Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body
LibriVox has completed an unabridged recording of Henry Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body. It’ll take the keen student anatomist a little over 66 hours to go through once — and it only had one proof-listener through all five parts of the project, so there is at least one person in the world who’s done it. There are 44 readers, of whom I am one, contributing to the final part to edumacate listeners about The Digestive Apparatus and The Urinary Bladder. The book was split into five volumes for ease of completion and downloading, and each part links to the fully illustrated 1918 text, so those who wish can check out the diagrams at the same time. Newly available are free MP4 versions, as well as the usual archive.org free offerings of individual / zipped collection of MP3s and also OGGs.
As audiobooks go, this probably isn’t the most obvious choice for beach-listening or an absorbing commuting option. But there’s nothing else like it in the catalogue (yet!) and I sincerely hope it hits the spot for lots of listeners. We-at-LibriVox would love to know future listeners’ stories … why HAVE you picked this book..? There’s a new feedback feature available, which could be used for exactly this, or just sign up to the forum and post.
(18:26) — The Urinary Bladder.
If you think I’ve pronounced “ureter” or anything else wrong … I’m sorry, I did do my best, (including completely rerecording this chapter!) and Brit and US pronunciation vary all over the place.
If you haven’t read “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, you won’t remember the memorable scene in which Becky, Tom’s childhood sweetheart, gets in trouble with her humorless (and cane-wielding) schoolteacher by sneaking a peek at, and tearing the frontispiece of, his forbidden copy of “Gray’s Anatomy”, which he keeps carefully locked away from tender eyes in a drawer of his desk. (This schoolteacher, Twain says, had hopes of becoming a doctor, but bitter and embittering circumstance relegated him to a lower profession.)
Having discovered the “Thank You” feature of Librivox, I’ve lately been sending my thanks to stellar readers like TriciaG (listen, if you will, to Mark Twain’s “Eve’s Diary”), Peter Yearsley and Graham Redman. I’d thank you, too, but what’s the point? You’d sound good even as a soprano Darth Vader. 🙂
Now that I’ve mentioned Mark Twain twice, I might as well mention him thrice. Have you listened to Librivox’s version of “1601”? It’s a laugh riot. I could hardly catch my breath.
Here’s a news flash: having been kept hidden under lock and key by Sotheby’s for over a century (in accordance with his will), Mark Twain’s unexpurgated autobiography will soon be available to the general public. I wonder what the copyright restriction will be.
And speaking of the Librivox thank-you feature, I couldn’t help noticing, during my visits to it, how many listeners went on and on about “The Secret Garden” and “Black Beauty” and works of that sort. Now, I’m sure that they’re all very well, but still I couldn’t help lamenting just a little that with all of Librivox’s riches, the large majority of listeners still prefer the lesser works to the greater ones. The situation reminds me of the early days of movies, television and the internet – at all of those periods, intellectuals like H.G. Wells fervently (and, as it turned out, foolishly) hoped that the new technology would inaugurate a golden age of intellectualism.
But maybe that’s just me talking on the internet… :O