Adventures in Human Being takes readers on a tour of the human body as seen medically and in art. Starting at the head and working his way down to the feet, Gavin Francis visits different locales in the body such as the brain, the heart, the kidney, and the hip. In each case, he gives a look at the body part as seen in art, philosophy, or literature and talks about the part’s function, often giving a quick history of how doctors learned about it. Interwoven with this is a chosen case history from his experience as a doctor. The organization in each chapter is clear, and the reader ends the book with a good, solid overview of the biology and sociology of being human.
It is an overview, with all of the different details, Gavin Francis cannot dig too far in depth, so the reader is likely to want more, later and elsewhere. This is part of the book’s purpose, however. It gives a glimpse of the complexity of the body and an overall tour, leaving the reader to find further information elsewhere. There are plenty of artists and authors named to give the reader guide for further exploration in the arts.
Thomas Judd, the audio book narrator, has a pleasant and easy to listen to voice. He is also clear enough in his speaking that it is possible to listen to the book in noisier situations, such as driving a car, without difficulty. He does not give the different patients varying accents, giving the impression that they are pretty much all from the same class and area, but this is a minor quibble: It is not difficult to tell who is speaking as each is in his or her own chapter.
Adventures in Human Being is recommended for people curious about the intersection of biology, history, and art. It is clearly written and a pleasure to listen to. The version I listened to was published by Audible Studios and was downloaded from Audible. You can order a copy of Adventures in Human Being through Amazon.