Synopses & Reviews
Having mined the depths of the bizarre with great success in Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach once again will be doing what she does best by concentrating on an offbeat mix of science, pop culture and travel. Spook is an irreverent, yet thorough, exploration of the science of the afterlife. It tackles psychics, mediums, ghost detectors, NASA, and a host of other characters in this life who are concerned only with the afterlife.
?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.