Most helpful critical review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Wanted more crunchy bits
on December 16, 2001
There is a lot of good information in this book, but there were several lacks that made it less useful than I would have liked. Number one, it's not that useful if you're writing period fiction. I understand if this was beyond the scope of the author's undertaking, but some historical information would've helped me a lot.
Worse yet, especially as the book goes on, sometimes it begins to seem conventional, or to describe common scenarios, where fiction is concerned with the uncommon. For example, at one point it says "It takes an impressive hit to break the flat part of the shoulder blade." Like what? A blow with a club from a particularly strong person? A gunshot? I don't know. Worse yet, I was considering a scenario in which a character suffered a hip fracture in a fall. If the book had a section about falls (it doesn't), my questions would probably be answered, but as it is, information on hip fractures is really only given for fractures in the elderly---the common scenario. Plus, most of the information on battery/domestic violence is probably already known to anyone who has taken an introductory psychology course in college.
Especially in the last chapters (domestic violence, torture, etc)., the book is pretty thick with "flavor text" that doesn't do a whole lot to impart the technical information I bought the book for. I would prefer the author had zapped all the Hemingway quotes if it would have let me have a section on falls and other massive impacts, or even just known what, if anything, could break the shoulder blade or hip of a young, healthy person.
This book has helped me at times. The chapters on head, chest, and abdominal injuries, and the one on temperature injuries are particularly good. I only wish it had been more dense with information and considered more of the unusual viewpoints common in fiction.