up his own twin. Horrifying Operations makes the reader impressed by the fortitude of his or her forebears. Before anesthesia, a man held up a candle for the surgeon while his other arm was being amputated at the shoulder. Another used a knitting needle and a tiny file three times daily for weeks to break up his bladder stone.
Okay, you either like weird stuff like this or you don’t. As someone who used to gobble Ripley’s Believe It or Not books in my youth, I love it. If you do too, you’re in for a treat with the Mystery of the Exploding Teeth. 4 stars!
Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.