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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7221472,776 (3.52)177
"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that-- the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive" -- publisher's web site.… (more)
Recently added byPrincessCim, allanahk, lunasradish, emilystout, ebrimeyer, KaoticKore, private library, Grimm5325
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» See also 177 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
After reading and really enjoying Stiff, I was slightly disappointed with Spook. She repeats herself between the books and doesn't seem as interested in this subject as with actual corpses. I prefer this subject over the other so maybe I'm a little biased and over-informed to really enjoy this book (I didn't learn nearly as much as I did from Stiff) but I would still recommend this to people interested in the subject, especially if they're looking for a sort of starter read. I still enjoy Roach's writing style and distinct voice, though. ( )
  brittaniethekid | Jul 7, 2022 |
Spoiler alert: no conclusive evidence found ( )
  brutalstirfry | May 6, 2022 |
highly humorous, but didn’t really go anywhere ( )
  austinburns | Dec 16, 2021 |
I was trying to decide how to phrase what I felt about this book, then I happened to see Lydia Peever's review, and I can't get much better than that.

It's as intriguing as [b:Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers|32145|Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers|Mary Roach|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347656489s/32145.jpg|1188203], and almost as fun, but not quite.

Still, having said that, it's a fun read. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Good book but I would have liked more details. Other than that worth a read. ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
Roach ranges far and wide in "Spook," traveling to India to look into reincarnation and England to take a course in how to be a medium. She is a skeptic, but comes to some surprising conclusions in "Spook."
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roach, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Quigley, BernadetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my parents, wherever they are or aren't.
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My mother worked hard to instill faith in me.
I don’t recall my mood the morning I was born, but I imagine I felt a bit out of sorts.
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Also published under the title of "Six Feet Over".
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"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that-- the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive" -- publisher's web site.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Canongate Books

2 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 184195845X, 1847670806

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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