Review: Blood Work by Holly Tucker

This is a book about the the history of blood transfusions-mainly the beginning.  In the 1600s it was very controversial, and not very safe either.  This book chronicals the journey that the first blood transfusionists went through to try and safely transfuse blood from one living thing to another. 

This was a fascinating book.  I think the title is a bit misleading because it’s not filled with murders or anything like that, but over all I really enjoyed reading this.  I cannot believe that they used to transfuse animal blood into humans.  Seriously. 

It was so interesting reading about all the failed attempts at transfusion, and also all of the successful attempts.  My only real qualm with the book is that apparently they did a lot of their testing on dogs, which I didn’t realize until I was engrossed in the book.  I did have to skip some of the details about the kinds of things they would put into the animals’ blood streams.  If I had known that that much detail was going to be in here, about sweet little doggies, I definitely would not have picked up the book.  However, I skipped most of that stuff and if you’re as fascinated with the history of blood transfusions (and why its research was finally put to a stop until a hundred or 2 years later) then I highly recommend this one.

It was a very interesting book, and a nice change from fiction.  But even the medical parts not about animals are a bit graphic and go into detail about the human body and the reactions it can have to transfusions, so if you get queesy easily, then this one’s problably not for you 🙂

Title: Blood Work: A Tale of Murder and Medecine in the Scientific Revolution
Author: Holly Tucker
Date of Publication: 2012
Number of Pages: 336
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Personal ebook


About Kelly

Hi! My name’s Kelly. I’m a twenty-something gal from Buffalo, NY. Mom to a little dog named Peabody and a slightly evil cat named Archie. Engaged to the best dude ever. I love books and craft beer! I also love all things France and francophone and have a degree in French Language and Literature from Buffalo State College. My blog used to be called Kelly’s France Blog, but I finally decided it needed a change because I wasn’t posting about French things nearly as often as I used to! You can still see all my imported posts on A Book and a Beer, or you can visit my original blog at
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