Kacey, November 9, 2014 (view all comments by Kacey)
In my opinion, this is Mary Roach's best book. Since death and dead bodies are kind of taboo I had never really given much thought to corpses and what to do with them. I figured you could either be cremated, buried, or donated to science. Little did I really know! In Stiff, Mary Roach respectfully and cleverly introduces readers to a whole new world of the post mortem. I found it fascinating and often quite funny. Definitely recommend!
Bryna, November 23, 2012 (view all comments by Bryna)
I wholeheartedly suggest Roach's "Stiff" for some fireside reading. While admittedly less romantic than "Bonk," her novel aout the history and science of sex, she is so razor-witted about the business of human remains that she has you in stitches before you realize you're chuckling over a corpse. Edifying, humorous, and definitely thought-provoking, I recommend it!
Emily ODonnell, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Emily ODonnell)
Fascinating and witty. As a nursing student and volunteer for an organ donation program I love the gritty details and like that the book is straight forward and entertaining enough for my mom to enjoy it too. I hope ecological burial will be more widely available by the time I die!
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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
W. W. Norton & Company -
by Martin John Brown,
In her remarkable debut, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach explored what happens to the body after death, and in the process brought the corpse to glittering life. In her follow up, she stakes out similar terrain. What happens to the soul after death? And how can you tell? This time her subject is more elusive. Still, though Roach may not arrive at clear answers, she is such a consistently fascinating and entertaining writer, hard facts are decidedly beside the point.
by Martin John Brown
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"Fascinating, unexpectedly fresh and funny look at the multiplicity of ways in which cadavers benefit the living....Informative, yes; entertaining, absolutely."
by Les Simpson, Time Out New York,
"Roach's dry, irreverent wit makes for a delightful — though never disrespectful — read."
by Publishers Weekly (Starred Review),
"[A] book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty....Even Roach's digressions and footnotes are captivating, helping to make the book impossible to put down."
by Washington City Paper,
"A laugh-out-loud funny book....[O]ne of those wonderful books that offers enlightenment in the guise of entertainment."
by Los Angeles Times,
"As weird as the book gets, Roach manages to convey a sense of respect and appreciation for her subjects."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."
by Gilbert Taylor, Booklist,
"Roach displays her metier in tangents about bizarre incendents in pathological history. Death may have the last laugh, but, in the meantime, Roach finds merriment in the macabre."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"Fascinating and oddly fun."
"Acutely entertaining, morbidly fascinating."
by Ana Marie Cox, The Washington Post,
"Our own instinctive discomfort with death provides fodder for Roach's dry sense of humor throughout the book."
by American Scientist,
"Roach exhibits both a keen sense of humor and a sincere respect for the dearly departed."
by Alex Abramovich, People Magazine,
"Roach's conversational tone and her gallows humor bring her subjects to life....Morbidly entertaining."
by Kim Colton, Willamette Week (Portland, OR),
"Roach...goes into gruesome detail, but she also succeeds in not making the subject at hand too morbid."
by Caleb Carr, author of The Alienist,
"As fascinating as it is funny....The research is admirable, the anecdotes carefully chosen, and the prose lively; and they combine to produce a book that everyone in the health care field should have to read, and everyone else will want to."
by Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief,
"Droll, dark, and quite wise, Stiff makes being dead funny and fascinating and weirdly appealing."
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.
Oddly compelling and often hilarious, 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.
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