I picked up Stiff
after hearing Mary Roach read from her book. She really has a light
touch when dealing with a subject most of society would find distasteful. She also
has a wry sense of humor that manages to leave the dignity of the dead wholly
intact. In the first chapter, "A Head Is a Terrible Thing to Waste," she sees the similarity in size between a human head and a stewing chicken; it's something she never would have thought of but for the fact that the surgeons practicing on these heads were using
disposable aluminum baking trays to contain them... an interesting observation I
will not forget. This book is fun, intriguing, instructional, and oddly sweet. The
dead have much to teach us.