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Spook Audiobook

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

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Publisher's Summary

"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that - the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?"

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (799 )
5 star
 (184)
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 (235)
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3.7 (622 )
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1 star
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Story
3.5 (620 )
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3 star
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1 star
 (80)
Performance
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  •  
    Sea Mare 10-13-15
    Sea Mare 10-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    14
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    "snarky narration"

    I found the content of this book quite interesting; however, it was difficult to get past the snarky tone in the voice of the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Courtney 10-02-15
    Courtney 10-02-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
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    Story
    "Eh"

    Less substantial than Roach's other books. The narrator and her accents are annoying. This seems to be something she shares with the narrators of the other Roach books I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rashad Glendale, CA, United States 09-30-15
    Rashad Glendale, CA, United States 09-30-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awful narration"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KAMS Massachusetts 09-28-15
    KAMS Massachusetts 09-28-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    15
    2
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    Story
    "Excruciating, Boring. Narrator over dramatic."

    Pretty much kept fast forwarding 30 seconds at a time hoping for something worth listening to on this book. Chinese torture boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Stuart 09-11-15
    Dan Stuart 09-11-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good Mary Roach book, atrocious narration"
    Would you try another book from Mary Roach and/or Bernadette Quigley?

    Yes for Mary Roach, no for Bernadette Quigley


    What did you like best about this story?

    Classic Mary Roach, gonzo journalism with weird scientists


    Would you be willing to try another one of Bernadette Quigley’s performances?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Joslyn 09-02-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I couldn't listen to it."
    Would you try another book from Mary Roach and/or Bernadette Quigley?

    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.


    Has Spook turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    Do you think Spook needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 08-29-15
    Mary 08-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring and rambling."
    Would you try another book from Mary Roach and/or Bernadette Quigley?

    No. Unfortunately I already have. This rambled on with totally unimportant research. I just wanted it to be over.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 08-24-15
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 08-24-15 Member Since 2015

    Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another winner..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittany D Helgren 08-14-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "So fun"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam 08-10-15
    Pam 08-10-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    REVIEWS
    13
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    1
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    Story
    "Gave Up"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    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.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bernadette Quigley?

    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.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, it gave some interesting medical science history related to the subject.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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