The content was just uninteresting. I have read around this topic for years now. Roach presents nothing new and unfortunately fails to add the intelligent commentary that I was expecting.
Far worse however was the narration. Honestly! What is wrong with her voice? Did anyone listen to this recording before publishing it? Why does she feel the need to over-dramatise nonfictional quotes and make them all sound stupid and implausible. Whether scientists or spiritual mediums, it is not for the narrator to make judgements on their credibility.
I really enjoyed Mary Roach's "Stiff" narrated by Shelly Frasier, so this was a huge disappointment. Not sure now whether to try another of her books.
I love listening to Bonk, Gulp and Stiff. They were excellent and fun to listen too. Spook just didn't grab me.
The narration was horrible. I found myself implorring the narrator out loud to just read the book and stop adding her horrible fake accents.
Shelly Frasier, the narrator who read Stiff did a fantastic job
The content of the book was great, what was written by Mary Roach was interesting and witty and I would have really enjoyed it if the narration hadn't been so distractingly horrible.
I look forward to listening to more of Mary Roach's work, read by anyone else.
Partly, I was disappointed in the reader. I found her rendition too over-done for what I imagine to be Mary Roach's dry, tongue-in-cheek humor. I also found the topic to be less interesting than I expected, although the ending was quite a surprise. I guess most of the scientific findings about topics related to the afterlife are exactly what I would expect. I am looking forward to more of Roach's books though.
I like Mary Roach, and have enjoyed her other books, but the snotty, openly mocking tones in the narration made Roach sound snotty, and I really don't think that's the attitude she would have going into this topic. I really wanted to hear what Roach had to say about the afterlife, but after a few chapters, I just couldn't listen anymore.
I think this narrator does the author a disservice, because the one thing I've always enjoyed about Roach is her open mind and genuine curiosity, and that lovely nature is overshadowed by a snotty tone that's trying too hard to be... funny... I guess? If you're a Roach fan, I recommend the print version.
The different areas she investigated. Her balanced investigation and open mind.
I think the narrator was terribly mismatched. Roach's wit is dry, yet the performance was too peppy, too stage-projected for the book. I feel bad for both the author and the performer.
I love Roach's writing, and I think the delivery should convey her personality more.
Aside from the worst English accents since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, the narrator reads to us like someone reading to six year olds; with too much EMPHasis on WORDS to create a FALSE sense of DRAMA. Avoid or your teeth will grind to dust.
I am saddened by her ignorant toward other cultures. The scientific parts of the book was interesting and that was all i was interested in. Her personal comments and her extreme ignorant toward other cultures is the reason for 1 star.
To the writer: You are not an anthropologist, stick with the science...
Bernadette Quigley has a good voice, but she reads this book accentuating and exaggerating everything so much that she completely kills Mary Roach's hilarious subtle pokes. Every funny comment is read in a sort of winky-winky way, and every sarcastic remark is overblown.
Every british accent is butchered and sounds like a mockery. The lame attempts at an indian accent is borderline racist, I believe.
I generally laugh myself to tears when reading a Roach book; in the case of this one, there were no laughs so far. I have to mentally reinterpret all the words. If you never read a Mary Roach book before, please do yourself a favor don't start with this reading. Try, for example, Packing For Mars, which was a delightful listen.
As far as the book's contents, this is standard Mary Roach: scientific exploration and research to debunk subjects of mystification, with a lot of curiosities, grossness and sarcasm. I love her style; I can see why not everyone would.
I implore you to READ this book. But please DO NOT LISTEN to it. Bernadette Quigley's use of accent's and affectations make this unbearable. The subject matter is interesting and the book is well written but the narration will drove me turn the book off and delete it from library immediately. I quickly picked up the book and finished reading it with complete satisfaction and no need for the ridiculous Ms. Quigley added.