Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Book Review: Stiff--The Curious Life of Human Cadvers

Author—Mary Roach

Pages: 303

Personal Rating: 4/5

From the back cover:

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

The first three quarters of this book were much more interesting than the last quarter which I ended up skimming. Roach examines the many ways cadavers are used today. Each chapter is devoted to a different use. Some examples; Chapter 1—A Head Is A Terrible Thing To Waste, Chapter 4—Dead Man Driving, Chapter 5—Beyond The Black Box. She has a dry sense of humor that is present throughout the book. You will alternate between laughing and being grossed out. Roach also addresses how much resistance the people who work with cadavers encounter from the public and government.

Even though I did not enjoy the last few chapters of this book I’m rating it a 4 out of 5 for its original idea, sense of humor and disgusting descriptions.

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