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Magnificent Corpses: Searching Through Europe for St. Peter's Head, St. Claire's Heart, St. Stephen's Hand, and Other Saints' Relics
Reviews of Magnificent Corpses:
"Rufus approaches her subject with both a playful spirit and a savvy insight into the business of relics. Magnificent Corpses is a uniquely exotic "armchair adventure" that invites the reader to visit unheard-of places and see remarkable sights through the eyes of a hip and hardy writer with an edgy but engaging sense of humor. Both as a travel book and as a meditation on what prompts us to regard a life and the relics of life as holy, Magnificent Corpses is a magnificent if eccentric success."
"Rufus' prose is spare; she allows the scenes to make their own commentary. Take her with you on your next European vacation. She's the perfect companion."
"In a sort of anti-pilgrimage that is both poetic and bizarre, Anneli Rufus travels in search of Europe's most venerated corpses. Rufus, an expert on places strange and macabre, blends scholarship and wit in a narrative that deals candidly with the mystery and morality of these holiest of holy relics. A very interesting book."
"Rufus' miracle mystery tour crisscrosses Europe.... Her detail becomes almost lyrical."
"A travel book with a difference, Magnificent Corpses is an engrossing and delightful book that might well leave you rethinking your plans for your next vacation."
"A delightful personal narrative. Recommended for armchair travelers, readers interested in the saints, and those studying modern pilgrims."
"Rufus's splendid storytelling takes readers on a European tour not soon forgotten."
"Each tale is a literary gem as well as a wonderment.... The high quality of Rufus's narrative craftsmanship win Magnificent Corpses my vote for the most entertaining metaphysical read of the summer."
"With an often irreverent perspective, she takes us on a tour of some of the more interesting sites of saints still preserved in Europe.... Her outsider perspective casts some accurate and interesting judgments on the way these saints chose to live, as she presents an often unvisited side of Europe with fascination, wonder, and awe."
"A compelling journal...Rufus delivers a rich, witty and thought-provoking story of an offbeat journey."
"In this unique offering, award-winning journalist Rufus sought out dozens of final-resting places -- a lock of hair, a sacred body part, whole mummies -- and tells timeless tales of the quest in a sometimes soothing, sometimes shocking, always entertaining style."
"This lively and irreverent travelogue blends personal narratives with stories of the lives of the saints. Rufus's book may spur you to launch your own iconoclastic trek across Europe."
"The stories behind the veneration of sacred relics -- and the strange travails such reverence has engendered for the remains of saints -- are the subject of this intriguing, amusing, offbeat travel book. Journeying throughout Europe on the trail of garlanded skulls, disembodied hands, and fully dressed mummies, Anneli Rufus investigates more than two dozen of Europe's most honored relics. Spiced with saints' lives, historical curiosities, and clever observation of the contemporary scene, Magnificent Corpses is a captivating chronicle."
"Great reading, plain and simple. Rarely has a "travel" guide been so engrossing, so to speak.... The stories are captivating, and Ms. Rufus tells them in a way that makes this a page-turner of the first magnitude."
Readers' comments about Magnificent Corpses: