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That said, this book is definitely not for everyone. If you can't eat dinner while watching CSI or Bones , you may want to avoid this book, particularly if you have a good visual imagination. Dr Maples does go into some graphic details at times. There are a few pictures in the book, mostly of skeletal remains, but they could be easily avoided since they are printed on different paper and you know exactly where they are in the book. The language in the book is for the most part clean, except for one f-word in a suicide note that is included in one of the chapters.
The cases in the book range from average to strange murders, accidents, and suicides in the USA, to the challenges of identifying remains from wars, to extremely famous cases like identifying the remains of the Czar's family in Russia. I liked that this was a good dose of reality after watching too many CSI -type shows in which the criminalists quickly identify the victim and find the criminal within 24hrs almost every time. Dr Maples points out that the real life of a forensic anthropoligist is filled with more unaswered questions than solved cases and that even those that do have answers can take a really long time to wrap up; an important thing to know, especially for anyone who wants to go into the field.
This book was actually written before CSI and all the other forensic science shows hit the tv scene. You would think the science in this book would be dated since it is almost 20 years old, but the only thing I really noticed was how hard it was for him to get DNA testing done. It actually took me a little while to realize the book had been written in the 90s instead of in the past decade.
Dec 29, Annie rated it really liked it. This book was much better than I thought it was going to be. Co-written with Michael Browning, this was a well-written and fascinating look into the world of forensic anthropology from the point of view of skeletal remains. There are many interesting cases William Maples covers in this book, and that alone should convince a person to read it. But, what I liked best about the book was the language: This is an author who This book was much better than I thought it was going to be.
This is an author who frequently quotes poets. He comments on the evil that murderers commit by saying, " May 24, verbava rated it liked it Shelves: Most suicides are far better thought out than most pregnancies. I always make a point of telling the airline ticket agent just how many skulls I have with me in my baggage—not to shock her, but to make sure that, in case the plane crashes, investigators will know why there were more skulls than passengers aboard.
This is mere professional courtesy to my colleagues, who will have to pick through my remains in the event of an accident. Mar 07, Starfish rated it liked it. This book is written by a forensic anthropologist about his work identifying people's remains from their skeletons, first published It's an interesting book. I was surprised how morbid it was; I was expecting CSI rather than what is almost a memoir. Maples treats his subjects thematically, rather than on a case by case basis, and includes many instances of cases where identification was impossible, or murderers never found.
He likes to talk about how gruesome his work is, and can be a bit This book is written by a forensic anthropologist about his work identifying people's remains from their skeletons, first published He likes to talk about how gruesome his work is, and can be a bit tiresome actually, going on about how he managed to keep his lunch in instances where policemen did not. It's interesting, but I think that owes more to the subject matter than the writing.
The style is a bit flat, and Maple's scholarly approach to things, while having definite advantages, does become a bit much after a while. Browning goes on about how the bones speak, but I found that the book would have benefited if the bones had been allowed to speak for themselves more, without the author constantly pressing his own judgements upon us. I enjoyed the book for the contrast it poses to CSI and other brands of mystery fiction, but I wouldn't read it again. Dec 03, Trena rated it liked it.
This is the collected war stories of a forensic anthropologist, a specialist in identifying human remains based on their bones. The tales are deliciously gruesome and salaciously horrifying though some are sad and disturbing and you feel like the bad kind of voyeur. It's not a book for the faint of heart or stomach, especially the photographs. But I found it interesting; I had no idea how much such a profession can do with so little. It is docked a full star for the excrutiating writing, made a This is the collected war stories of a forensic anthropologist, a specialist in identifying human remains based on their bones.
It is docked a full star for the excrutiating writing, made all the more puzzling and inexcusable by the fact that it was co-written with a ghost writer. The style is way too "poetic" and pointlessly "fancy"; it wouldn't be a good style for any book other than a Victorian bodice ripper, and it is particularly ill-suited to a medico-scientific book by a practicing clinician.
While he was yet at table, a tumult was heard outside the governor's palace. On the media, after tests revealed Pres. Zachary Taylor did not die of arsenic poisoning. No more did the networks jangle my phone, wooing me with their blandishments.
From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, prominent forensic anthropologist Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity. Dead Men Do Tell Tales and millions of other books are available for instant access. This item:Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist by William R. Maples Paperback $ "William R. Maples and Michael Browning could've written a.
Perhaps these don't sound so bad but a whole book of them really gets old. Jul 01, Pippa rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a fascinating book. I don't agree with other comments about it being arrogant and sexist. I think Maples is justifiably proud of what he does, and he gives full credit to his wife for her part in supporting him and doing her own job as media specialist.
I found the case histories fascinating, and was impressed by what forensic anthropology could contribute to criminal investigations. In fact I'm reading this book nearly twenty years after it was first published, so I guess things may b This was a fascinating book. In fact I'm reading this book nearly twenty years after it was first published, so I guess things may be even better now. If ever a book made a case for the need for more forensic anthropologists this one does. I wonder if we have them? Tomorrow I must do some research I found the book overall rather disappointing.
The first half consists of the author's background, followed by gory, explicit details of cremations, executions, etc. Second part was more interesting - and more what the average reader is likely expecting looking for - actual cases Maples has worked on from the evidence provided.
Still, he came across to me as arrogant and whiny. Aug 15, Mike Shultz rated it really liked it Shelves: This book focused more on stories and cases that the author was involved with, as opposed to trying to teach forensic science although there was plenty of science. Particularly fascinating were the "Meek-Jennings" suicide case, the examination of the bones of the murdered Russian Csar and his family, and the description of the bones of Pizarro.
A couple sections were brutal in their gruesome detail, although the author took pains to share his knowle Fascinating and brutal. A couple sections were brutal in their gruesome detail, although the author took pains to share his knowledge in a way that didn't glorify the horrific nature of it all, most notably the section on the remains of children who have been abused and murdered. The pictures were a nice addition. The writing itself was excellent and unusually evocative for a book about science. May 20, Victoria rated it really liked it.
This was a reading assignment in my Forensic Anthropology class last semester. At first I thought the author's tone was narcissistic. Thankfully, towards the middle and end the author wrote about more about forensic science and less about his younger years, and he included more information on the field of forensic anthropology itself.
The writing itself is excellent. Maples is clearly very well educated, and his hobby of reading literature shines through in some parts. He covers war crimes, This was a reading assignment in my Forensic Anthropology class last semester. He covers war crimes, suicides, and murders. I wish he would have gone into detail about more specific, high profile cases like he did in the last three or so chapters. I find those stories so interesting because I love learning more about the victims, the perpetrators, and even how the media reacted. Jan 01, Jamie rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was right up my nerdy geeky alley!
Not only are pictures included which, if you're queasy, ignore , but step-by-step conclusions to some of his real life cases are explained in detail. He throws in the murderers and some really good who-dunnits, but also throws in the cases of former President Taylor was he poisoned or did he die of natural causes? Ah, if only I would have been a forensic anthropologist instead of a medical anthropologist. Ah, if only I would have been a forensic anthropologist instead of a medical anthropologist I'm going to have to purchase this for my anthropology collection.
Loved it and would read it again and again. Feb 14, Rosalie rated it it was amazing. William Maples tell you tales of his involvement in solving horrible crimes. If you are a fan of CSI don't bother me. If you are interested in how stuff really works in all the gory detail and what it's like to be an actual forensic anthropologist this is the place. More of a series of memoirs than a scientific study, but greatly explains the science stuff as well very neatly and humorously at time.
Not for the easily queasy, but great for those seriously interested in light reading in this a Dr. Not for the easily queasy, but great for those seriously interested in light reading in this area of study and crime solving. Does has photos and great stories as well as trying times and a bit upsetting actual details to crimes.
Sep 27, Colleen rated it it was amazing. Maples has studied the bones of people killed in almost every conceivable way: He along with his co-author, Michael Browning tells a vivid story and is not afraid to editorialize: Michael Baden "Dead Reckoning: There are case studies of heinous crimes--the drifter, Danny Harold Rolling, who murdered five University of Florida students--but also cases involving historical figures such as President Zachery "Old Rough and Ready" Taylor who died of an unspecified gastrointestinal disorder after only sixteen months in office.
Was he our first assassinated president? In one of his most famous cases, Dr. Maples was invited to Russia to examine the bones of what might have been the last Czar of Russia, his family, and servants. All were gunned down by a Bolshevik death squad in July, Along with other forensic scientists, he has also been involved in identifying the bones of our soldiers who never returned from war. One of the most affecting skeletons that he was asked to examine was that of the "Elephant Man," Joseph Merrick.
This book is truly a feast a somewhat grisly feast for those of us who value the application of science to otherwise unsolvable mysteries.
If you are reading "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" while at the dinner table, you might want to save the photographs until after you have finished digesting. Maples died of brain cancer at the relatively young age of Apr 01, Alexandria rated it liked it Shelves: This was not exactly what I was expecting but it was interesting all the same.
There was more emphasis on the author's career than on the forensics, though there was little distinction between the two at times. I got more of a feel for the industry than their methods and after the initial surprise wore off, I was fine with that. The author was blessedly brief when discussing certain topics, such as children, but there were one or two cases discussed during that chapter.
Maples can get a bit prea This was not exactly what I was expecting but it was interesting all the same. Maples can get a bit preachy at times which struck me as odd and frustrated me. I don't particularly enjoy religion creeping into my forensics, but I understand that when a person sees what Maples has seen and has to discuss what Maples discusses, they have to have a rock.
Maples' is his religion and that's fine. It can just be jarring when you're not expecting it. The writing flows well and keeps the reader engaged. Maples discusses the cases with relative detachment and tries to limit the nausea-inducing details as much as possible without being so prim that the impact of the situation is lost. It's a fine balance and Maples walks it well. If I weren't already set on my career path, I honestly would have been swayed to look into forensics after reading Maples' passion for the topic.
Maybe I still will, who knows? Jul 01, Katia M. Davis rated it liked it. If you ignore the narcissistic pomposity in the writing style, there are some interesting forensic cases here. I do, however, dispute the claim that Marshalltown is the archaeologist's trowel of choice. WHS is much better. Oct 02, Rachel Grant rated it it was amazing Shelves: Research for Silent Evidence. Feb 12, Paula rated it liked it Shelves: I'm a fan of the TV show "Bones" and generally enjoy memoirs by medical doctors and such, so I was looking forward to this volume.
The author writes well, and when he focuses on a deceased person, such as Pizarro or the "Elephant Man," the stories are interesting and informative. Unfortunately, he spends too much of the book talking about himself and either explicitly or implicitly relating how wonderful and amazing he is.
Dude, your readers are much more likely to admire you if you let them rea I'm a fan of the TV show "Bones" and generally enjoy memoirs by medical doctors and such, so I was looking forward to this volume. Dude, your readers are much more likely to admire you if you let them reach that conclusion than if you inform them that you're awesome.
I really wish he'd gotten out of the way of his own story. The strange and fascinating cases of a forensic anthropologist is indeed strange a fascinating. I expected some first-hand tale from recent events, but the historical studies are extremely interesting too. Can I tempting you by saying that he finally solved Anastasia's mystery?
Yes, the never-found daughter of the Russian Tzar. Every chapter is devoted to a specific case.