• by Frances Larson
  • Narrated by Reay Kaplan
  • 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A serious and seriously entertaining exploration of the dark and varied obsessions that the "civilized West" has had with decapitated heads and skulls.
The human head is exceptional. It accommodates four of our five senses, encases the brain, and boasts the most expressive set of muscles in the body. It is our most distinctive attribute and connects our inner selves to the outer world. Yet there is a dark side to the head’s preeminence, one that has, in the course of human history, manifested itself in everything from decapitation to headhunting. So explains anthropologist Frances Larson in this fascinating history of decapitated human heads.
From the Western collectors whose demand for shrunken heads spurred massacres to Second World War soldiers who sent the remains of the Japanese home to their girlfriends, from Madame Tussaud modeling the guillotined head of Robespierre to Damien Hirst photographing decapitated heads in city morgues, from grave-robbing phrenologists to skull-obsessed scientists, Larson explores our macabre fixation with severed heads.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


What did you like best about Severed? What did you like least?

interesting enough, but not enough details

If you’ve listened to books by Frances Larson before, how does this one compare?

I have not listened to another book.

What three words best describe Reay Kaplan’s performance?


Do you think Severed needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, unless the author can give a lot more details, rather than just relating facts

Any additional comments?

The book doesn't hold your interest after the first third. It turns into a relating facts

Read full review

- Marie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-18-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios