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)
If the whole book had been like the last several chapters, I would have liked it more. I found Roach's narratives of her interviews and personal involvement in her research much more interesting than the lists of facts that take up the earlier chapters.
Well written, very interesting, a lot more goes on that I'd ever imagined. Some history included. Well read/performed. Highly recommend this for anyone with the slightest interest in what happens after death.
This was a really well-written & well-researched book. Lots of tongue & cheek humour. Well-presented & enjoyable listen. Somewhat disturbing information, presented in an inoffensive manner. Humans are certainly an interesting set of animals. So will you be leaving your body to science?
Is Putrefaction pronounced putrefication?
Is Liquefaction pronounced liquification?
Is Anesthetized pronounced anesthesize?
Is Calvary pronounced cavalry?
Is Apothecary pronounced apocathary?
I'm pretty sure Reuters isn't pronounced rooters.
Is Assimilated pronounced assimulated?
It seems if you are going to hire dyslexics as professional readers, you might consider establishing some kind of review process, no?
And footnotes? These are to be entirely ignored? There are extensive footnotes every few pages, which have been entirely omitted in the Audible version.
A man. A plan. A canal. Panama
Roach expertly describes the variety of ways we treat the deceased. Enlightening, interesting, but don't listen while you're eating.
Artist in Northern Kentucky. Loves listening to books. My likes are history, mystery and some , and mostly writers of the twentieth century
This book has given me an insight in many different areas that I couldn't have gotten elsewhere....Thanks!
A very interesting read ! Yes, the subject matter is a bit macabre, but the author treats the cadavars with much respect. Quite interesting to learn about all the ways we've used cadavers to better society.
Good read. Humorous and very factual. It's a dry humor, not gut laughing like in her other book: Packing for Mars. Unlike PFM the story is told in a linear fashion with out annoying detours to foot notes. This makes for a great read.
Recommended to those that like the weird and unusual facts like: crash-test-cadavers where diapers to prevent 'leakage'.
It's read very well, but the recording has a nasty hiss in the background. It's not overpowering but is distracting.
None the less I'd recommend this book.
The author Mary Roach is amazing in her entertaining, as well as educational, explanation of the lives of cadavers. The subject matter seems like it would be depressing or gross, but she is able to deliver it with a light touch, while still maintaining the dignity and respect for the human body.
Shelly Frasier is delightful to listen to. She is clear and easy to understand and does an amazing job with Mary Roach's work.
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