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
Quigley's condescending, cheesy narration, rife with cringe-worthy bad accents (Indian, English, Southern) can't help but detract from Mary Roach's normally brilliant prose. That said, this book lacks so many of the surprises and signature counter-intuitive gems that make Mary Roach my favorite living author. All said and done, probably her weakest book but still worth checking out. But read it, don't listen to this.
Pretty much kept fast forwarding 30 seconds at a time hoping for something worth listening to on this book. Chinese torture boring.
Yes for Mary Roach, no for Bernadette Quigley
Classic Mary Roach, gonzo journalism with weird scientists
Never. Throughout the book she does horrible accents bordering on racist, she pauses in the wrong places or emphasizes the wrong words, and feels free to put her own spin on sentences. It would have been much better with a narrator reading in a neutral tone and her own voice.
I enjoy Ted talks by Mary Roach and I admire and respect her approach to science, writing and life. What little I did listen to was intriguing and I think I would enjoy this book, but I cannot listen to it.
Apologies for the rough review but the narrator has an over-dramatic style and often seems surprised by the ending of a sentence - therefore it is read with a great dramatic emphasis that would be distracting even if it were correct, but it is incorrect and that is frustrating. To the point that I turned it off. This is just the sort of book that I enjoy listening to, but it is truly too difficult.
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.
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