In the book, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, by William R. Maples, Ph.D. and Michael Browning, a story is told in how the dead, no matter how dead, still “talk” to us. The book is appropriately titled because, according to Dr. Maples, truth is discoverable, truth wants to be discovered (2). Dr. Maples tells us of what it is like to be a Forensic Anthropologist. Dr. Maples does not hold anything back in any of his descriptions, from the smell of corpses to the explanations of maggots.
Dead Men Do Tell Tales is a complete engrossing journey into the world of Forensic Anthropology and the science of bones. The book is well organized and easy to follow. The story is not from some published medical work containing lengthy medical terminology. The book is best described as the story of Dr. Maples career and interesting encounters it entailed. The book is a total of 292 pages. The book is organized into 16 chapters, each appropriately titled for the subject and stories that it contains. One could only wish that all story tellers could be as good as Dr. Maples.
The first chapter, “Every Day Is Halloween”, gives a preview of the book and talks about the nightmares that he seldom has. “They are usually flitting images of the everyday things I see on the job: crushed and perforated skulls, lopped-off limbs and severed heads, roasted and dissolving corpses, hanks of human hair and heaps of white bones – all in a day’s work at my office” (1). In this part of the book, we learn of Dr. Maples' life and how it came to include the fascinating world of anthropology. It is in this chapter that Dr. Maples proves his credibility that he knows what he is talking about. He tells of his upbringing with strict moral val...
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...anything. I think that the book is so fasinating cause he doesn’t try to put a rated “R” subject into a “PG-13” book, after all we live in a rated “R” world, whether we like it or not. He helps to illustrate his world in all different varieties, I believe that is why the chapters were broken down the way there were.
Dr. Maples includes so many fascinating experiences and resolutions to his investigations that even I was able to stay interested to the last page. The class helped out a lot in reading this book because I was able to easily follow his explanations of the skeleton, from differences between male and female skeletons, the different bones that were being talked about, the dental records, and a lot about the skull, like skull features, cranial sutures, and orbital features. I only wish all school books assigned could be as interesting as this one.
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