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
It's science and history told in an engaging fashion
The stories about ectoplasm were a hoot.
She has a great and subtle range of emotions
It made me curious for more. I found myself browsing the internet many times.
She makes science and history fun.
I am a HUGE Mary Roach fan, therefore I decided not to listen to everyone else and get this book anyway. Well, the narrator was not my favorite, but really the book was the problem. Not her finest work. I will still listen to her next book all her others were informative and humorous!
Just had to chip in with the rest to warn people off this one. I've listened to three other Roach books on audible and found them all light but enjoyable. I remember having to warm up to the narrator on "Bonk" but ended up quite enjoying her. This narrator is truly awful - hamming it up the entire time. The content is overpowered by the performance. The narration is so off putting that it's impossible for me to judge the book itself in comparison to the others by Roach I've listened to. Do yourself a favour and either read this one in paper format or skip it all together.
Enjoyed the humor very much. Thought provoking. Recommend it highly even though it seems "dark" in nature. (I am NOT a dark person by ANY stretch of the imagination but things that make you think beyond what you know it excellent mental exercise!
I thoroughly agree with what everyone else has written: the narrator viciously murders this book. I just wanted to point out one thing I think the others miss, that the other three Mary Roach books, narrated by two other women, are all excellent listens. Roach is a great, fun writer. This was her second book and though probably the weakest, it's still worth a read, just not a listen. Definitely check out the other three audiobooks though.
Although the narrator of this book is phenomenal, and generally pleasant, she managed to make the tone of this book rather intentionally or unintentionally, patronising, and therefore amusing. I doubt the author had intended to take mockery this far. The professed content is intriguing, but execution left something to be desired. This is not a history book, but rather, a highly investigative journalistic in style. I give it three stars because although I am entertained and amused, the content and the structure definitely left something to be desired.
This listen was so boring! This author wrote mainly about who found what scientific evidence about the human soul and how they came about with their hypothesis. You could go to any library regarding this subject and see who wrote these books yourself. All you listened to was about who did what tests and what they found through mostly the entire book. If I could have I wouldn't of even given this listen even a 1 star rating. WHAT A WASTE OF A PERFECTLY GOOD BOOK CREDIT!
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.
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