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The Face

by Daniel McNeill

ISBN 0316588032 / 9780316588034 / 0-316-58803-2
Publisher Little Brown & Co (T)
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

What Frank Wilson did for The Hand, and Diane Ackerman for the senses, Daniel McNeill now does for the face. In a fascinating tour of our magnificent mugs, McNeill uses biology and history to help readers appreciate the underappreciated. "We often treat the face as the self," he writes in the introduction, and hence we look right through the most interesting part of our bodies. From our strange, pointy noses ("zoologically bizarre") to our rubbery lips ("twin pleasure puffs, rich with touch sensors"), our faces mark humans as unique among animals. And, oh the things we do with our faces! McNeill examines them all, unflinchingly analyzing the kiss, the sneer, the grin, the blush, and the bluff, not to mention the fleeting expressions that reveal our poker hands, lies, and true feelings. He speculates about fascinating things like the origins of the smile and the use of cosmetics. He works science, literary references, and historical anecdotes into the text effortlessly, weaving a mesmerizing narrative full of bits of trivia that will have you raising your eyebrows, pricking up your ears, and laughing out loud. --Therese Littleton [via]