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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4511412,681 (3.53)175
"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)
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» See also 175 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
A little flippant - just really silly. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
this book was interesting, in a pop science way, but ultimately not interesting enough to finish.
  kickthebeat | Nov 1, 2020 |
Roach employs an obnoxiously condescending tone throughout most of the book (as if her private title is Dumbasses: People Who Believe in Life After Death), but the subject matter and considerable research is very interesting. If you would like to start reading her work, I would suggest Stiff or Bonk over Spook. ( )
  captainsunbeam | Oct 16, 2020 |
Just couldn't get through this - way too talky, way too twee and clever. Narrator did way too many cute voices and accents. Not enough cool information. Stopped listening after the 4th disc. ( )
  scout101 | Sep 15, 2020 |
This one didn't grab me the way her other books have, though certainly I've found myself retaining a lot of the info in here. I think that perhaps it's just the nature of the topic-- there's so much quackery and superstition and non-science that it felt a little....soft at times. ( )
  elam11 | May 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (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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