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Spook Audiobook

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

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.
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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 (746 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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.

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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
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    "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
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    "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
  •  
    Kayla 08-05-15
    Kayla 08-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Narrator crosses the line into offensive accents."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    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.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    See what I would change.


    Could you see Spook being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mallory Strong 07-31-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Annoying"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 07-31-15
    Alex 07-31-15

    alex_799

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    "Awfull narration!"

    The reader read this book as if she were reading "Little Red Riding Hood" to a kindergarten class! It ruined Mary Roach's prose, making it seem condescending and snarky, rather than smart. I am very glad that this was the LAST Mary Roach book I listened to from Audible, rather than the first!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FranC 07-24-15
    FranC 07-24-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator was annoying"

    The narrator was awful. Her voices were unbearable to listen to. The book itself was just ok. I would not recommend buying this,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saul 07-23-15
    Saul 07-23-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Colour me entertained!"

    Wonderfully written and read, this skeptic's approach to the afterlife and science's efforts to unmask it was nothing short of amazing. I laughed out loud at times, got sad at others, and finished with a sense of complete satisfaction, despite the inherent uncertainty of the subject matter. Recommend!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sara 07-20-15
    sara 07-20-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Worst narration ever. EVER!"
    What would have made Spook better?

    This would have been much better without the snarky snide tone from the horribly exaggerated reading by the narrator, and none of her terribly bad accents. Also it might have benefitted from less equally nasty snark from the author. I looked forward to a reasonable inquiry into the subject, but found the author often seemed to thumb her nose at the belief systems and approaches from history to the subject, which was made exponentially worse by the overly dramatic and at times poorly spoken narrator.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not anything with this narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She broke sentences with uncomfortable and poorly placed pauses in some cases, casting confusion as to the sentences' meaning at times. She should not do accents if she cannot do them well - indeed her accents overtly ridiculed the people she portrayed, which may or may not have been the author's objective. And her delivery was so exaggerated, it was akin - no, it was worse - than the hyper-dramatic style affected by a mother reading a bedtime story to a three year old. It turned what could have been the author's somewhat witty personal comments on things into a delivery rife with snobbish disdain.


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

    Actually haven't finished it yet, but am so turned off by the narration, I'm finding it hard to get through. Only my interest in the subject itself will steel me to finish it so as to learn the end result.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope to God the author did not suggest the narration style used. 'Twas and 'tis awful. Save that for something like "Snow White" or "See Spot Run".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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