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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers…

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Mary Roach

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,907368416 (4.09)529
Title:Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Authors:Mary Roach
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:anatomy, anthropology, autopsy, biology, cadavers, corpses, death, forensics, funerals, history, medicine, medical, science, sociology, non-fiction

Work details

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (2003)

  1. 121
    Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach (alaskabookworm)
  2. 31
    The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead by Heather Pringle (FFortuna)
  3. 31
    A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America by Michael Sappol (meggyweg)
  4. 20
    Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These engaging, unusual accounts deal with the human body after death. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes wittily relates the work of an assistant in a crematorium, while Stiff presents an entertaining account of what happens with cadavers.
  5. 21
    Lenin's Embalmers by Ilya Zbarsky (bertilak)
  6. 00
    Shocked : adventures in bringing back the recently dead by David Casarett M.D. (juglicerr)
    juglicerr: If you liked either on of these books, I recommend trying the other author. Both offer nitty-gritty medical details leavened with humor, which helps make the gross details more bearable. For my money, Mary Roach is funnier, but I thoroughly enjoyed both authors… (more)
  7. 00
    Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  8. 11
    The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  9. 00
    The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut's Mummy by Jo Marchant (sboyte)
  10. 11
    No Stone Unturned: The Story of Necrosearch International Investigators by Steve Jackson (grizzly.anderson)
  11. 22
    The Dead Janitors Club: Pathetically True Tales of a Crime Scene Cleanup King by Jeff Klima (infiniteletters)
  12. 01
    Never Suck A Dead Man's Hand: Curious Adventures of a CSI by Dana Kollmann (meggyweg)
  13. 01
    The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers by Scott Carney (meggyweg)
  14. 02
    The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey (MyriadBooks)
  15. 14
    Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (jbarry)

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» See also 529 mentions

English (363)  Italian (4)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All (369)
Showing 1-5 of 363 (next | show all)
This was really fun. And creepy. And entertaining and thought provoking. and sometimes a little gross. :-) ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
While I don't think about it often, death has always been a bit of a scary topic for me. When I was 13, I had a seizure in a pool and luckily my sister was there to help me out of the water. Having experienced fading out of consciousness, I have often wondered if that is what if feels like to pass away. This book really alleviated some of my fears. Although it is a bit graphic at times, it puts a humorous spin on something that we will all experience one day. After read this book, I did sign up to be an organ donor. I figured, why not? I'm not going to need anything when I'm gone. ( )
  Ljnorton | Jul 13, 2017 |
I did not think I would be able to finish this book at first, because of the grisliness. But I held on and I'm glad I did.
Very interesting book, but also very morbid. If you are easily made queasy by such things as descriptions of decaying bodies and the like...skip this one.

I got all of her other books after finishing this one. ( )
  antrat1965 | Apr 7, 2017 |
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach is a book that details the unique scientific contributions that the dead can provide. In straight forward, sometimes humorous, but never disrespectful language, the author delivers her information in a witty and reassuring manner. I learned a lot and was only slightly grossed out by the macabre situations and strange experiments that the dead have been subjected to over the centuries.

Nothing is sacred as the author gives us chapters on organ transplants, methods of disposal, medical experimentation, forensic scientists, and rumors of cannibalism. Each subject is explained in layman terms and the author goes to great lengths to explain or even, as in the case of human dumplings being sold in China, to dispel.

The author interviewed and visited morticians, doctors, scientists, engineers and others whose work involves corpses in order to produce this fascinating and unique book. Although this can be considered a distasteful subject, Mary Roach keeps the books informative and entertaining with her off-beat musings and her obvious interest in the subject. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 15, 2017 |
Really fascinating and the author's sense of humor was spot on. ( )
  Kathl33n | Feb 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 363 (next | show all)
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Frasier, ShellyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393324826, Paperback)

"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."—Entertainment Weekly

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. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries—from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393324826, 0393050939

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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