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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 (854 )
5 star
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3.6 (676 )
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Story
3.6 (674 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Phoebe 12-24-15
    Phoebe 12-24-15

    Born Memphis, TN in 1963

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just so tedious..."
    Would you try another book from Mary Roach and/or Bernadette Quigley?

    Nope.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Roach again?

    Never.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    No personality.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Complete lack of interest.


    Any additional comments?

    I love the idea of this subject matter. I couldn't believe just how very dry and uninteresting this writer managed to make this subject. A total waste of over 8 hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candice Chambers Durham, NC 11-29-15
    Candice Chambers Durham, NC 11-29-15 Member Since 2015

    I'm a high school forensic science teacher, aspiring epidemiologist, cat lover, do-it-yourself-er and wife.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mary Roach is comical and succinct."
    What made the experience of listening to Spook the most enjoyable?

    I listened to the book on several long drives. Each chapter had a theme and that made it easy to stop and start with each trip.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Spook?

    I enjoyed hearing about some of the experiments that were performed in order to try and determine whether or not a soul exists.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    One of the chapters references a rumor about a husband and wife medium team that worked together. The husband always insisted to sit next to his wife during the ceremonies, apparently so that he could help with some very interesting props.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It was nice to space it out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittian household 10-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lackluster"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A different narrator perhaps, I really did not find this book nearly as funny as the others


    Would you be willing to try another book from Mary Roach? Why or why not?

    Yes


    What three words best describe Bernadette Quigley’s performance?

    Not as entertaining. Her voice might be better for a more serious book


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

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sea Mare 10-13-15
    Sea Mare 10-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    1
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    28
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    0
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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
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    7
    1
    Overall
    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
    27
    9
    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
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    162
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

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