Email this review


Inspired first aid for anyone suffering from an overdose of medical self-help guides. This ""handbook for hypochondriacs"" will provide all ""the medical background you need to manipulate your doctor and loved ones,"" promise the pseudonymous, Harvard-based authors. As they point out, all the diseases described are real: the medical information presented moreover ""is absolutely true, though lots of it is twisted and taken out of context."" Among their offerings are ""Common Complaints and the Worst Possible Disease They Could Represent"" e.g., ""fatigue is a normal physiological response to exertion, mental or physical. But it is also a normal physiological response to poisoning with Ctostridium botulinum--better known as botulism."" Also: ""Ten Diseases You Were Better Off Not Knowing About""--like Familial Periodic Paralysis (in which some victims never have to worry about a second attack, ""because, well, they don't do so well during the first"")--or ""Life-Threatening Infections You Can Catch From Your Pets."" The authors don't neglect instruction on self-examination (""how long has it been since you've checked if your eyeballs stick out too far"") and include a glossary of medical terms (""nausea: sensation experienced while the body decides whether to throw up or just die""). Just what the literature needs.

Publisher: Penguin