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The Anatomist's Dream
by Clio Gray
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In a small salt-mining town, Philbert is born with a âtaupeâ, a disfiguring inflammation of the skull. Abandoned by both parents and with only a pet pig for company, he eventually finds refuge and companionship in a travelling carnival, Maulwerfâs Fair of Wonders, as it makes its annual migration across Germany bringing entertainment to a people beset by famine, repression and revolutionary ferment. Philbert soon finds a caring family in Hermann the Fish Man, Lita, the Dancing Dwarf, Frau Fettleheim, the Fattest Woman in the World and an assortment of âfreak showâ artists, magicians and entertainers. But then Philbert meets Kwert, âTospirologist and Teller of Signsâ, and when he persuades the boy to undergo examination by the renowned physician and craniometrist, Dr Ullendorf, both Kwert and Philbert embark on an altogether darker and more perilous journey that will have far-reaching consequences for a whole nation.
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