'We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.'
Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts, astonishing stories and now fully illustrated for the first time, The Body Illustrated: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make-up. This reissue is illustrated throughout.
A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. The ideal gift for readers of every age who wish to discover more about themselves.
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. His bestselling books include The Road to Little Dribbling, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, One Summer and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. In a national poll, Notes from a Small Island was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed work of popular science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize and the Descartes Prize, and was the biggest-selling non-fiction book of its decade in the UK. His new book The Body: A Guide for Occupants was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize and is an international bestseller.
Bill Bryson was Chancellor of Durham University 2005-2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. He lives in England.
– The Sunday Times Book of the Year
"Classic, wry, gleeful Bryson [...] richly interesting [...] an entertaining and absolutely fact-rammed book. If it sells hundreds of thousands of copies, like the last one, it will be no bad thing."
– Sunday Times
"A directory of wonders. Extraordinary stories about the heart, lungs, genitals [...] plus some anger and life advice – all delivered in the inimitable Bryson style"
– Gavin Francis, Guardian
"so packed with arresting facts (you eat 60 tons of food in a lifetime) and unlikely anecdotes (such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel's six weeks with a half-sovereign lodged in his throat) that you barely notice the sheer volume of anatomical knowledge you're digesting [...] makes complex subjects simple and eminently entertaining."
– The Sunday Times
"Bryson feeds the pith, pulp and bitter pips of a subject into his brain and produces a sweet, zingy quantity of juice – this book is a delight."
– The Spectator
"Remarkable [...] Every page is dense with scientific facts written as vividly as a thriller, as well as answers to conundrums such as why we don't fall out of bed when we are asleep [...] It is woven through with the kind of human stories that Bryson has made his trademark."
– Mail on Sunday