ccaheath, September 6, 2011 (view all comments by ccaheath)
A thoroughly enjoyable book for the science junkie with a sense of humor. Mary Roach explores several uses for the human cadaver (who knew there were so many!) while taking time to talk to the scientific minds to explain the how and why of such uses. She maintains a witty humor throughout.
Emmajune, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Emmajune)
This book is fascinating! It goes in depth on a subject most people wouldn't even consider for more than a few seconds, it's written with a sense of humor while remaining tasteful (something that's hard to do in situations like this.) On top of that, it discusses things that are really important to know. Before reading it, I was quite attached to the idea of keeping my body all together after I die-- I mean it's my body, after all. But now I see it in a different light; I won't be there anymore, and there are so many potential ways I could really really help people. It's fairly comforting to think that even if one for some reason fails to live a meaningful life of service, one can still have a very meaningful (and possibly life-saving) death.
Carissa, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by Carissa)
This book is both hilarious and insightful. Mary Roach writes with an constant excitement that is contagious for the reader. The information alone in this book will make the reader re-evaluate what they know about 'stiffs' and the system that deals with them but also what they want done with themselves when they join the ranks. Put the excitement, humor and surprising facts together and you have this well written, entertaining book.
Aunt She, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Aunt She)
This book was fascinating! I had no idea that cadavers were being used in such interesting tests. I loved the way it was written: lots of wry humor yet in a style that was respectful to the departed. It was informative and easy to understand even though some of the subjects were very technical. My sister gave me this book for Christmas and I started reading it the next day. I essentially read it aloud to her because I so often ran across passages that were either interesting facts I didn't know or so hilarious they had to be shared! I would recommend this book to anyone. If you ever wondered how the characters on CSI know so much about how long the deceased has been dead, this book explains it, and does so beautifully.
Maggie_S, November 11, 2010 (view all comments by Maggie_S)
Thouroughly (and I mean thouroughly) researched book about what happens to your body when you die. I cringed (did you know they sew up your nether region?), I gasped (they sew up your nether region!), and I was horrified (Your NETHER REGION!). I kept smacking whoever was near to say, "Listen to this!" I think I'll go with the composting method.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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."
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.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and eBooks — here at Powells.com.