I used to read a magazine published until about 2001 by the New York Academy of Sciences called 'The Sciences'. It was just a thin popular science mag but it had thoughtful, well-written articles about far-ranging subjects in each volume. One of the very best things about this multi-award-winning publication was the art that graced every cover and which accompanied each article. It gave the magazine a very distinctive - some have called it "high-brow" - look. To me, it was food for the mind and for the soul, thoughtfully curated and written, and mailed out to me every month. Until now, I haven't seen anything that struck me in quite the same way as 'The Sciences' always did. Thanks to this book, I now feel renewed in a way that I didn't really know I was missing.
Boy of Bone isn't just a book of short-stories, it's a beautiful combination of art and prose. Each of the stories - all written by author K. R. Sands - was inspired by an exhibit in the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. This museum houses a large collection of medical specimens and oddities, around 12 of which Sands has spun remarkable tales starring real people (including Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter, the museum's eponymous benefactor; Marie Curie and Marcel Duchamp; and the senors Bunuel and Dali). The stories are arranged chronologically as you read through the book; even taking us to the year 2020 by the end.
Boy of Bone was a joy to read, to hold and to look at. All of the stories were surprising; none was disappointing (but The Pump Twin is my favourite; only by the slimmest of margins). If you can get hold of this book, you won't be disappointed.
Boy of Bone | Siman Media Works, April 2012 | 9780983582724 $26.50 CAN