George’s journalistic eye is combined with sharp moral judgment ...[George] is painfully aware of the price of ignorance about blood, especially women’s blood This absorbing, vital book by one of the best non-fiction writers working today is a wonder in its own right.
An informative, elegant, and provocative exploration ...In the stellar opening chapter, she fuses her personal experience donating blood with remarkable hematologic facts ... George’s wondrously well-written work makes for bloody good reading!
Nine Pints—whose title alludes to the number of pints of blood circulating in our bodies—is part history, part essay, part investigation, but is a conversational and expansive narrative whose brisk pace flows along faster than, well, blood ... Nine Pints is a fascinating read... George’s tightly-woven research propels the reader through the stories of blood—its wholeness, its parts, its relationship to therapy and disease, to people and places. A certain joy exists in reading a book so packed with esoteric, unique, and, yes, vital information. The book delivers on its promise: this superbly researched work is indeed a captivating journey through the histories and mysteries of blood.
No armchair explorer, George makes the journey to the heart of blood a personal one ... Each chapter of Nine Pints reflects George’s experience, personal investment, and broad attention to the historical, political, social, biological, and moral aspects of blood. If the organizational thread is not always easy to follow, the book nevertheless overflows with telling examples—some fantastic, some uncanny, all informative about the sanguinary fluid.
I will read anything George writes ... Nine Pints is her fourth book...and her most personal ... As if George were pinching and expanding an image on a screen, Nine Pints expands to open up a world ... This book was clearly a trial for the author to write; she was frequently ill with dire symptoms caused by hormonal fluctuations during its composition. These facts add a bass note of mortality to the discussion ... at one or two moments, George’s prose is not as utterly sharp as we’ve come to expect from her ... her English phlegm never falters.
The book is full of striking facts and disturbing stories ... What’s notable about George’s work – and, in particular, this book – is her approach to the subject and how deftly she communicates vast tracts of information. George has clearly undertaken a huge volume of research and travel, but it’s presented engagingly, often sardonically. The reader rarely feels bombarded with academic science or medicalese, unlike many books in this area which scare off readers. Nine Pints is a hugely intelligent, humane and riveting work, and from illness to industry, George is an engaging guide through the bloodstream.
Unless you’re in the medical field, you might not think there’s much for you in a book titled Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood. But you’d be mistaken ... Some topics are rich, others a little anemic. George almost lost me in an overly long chapter on British scientist Janet Vaughan, who set up our modern system of blood donation and transfusion ... Vampires, hemophilia, blood types — the wealth and variety of subjects, each meticulously researched and laced with George’s dry Yorkshire humour and occasional righteous anger, means Nine Pints has something for everyone.
George tackles a squeamish subject in a manner that is eloquent and witty, making Nine Pints a factual, scientific book that reads like a novel with a colorful cast of characters ranging from medicinal leeches to groundbreaking scientists and innovative inventors. This fascinating book will appeal to anyone interested in learning more about blood and its role as a wondrous, renewable human resource.
While more a meandering survey than the comprehensive treatment that its subtitle promises, Nine Pints is a compelling chronicle, displaying an engaging prose style as well as welcome moments of righteous indignation ... Less justifiable is her disdain for the modern blood industry, which decades ago shifted from using whole blood to separating blood into components like red blood cells, plasma and platelets ... Even so, there is value in her exploration of how the modern system of blood donation got started in her home country—as well as the unusual ways it evolved elsewhere. Some of the most vital parts of Nine Pints concern the non-Western world ... Nine Pints ignores or skims over some of the more interesting trends in blood safety and supply...
Engrossing ... both fascinating and informative ... he author packs her book with the kinds of provocative, witty, and rigorously reported facts and stories sure to make readers view the integral fluid coursing through our veins in a whole new way ... An intensive, humanistic examination.