Thomas Hodgkinson

Body Double

Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form

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Allen Lane The Penguin Press 336pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

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Viking 303pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

THE MORE I read, the less I seem to know; and the less, moreover, the scientific establishment seems to know about matters one might have thought had been sorted out years ago. Neurologists, however brilliant, stdl lack a clear understanding of the worlungs of the human brain, while the purpose served by dreaming continues to elude the investigations of even the most focused of hypnologists. Breasts are another example. Men have invented a thousand names for them, but no one has yet come up with a definitive answer to the question of what, exactly, they are for.

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