Part scientific history of blood from ancient Rome to modern day and part memoir of how this vital fluid affects his own life as he watches friends lose their fight with AIDS, Hayes shares his experience in this gripping account.Part scientific history of blood from ancient Rome to modern day and part memoir of how this vital fluid affects his own life as he watches friends lose their fight with AIDS, Hayes shares his experience in this gripping account.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-22 Hemophobes beware: there are five quarts of blood in the human body, and Hayes (Sleep Demons: An Insomniac's Memoir) pours all of them into this book. A gay man living in San Francisco with an HIV-positive partner, Hayes uses his own encounters with blood's ability to save and destroy lives as a launching point for anecdotes in the larger story of blood. His personal history runs like a river through this book, picking up the flotsam and jetsam of blood lore. He launches into an account of the discovery of blood's components and its function in the body, and meanders through cultural perceptions of blood, from the sacred (the Eucharist) to the profane (Dracula). Hayes ranges far beyond red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma, taking readers inside a modern blood bank and to the bedside of a woman with hemophilia; his keen perceptions show how the ancient view of blood as the essence of a person's soul still pervades our modern vocabulary and views on the vital fluid.His sometimes irreverent commentary on misconceptions about blood doesn't shy away from the gruesome, particularly a cringe-inducing description of early blood transfusion techniques. With his strong writing and a unique approach, Hayes satisfyingly addresses this life force. B&w illus. Agent, Wendy Weil. (On sale Jan. 25) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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