How to Remove a Brain And Other Bizarre Medical Practices
David Haviland

How to Remove a Brain And Other Bizarre Medical Practices

How to Remove a Brain is the latest in David Haviland’s fascinating series of stomach-turning trivia books. Having addressed the oddities of the animal kingdom in Self-Harming Parrots and Exploding Toads (Little Brown, 2010), David now turns his bizarre perspective on the grisly world of medicine. This intriguing book will investigate some of most gruesome stories in medical history, from the barbaric sawbones of the ancient world, through the snake oil peddlers of the industrial age, all the way up to the quacks and remedies of medicine today.

‘If the whole materia medica as used, could be sunk in the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes.’ Oliver Wendell Holmes, American physician and humorist, 1883.

How to Remove a Brain will reveal fascinating facts from every age of medicine and healthcare, covering such bizarre questions as…

  •     Did Gauls brush their teeth with urine?
  •     Which condition was treated by trapping a child inside a tree trunk?
  •     Which society believed dead mouse paste could cure toothache?
  •     Was Hitler addicted to crystal meth?
  •     Where is the soul found?
  •     Do corpses sweat?
  •     How long does it take to digest chewing gum?
  •     What are hiccups for?
  •     How was history changed by a single Soho water pump?
  •     Should we take vitamins?
  •     Does organ theft actually happen?
  •     Is it safe to fly with breast implants?
  •     Did Christopher Columbus import syphilis to Europe?
  •     Was King George V killed by his doctor, in order to meet The Times’ deadline?

PLEASE NOTE: This book was published in the US under the title Why you Should Store your Farts in a Jar in January 2011.

Book Details:

  • Author: David Haviland
  • Published Year: 2012
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Summersdale
    • Indonesia: Mizan
    • Turkey: Kitap Kurdu Yayincilik

David Haviland

David Haviland is a writer, editor, and ghostwriter, with a number of bestselling books to his name, which have been sold to publishers all over the world and widely serialised.David has written a number of books of amusing trivia and popular science. The most recent, How To Remove A Brain (Summersdale, 2012), is a collection of fascinating stories and anecdotes concerning the history of medicine and health. This book was previously published by Penguin in the US as Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar.David's next book is a myth-busting guide to history, revealing the truth behind many...
More about David Haviland

Book Reviews

  • "I never thought a book titled Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar would be so incredibly brilliant. David Haviland, I don't know you, or why you create books like this and Why Dogs Eat Poop, but you are clearly smarter than your maturity level."
    Kick Ass Book Reviews
  • "I’m not going to lie, I read this book with unabashed joy, and in the process I truly feel I learned a lot.  Granted, I’m not sure when the information I learned will ever come into play (How many times a day does Hitler’s potential Crystal Meth addiction come into play?) but it’s still all interesting to know, and certainly fun to read, thanks to Haviland’s ability to be both educational and whimsical at the exact same time."
  • "Any fan of the absurd and/or obscure is sure to delight in this strange (and slightly stomach-turning) book. I love trivia and this book delivers."
    As the Page Turns
  • "Delightfully disgusting."
  • "Haviland once again proves ideally suited for this sort of writing. His style is simultaneously breezy and matter-of-fact, bringing each vile vignette to amusing, engaging life. And it's clear that this is a guy who does his homework. These subjects, as weird and disgusting as they might be, have been pretty thoroughly researched. It creates a reading experience that is both entertaining and - God help us - educational."
  • "…contains fascinating insights into medical history, in spite of its off-beat title."
    Irish Medical Times
  • "…a hilarious look at medicine throughout history... a painstakingly researched compendium of bizarre facts from the world of medicine, administered with a healthy dose of humour... a must for fans of the bizarre, and perfect prep for livening up dull dinner party conversations."
    GQ India
  • "  “ A GP Christmas stocking must... From the ‘Wisdom of the Ancients' through to diseases, diagnoses and cures, this rip roaring journey through the wonders of medical advancement misses little. The content is without doubt one of the funniest recaps of the great, good and unbelievable of medicine. 9/10"