The Giant, O'Brien

The Giant, O'Brien

Book - 1999
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Random House, Inc.
The year is 1782; the place, London: centre of science and commerce, home to the newly rich and magnet to the desperately poor-among whom is the Giant, O'Brien, a freak of nature. He is a man of songs and stories who believes in ancient myths. He has come to London to exhibit his size for money. He has also, he discovers, come there to die.

His opposite is a man of science, a society surgeon, the famed anatomist John Hunter, employer of a legion of grave robbers. He lusts after the Giant's corpse. Coin is offered, but the Giant refuses. He will be buried; he will assume his throne in heaven. But money changes hands as friends are bribed. The Giant sickens, dies. Today, his bones may be viewed by any curious stranger who visits Hunter's London museum.

Publisher: Toronto, ON : Doubleday Canada, 1999
Edition: Paperback edition
ISBN: 9780385258951
Characteristics: 192 pages ; 21 cm


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Jul 13, 2016

Beautifully written. The further you read on, the more you want to keep on reading. It describes the change in life that cities bring, compared to the peaceful simpleness of outside life. A great read for a summer evening. Barely drones on at times.

Jan 26, 2015

A sad but brilliant book


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FavouriteFiction Oct 22, 2009

The story of 18th-century Irish giant Charles Byrnes and the surgeon who becomes obsessed with dissecting him after he dies.

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