Synopses & Reviews
Not too long ago, there was no coming back from death. But now, with revolutionary medical advances, death has become just another serious complication.
As a young medical student, Dr. David Casarett was inspired by the story of a two-year-old girl named Michelle Funk. Michelle fell into a creek and was underwater for over an hour. When she was found she wasnt breathing, and her pupils were fixed and dilated. That drowning should have been fatal. But after three hours of persistent work, a team of doctors and nurses was able to bring her back. It was a miracle.
If Michelle could come back after three hours of being dead, what about twelve hours? Or twenty-four? What would it take to revive someone who had been frozen for one thousand years? And what does blurring the line between life” and death” mean for society?
In Shocked, Casarett chronicles his exploration of the cutting edge of resuscitation and reveals just how far science has come. He begins in the eighteenth century, when early attempts at resuscitation involved public displays of barrel rolling, horseback riding (sort of), and blowing smoke up the patients various orifices. He then takes us inside a sophisticated cryonics facility in the Arizona desert, a darkroom full of hibernating lemurs in North Carolina, and a laboratory that puts mice into a state of suspended animation. The result is a spectacular tour of the bizarre world of doctors, engineers, animal biologists, and cryogenics enthusiasts trying to bring the recently dead back to life.
Fascinating, thought-provoking, and (believe it or not) funny, Shocked is perfect for those looking for a prequeland a sequelto Mary Roachs Stiff, or for anyone who likes to ponder the ultimate questions of life and death.
“A specialist in end-of-life care at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Casarett has produced a travelogue about as comprehensive as possible without actually dying... His guide to the process of hauling passengers back up the exit ramp is fascinating.”
—New York Times
“[Casarett] traces the colorful history of efforts to revive the dead with meticulous reporting and humor”
“An exciting, firsthand account of scientific research whose implications are relevant to every living person.”
—THE FUTURIST magazine
“Entertaining, informative, and at times, electrifying.”
“Casarett accessibly reveals the work being done that may enable us to sleep far more, and so travel far further—in both place and time—than we ever dreamed.”
“With a keenly-honed sense of true curiosity and a killer wit, the author gamely goes from mortuary to museum and back to look deeply at how “dead” is maybe not really dead these days. He melds old-school myth with modern technology to see why lives are saved (or not), and his irreverent comments and hilarious observances give the title of his book a wicked double meaning… Death is a trip well all take, and some of us will be lucky enough to return with minimal souvenirs. If youre ready to laugh in the face of that, then reading “Shocked” should be your aim.”
—Terry Schlichenmeyer, “The Bookworm” in The Killeen Daily Herald
“A fascinating, well-written, and gripping book by a leading physician that takes readers through the incredible journey of resuscitation science. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the new medical ‘miracles that are helping humankind fight death and preserve life.”
—Sam Parnia, MD, author of Erasing Death
“Shocked is by turns heartbreaking and hilarious. But more than that, its an important book that should force an urgent discussion of the hairline border between alive and dead, and the incredible ethical (and economic) questions we face as technology redraws that boundary.”
—David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene
“If you think the line between life and death is a bright one, think again. In Shocked, end-of-life care expert David Casarett takes us on an informative, provocative, and useful tour of the state of the art in attempting to resuscitate the dead and bring them back to life. This is not the stuff of frozen heads, bright lights at the ends of tunnels, and bodies being cloned. It is a review of the best and sometimes worst of what real medicine has to offer and there is a no more lively, engaging, and sensible guide.”
—Art Caplan, author of Smart Mice, Not So Smart People
“Dr. Casarett writes from his heart and demystifies the art and science of resuscitation. His humor, poignancy, and intrigue make this book a must-read!”
—Kathy E. Magliato, MD, MBA, FACS, author of Heart Matters
“From the early days of CPR to the latest science on the cryogenic preservation of human life, Casarett takes us on an entertaining exploration into the void that separates life and death. Shocked is a great read.”
—David Dosa, MD, author of Making Rounds with Oscar
“Shocked is a compelling and fascinating account of the history, current practice, and hopes for the future of resuscitation. I enjoyed it immensely.”
—Mickey Eisenberg, MD, author of Life in the Balance
A physician explores just how far the science of resurrection has come
Not too long ago, when you were dead, you were dead. There was no coming back. But a little electricity, applied to the heart in just the right way, has changed all that. Now death has become just another serious complication.
Dr. David Casarett, a highly respected researcher and professor of medicine, now chronicles his journey to the cutting edge of resuscitation. His travels take him inside a sophisticated cryonics facility in the Arizona desert, into a darkroom full of hibernating lemurs in North Carolina, and to a laboratory that is experimenting with suspended animation.
Fascinating, thought provoking, humorous, and a little unsettling, Shocked takes on questions of life and death with a light touch and a broad perspective. It's perfect for fans of popular science books like Mary Roach's Stiff.
A physicians exploration of the odd science of marijuana, and the industry thats sprung up around it.
If youre diagnosed with a serious illness today, theres one thing you can look forward to: the ability to get stoned on legal, pharmaceutical-grade marijuana. The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in medical marijuana use, abetted by a new industry of farmers, distributors, manufacturers, and clinics that have created a need. But does pot really offer the medical benefits that its proponents promise? Or does it just make people feel good?
Dr. David Casarett, a highly respected researcher and professor of medicine, sets out to find answers firsthand. He visits dispensaries in California and Colorado; smears marijuana paste on his legs while trekking through Nepal; samples pot wine; learns how vaporizers work; and tries the purest kind of hash, known as shatter.”
The result is a light-hearted and much-needed medical practitioners perspective on what marijuana is really good for, and whether the dangers outweigh the benefits.
About the Author
David Casarett, M.D., is a