I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. There were parts that were so repulsive that I almost had to stop listening but I persevered and was rewarded with one of the funniest, fascinating books I've ever listened to. The reader was particularly good. She captured the dark humor side of the book. How can we go wrong when a book lists the most common ways of testing a corpse for truly being dead including a red-hot poker up the butt?
i admit it. i watch CSI religiously. i like forensics shows. so this book would appeal to me. but mary roach does a fantastic job of not only delving into areas most of us would go to great pains to avoid, but also addressing the moral and ethical issues of such topics as organ donation and the use of cadavers in research. i learned a lot, the reading is well done, and the writing is done in a very accessible, even entertaining style. highly recommended.
One of the best books I've read in a long time, particulartly because it is "scientific" and nonfictiobn. Roach is so clearly fascinated by her subject that she draws her readers into her explorations through sheer enthusiasm. There are gory bits to this book, but they are so well-handled and necessary to the movement of the narrative that the reader can do nothing but squeal in horror and giggle onward. All goriness is, in my opinion, necessary to the study of the subject, and the study of such a subject has universal appeal beccause it is, after all, about us. Fantastic research, excellent narrative. I can't imagine any reader regretting this book as an enlightening read.
Addicted to Audible!
This book seemed well researched and the narrator was excellent. There was enough humor to take the edge off the topic. I was fascinated until the last part of the book where they started describing pharmaceuticals, in that section I got physically nauseated ( and I am a nurse) and had to stop listening. Maybe just listen on an empty stomach and fast forward over the parts you cant take. I learned quite a bit that was valuable to me!
Have you ever wondered what happens to bodies when they die? Maybe not, but believe me it's probably a lot more interesting than you think.
Mary Roach does a great job of describing just how much we've been able to learn from our fallen ancestors. Dissections have helped transform many surgeries from a painful nightmare into a high-probability savior. Decomposition tests have provided crime scene investigators with new techniques to use when tracking down a criminal. Car manufacturers have used dead bodies to make automobiles safer for the living. The list goes on and on.
Things are not always pretty in cadaver land however, and Mary Roach does a great job of covering the darker aspects of this topic as well. You'll learn about body snatching, cannibalism, head transplants, vivisection, and lots of other gory details. This audiobook is not for the squeamish - fair warning! I'm not a very squeamish person, but I was squirming during some of the more descriptive sections. If you have trouble with stuff like this - don't listen while driving!
Shelly Frasier does a great job with the narration of Stiff. At first her somewhat quirky voice took a bit of getting used to for me, but Stiff is a quirky book and it really fits perfectly.
I was a little uncomfortable throughout the whole book, and sadly reminded of my 21 year old pet who died in my arms last year. Ms. Roach steers clear of "death" throughout most of the book, but it's always lurking in the background. However, I think next time I am in the presence of the corpse of a loved one, I will feel a larger separation between them, and the cadaver in front of me.
The author really takes the topic on fearlessly on all our behalves, absolutely worth the credits.
Good information but the technical aspect is bad- there is a tape hiss that clicks on and off as the reader starts and stops- it’s annoying! Even more annoying is the reader’s lack of proper pronunciation of medical terminology.
Can I give no stars?
I work for a hospital and although I personally don't come across any cadavers in the course of my job, there's always something in the back of my mind which quietly reminds me that there aren't just "alive" people here in the hospital; there are some dead ones in the building, as well.
I normally would not have purchased/read a book about cadavers. However, the reviews out there on the Internet convinced me to take a chance on this book.
This book is superb in every way!
Mary Roach did an enormous amount of research before writing this book, and she fills it with not just tons of factual information, from Medieval times through modern day, but she presents it with a subdued, dry wit which made this book not only informative, but also hilarious.
I listened to this audiobook on my way to and from work for an entire week, and the following Monday I found myself wishing that Mary Roach had more audiobooks available on anything scientific, as she has to be one of the most informative, yet funny science writers I've ever come across.
I feel that this book deserves a 5-star rating. It is simply superb!
Sam from Sacramento's review is exactly what I would have said. Whenever I tell someone I am listening to this book, I feel like I almost have to qualify myself. Amazingly, the hardest part for me was the live animal testing for bullets. I actually had to skip past that, while I found the science of Pan Am Flight 800 amazingly riveting.
I listened to this book driving back and forth to work and I will say there was an occasional uncontrollable "ick" or "ohmigod" uttered, accompanied by a queasy face, but the book never failed to be satisfying, interesting, and quirkly.
The narrator was absolutely perfect for the book and I think it is the first time I actually searched audible for more books by a narrator. When she's reading the scene in the Knoxville rot lot, I nearly had to pull the car over I was laughing so hard...about the noise "haciendas" make while eating rotting flesh.
Anyway, it will make you uncomfortable and queasy on occasion, but that is far outweighed by the things you'll learn about life and the process of death.
This book is not 8 solid hours of what happens to your body when you die. This book takes you back through history and shows you the contributions that cadavors made to science through the years, including their use as crash test dummies, in determining the causes of plane crashes, etc.
I didn't get squeemish at all, and would recommend this book to anyone who has a scientific curiosity and can handle the thought of what will happen to their body when our time is up.