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)
I got through the introduction and decided not to go on. The book is written with the tone that narrative about "the lives of bugs" might be written. I found it disrespectful, and although I am a physician, I think that others would find it in poor taste.
this "book" is twisted, morbid, boring. more like a documentary about cadavers, or dead bodies. i listened for over an hour and will absolutely not finish!!
I learned alot. I found humour in the writing, but it was actually very sensitive writing for such a subject. I did skip through chapter 6, due to total boredom , and other parts were just a bit too gory for my taste.which i stopped listening to (I could have lived without the research of attaching puppy head to other dogs, gruesome and unneccessary reading/listening)
This book was hilarious at times. I actually had tears whilst driving during a couple of points.
It didn't always stay on topic, but it flowed well. The narration was great. Just enough detail to get the point across, but not too much that you want to be sick.
I would highly recommend it for some light reading on the subject.
I love a book that entertains while it informs. Plenty of belly laughs as well as poignancy. Broad scope, almost a cadaver handbook loaded with history, cultural proclivities, ethics and frank descriptions that lessen the morbidity of the subject. The author treats the subject with sensitivity as well as open curiosity.
Work is Way Busy. Relaxation with a good book is mandatory. Audible lets me get into many more books per year than before.
Anyone who has wondered how criminalists, CSIs, cops or any first responders can do that job - an obviously fascinating concern to television viewers - will find this book nearly impossible to pause. I will definitely read other Mary Roach books to see if her humor related to such abnormalcies carries on. Ms. Frasier's read actually makes me feel much better about our impending demise. We won't go to waste!
Mary Roach has an unorthodox style more conversational than your typical science writer. She transports you to the locals of her research as if you are siting back with a friend and reliving their personal experiences an investigative journalist. A fantastic book many tid-bits about cadavers are likely to stick with me until I leave my own cadaver.
This book has a lot more humor than I am used to for a non fiction book. I found the content very interesting and the author in her research asks all the questions you would be to chicken to ask.
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