For two thousand years, cadavers (some willingly, some unwittingly) have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.
In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
©2003 Mary Roach; (P)2003 Tantor Media, Inc.
"Uproariously funny....informative and respectful...irreverent and witty....impossible to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"Not grisly but inspiring, this work considers the many valuable scientific uses of the body after death." (Library Journal)
"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year." (Entertainment Weekly)
It certainly kept my interest... I have rather weird interests. FAR SIDE is my favorite comic, so that kind of tells ya.
I was disappointed when it ended... I wanted more!!!
Sort of textbook material. Very interesting the different uses for "stiffs". Many subjects very disturbing, but definitely interesting.
I bought this book with reservations. I wasn't really sure that I wanted to know anything about cadavers or the intimate details of the dead body. But not only was the book informative, it was entertaining. I give a huge amount of credit to Shelly Frasier who narrated the book. Her voice is smooth and the words flow. But the content is remarkable. I definitely recommend this book. If you are uncertain then listen to the preview....you won't be able to resist afterward.
While parts of this book are fascinating, too often the author seems to throw in unnecessary gore. After all, did we really need to know that the heads of puppies have been "successfully" (though briefly) transplanted onto the necks of living adult dogs? I think not. That's just one example of her digressions into the gross. Yes, it's mildly interesting, but by the end of the book, I had serious concerns about the author.
Fantastic dry, wry wit comes through in the reading of this deliciously oddball book about corpses. I did a lot of “Well, huh!” and “No way!” and “Whoa, cool.” And who knew? There are some serious social and environmental issues around corpses, too.
Inspired by the tv series, 6 feet under, I thought it would be interesting to read about what really happens after we die. The author even discusses our options, from the traditional to the enviromentally friendly. This book lead me through a reflection on what death really means to me and so many others. Facts, gore, and humour, what else could I ask for?!!
I really enjoyed this book. The author’s light style of writing took a topic that can be difficult to discuss and made it accessible. Although parts of the book were amusing, the tone was always respectful. Very enjoyable and fascinating – made me rethink what I want to do with my body after death.
I thought this audiobook was hysterical! As a nurse I learned quite a few answers to questions I was afraid to ask. Provided me with even more respect for the dead and a stronger desire to donate whatever is needed!
Never got to go to a library until the age of 8 ! Since then I have become a book addict. History, biography and fiction all thrill me.
This book was sugested to me by my son. The premis sounds morbid but I enjoyed every minute. I now want to listen to all of her books.
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