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Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers…

Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Mary Roach

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7,148327499 (4.09)464
Title:Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers
Authors:Mary Roach
Info:New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2003.
Collections:Your library, Reviewed
Tags:2012, online book club, nonfiction

Work details

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

Recently added bytoddbg, LT_Ammar, nancytribe, private library, Blinstrub, LindaSagerKazalski, DShaunS
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» See also 464 mentions

English (322)  Italian (3)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (327)
Showing 1-5 of 322 (next | show all)
This had a lot of good aspects of a nice non-academic nonfiction work – interesting topic, readable, not repetitive. So generally I enjoyed it, but somehow I didn’t love it. I think part of it are the constant off-topic asides which I think are an effort to lessen the morbidity of the subject but maybe are just Roach’s style. I can see the appeal, but they wearied me. But other than that, I can’t really put my finger on why this didn’t grab me more. This all sounds more negative than I feel about it thought, and overall I would recommend it. ( )
  janemarieprice | Sep 21, 2015 |
I spent a good chunk of this book bursting out laughing. [a:Mary Roach|7956|Mary Roach|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1363641585p2/7956.jpg] is a talented writer and manages to make sciencey topics interesting. I'm not sure what cause the disconnect, but around two thirds of the way through, I just stopped caring entirely. I was done with it. I tried to soldier on, but couldn't make a go of it.

I'd absolutely pick up another of her books - there are some literary GEMS in this book, I think I just ran out of interest in the topic at hand.

If you love Mary Roach AND cadavers, you'll love this book. ( )
  liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
This was a very interesting book. My initial impression is to only recommend this book to biological anthropologists, people who have worked with dead bodies before or are just curious with a really strong stomach. However, I have worked with dead bodies before so I could very easily see exactly what Roach was describing, and thus perhaps for those who can not picture this with perfect clarity, it will not be as disturbing as I would imagine it to be for most people. It looks like quite a mass of people have read the book and enjoyed it, and I doubt ALL of them meet the before mentioned criteria. I really enjoyed the history aspect of the book. Why I didn't think it was "hilarious", I did enjoy the tone of the book as well. I've taken a look at the other books from Mary Roach and am now looking forward to getting my hands on those ones as well. ( )
  Kassilem | Sep 16, 2015 |
Stiff is an absolutely engrossing and enthralling look at what happens to our bodies when we die. Much of the book is devoted to body donations, which was done in a respectful manner. ( )
  amandacb | Sep 7, 2015 |
The best of non-fiction! Pelted with interesting bits of trivia and history I always felt I was learning while Roach's writing style was consistently entertaining (if not downright funny). Highly recommend...although you'll be in a quandary in how to dispose of your own body when you're done! ( )
  AmyVansant | Aug 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 322 (next | show all)
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The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken.
The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. (Introduction)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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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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