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.
©2005 Mary Roach; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio
Like other reviewers, I have never written a review until this one, feeling compelled to warn others away from the audiobook presentation here.
The narrator reads in a ridiculous, campy, over-dramatic style, as if reading to pre-teens about Ramona Quimby or Sideways Stories from Wayside School.
When ending a paragraph where the author is dubious, I was almost expecting some sort of "wah wah waaaaaaaaah" sound effect to accompany my mental 'quick tight-zoom facial expression' akin to something seen on Laugh-In.
The narrator hams it up with teeth-gnashingly atrocious Indian accents (when speaking for Indians the author encounters along her journey) and completely TERRIBLE interpretation of the book and subject matter, I wish I could have my credit back.
I would much rather have read this in print. STAY AWAY from this audiobook presentation. TRUST ME. It is really REALLY bad.
If you want to hear someone tell an amazing story and do accents the right way, try David Sedaris.
I love Mary Roach. I hate this snarky, superior, judgmental narrator. She absolutely ruined this book for me.
This might have been the worst purchase I have made yet from Audible. I'd give it negative stars if that were possible. I still like the idea of the book and maybe it would have been a better "read" in print - perhaps it just didn't translate well into the spoken format. The horrendous narrator didn't help either (is there anything more annoying that an American trying to fake an India accent?). I'd love to ask for my credit back, but it died like everything else associated with this horrendioma. Save your credit, save your ears, save yourself and don't buy this audiobook.
This book was mildly interesting. The narrator seemed to be making a great effort to sound "ironic" or something. That was grating at times, but for the most part this wasn't a bad book at all. Not bad, but not good either.
Also, it seemed as though the first half was devoted almost exclusively to reincarnation, which wasn't quite what I expected. Oddly enough, that was probably the best part.
I really enjoyed Bonk, though, so I'll likely give Stiff a chance still.
No. Unfortunately I already have. This rambled on with totally unimportant research. I just wanted it to be over.
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
from Mary Roach. I have listened to 3 books by this author and intend to get more. I'm impressed by the amount of information she researches and thoroughly enjoy her humorous way of looking at things. I think I'm in the same zone as far as skepticism and curiosity.
Didn't really know a thing about the book when I bought it, just thought the title sounded fun and it was! Very funny but very interesting. I enjoyed this audiobook a LOT!
More narrative on actual studies, less on descriptions of people, places, blah, blah, blah. The interesting science was about 20 minutes worth of the book. Remainder, thoughts of the author regarding people, places, herself, and a junior high attempt at humor.
This makes my second Mary Roach audible book. Bought were both at same time. If I had bought separately, I would not have purchased the second book.
I'm not sure. I believe the narrator tried to portray humor as the author intended. It just came off as junior high snarky snipping. And, way too much of it. Scientific test information was way drawn out with all the "aside" observations and commentary. The interesting stuff could have been condensed to two hours listening.
Yes, it gave some interesting medical science history related to the subject.
If you bemoan people who attempt to tell a story/get endlessly sidetracked on non-relevant detail and you want to scream "get to the point".......this book is not for you.
As many others have said, the narrator of this book was pretty awful, so I would change her. Normally I'm able to get accustomed to cheesey narration after a chapter or two, but the intermittent introduction of offensive imitations of Indian, British, and Southern accents was an insurmountable obstacle to enjoying this book. And as a scientist, I had to take a step back and assess whether or not I spend all my time whispering to people, but then I realized that it was just the narrator's (producer's?) perception of how we talk--not sure where this notion came from.
The story itself was entertaining. I did not enjoy as much as some of the other Mary Roach works I'm familiar with, but it definitely gets you thinking about the progression of science and the after life.
See what I would change.
I'm not sure if it was the narrator, the author, or both, but this book just came across as rude and pretentious. I regret my decision to purchase.
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