Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Late RIP Post: The Poisoner's Handbook
This book won't be for everyone. As you can tell from the title, the birth of forensic medicine is going to include a lot of details about gory (yet fascinating things) -- autopsies, brain tissue disintegration for testing, examination of lung tissue after poisoning and all sorts of other bloody tests. There's also no avoiding the animal testing that had to happen at the time to measure the effects of various toxins in order to have reliable data, the kind necessary to secure convictions and send murderers to the electric chair.
I'm mostly against animal testing and possibly against the death penalty and certainly against murdering family members but I still found every aspect of this book fascinating. It made me regret that I didn't take those three extra classes to get a minor in chemistry. My scientific background helped me through the book but I don't think one is necessary to understand what Blum is presenting. Her love for chemistry also comes through in her writing and I thought it was refreshing and highly readable.
On cloud nine,