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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,0141462,964 (3.52)178
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 lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, the author brings her 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.… (more)
Recently added bykitcaswe, kbro29, private library, Eva-La, AnnaArsenic, libraryjk, beththorpe, SStewart89
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» See also 178 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
This one is really hard for me because I like Mary Roach. The truth i I only read it as far as I did because I liked several of her other books a lot. This book didn't do it for me. I didn't like the way she attacked the subject. I didn't think it was funny, although I think it was trying to be in places. It seemed to have no clear direction on what kind of book it wanted to be. I stopped reading about 60% of the way through. Again if it hadn't been Roach I would have set this one down much earlier. She can write and there were some interesting parts but not enough to keep me going. ( )
  cdaley | Nov 2, 2023 |
FIVE STARS FOR THE WOMAN THAT SHOVED BABY RABBIT FETUSES UP HER VAJAYJAY
  fleshed | Jul 16, 2023 |
From S, who first sent me Stiff in the mail with no return address. At the time I thought it either a kind gift or a very creative threat.


Entertaining as always, but if I were recommending one of her books, it would be Stiff, or maybe Gulp. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
So much potential and yet so little substance. Very disappointing as this is one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite subjects. Too much to hope for, I guess? ( )
  MauraWroblewski | Jun 24, 2023 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (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 lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, the author brings her 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.

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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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