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Shocked Audiobook

Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August - I don’t normally listen to nonfiction, but if the first few chapters of Shocked are any indication, I may have to change my tune. Dr. David Casarett’s Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead will naturally draw many comparisons to Mary Roach’s best-selling listener favorite, Stiff. Dr. Casarett is a hospice doctor, UPenn professor, and an expert in end-of-life care, and in this book, he takes us through all the techniques – new and old, ingenious and bizarre – used to keep people alive. While the topic is not just morbid, but morbidity itself, the author keeps the tone light, the pace quick, and the humor prevalent. David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, called it "heartbreaking," "hilarious," and "important." I’m sure the book will be in good hands with nonfiction narrator extraordinaire Walter Dixon (The Willpower Instinct, Spark), and I’m looking forward to listening to the whole thing. —Chris, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Not too long ago, there was no coming back from death. But now, with revolutionary medical advances, death has become just another serious complication. As a young medical student, Dr. David Casarett was inspired by the story of a two-year-old girl named Michelle Funk. Michelle fell into a creek and was underwater for over an hour. When she was found she wasn't breathing, and her pupils were fixed and dilated. That drowning should have been fatal. But after three hours of persistent work, a team of doctors and nurses was able to bring her back. It was a miracle. If Michelle could come back after three hours of being dead, what about 12 hours? Or 24? What would it take to revive someone who had been frozen for 1,000 years? And what does blurring the line between "life" and "death" mean for society?

In Shocked, Casarett chronicles his exploration of the cutting edge of resuscitation and reveals just how far science has come. He begins in the 18th century, when early attempts at resuscitation involved public displays of barrel rolling, horseback riding (sort of), and blowing smoke up the patient's various orifices. He then takes us inside a sophisticated cryonics facility in the Arizona desert, a darkroom full of hibernating lemurs in North Carolina, and a laboratory that puts mice into a state of suspended animation. The result is a spectacular tour of the bizarre world of doctors, engineers, animal biologists, and cryogenics enthusiasts trying to bring the recently dead back to life. Fascinating, thought-provoking, and (believe it or not) funny, Shocked is perfect for those looking for a prequel - and a sequel - to Mary Roach's Stiff, or for anyone who likes to ponder the ultimate questions of life and death.

©2014 David Casarett M.D. (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Shocked is by turns heartbreaking and hilarious. But more than that, it’s an important book that should force an urgent discussion of the hairline border between alive and dead, and the incredible ethical (and economic) questions we face as technology redraws that boundary." (David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (330 )
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  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 06-24-16
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 06-24-16 Member Since 2017

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dead vs. Sincerely Dead"

    Who here hasn't had to take a CPR course? Aren't we in an age where we expect life to be extended? "Shocked" takes all of this and explores it one way, turns it on its head another.
    This is part Mystery: hunting down early attempts at resuscitation with the Royal Humane Society, hibernation, how the wood frog manages to live (be dead?) in harsh northern winters, and miracles. It's also part Science Fiction: zombie dogs, suspended animation, cryonics, and decapitated heads in a warehouse.
    Casarett pursues all avenues, delves into hands-on research with zeal and cheeky good humor. The most gruesome of experiments turns into a laugh out loud moment, tho' you may find yourself cringing, with your toes curling.
    I have to admit that my attention did wander a bit when he got into in-depth explanations of the functioning of the heart, cells, mitochondria and such, even though he explains it so simply that even I could understand, but that's my failing and not his. For the most part, this is a truly interesting and entertaining book.
    FAIR WARNING: While a lot of the advances in the science of resuscitation come from freak accidents people have, most of it comes from animal experimentation. If you're an animal lover, as I am, you might be appalled. But even I know that the meds I'm on have come at an animal's price. Still, if you're sensitive, this might be a book you want to skip.
    But you'll be missing a lot. 'Cause this is a funny, enlightening, and engaging book, delivered with sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes deadpan tones.
    By the way, you'll love the bit where he experiments on himself by being strapped chest down on a trotting horse... :)

    35 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri Bass Longmont, CO 07-10-16
    Sherri Bass Longmont, CO 07-10-16 Member Since 2016

    shoegalSB

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    "VERY interesting!"

    This was a really good book. The reader spoke a bit too quickly for my taste but the subject matter was fascinating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Elizabeth City, NC, United States 07-08-16
    Maureen Elizabeth City, NC, United States 07-08-16 Member Since 2008
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    "Well Worth It"

    As a medical social worker for over 25 years I found this book informative and entertaining. I personally saw the sometimes devasting outcomes for patients and their families who opted for too much medical intervention with little understanding or appreciation for the likelihood of a less than positive outcome. As the author points out there have been remarkable advancements in medical care but all interventions are not always successful in every case. Personally, I loved the author's somewhat "sick" sense of humor but I suspect some listener's might be taken aback that anything dealing with death can have humor associated with it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer los angeles, ca, United States 01-13-15
    Amazon Customer los angeles, ca, United States 01-13-15 Member Since 2016

    Osprey

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    "Shocked"

    This book makes you realize that death may not be what it appears to be. People that are dead, without breath, pulse or body temperature, come back to life. You realize how much we have learned about the body and death and how much we don't know. Whether people are dead has been a question since medicine was little more than guesswork. Some of what you know or a great deal of what you know may be out of date. I was suprised at many of the things in this book and had some definite learning experiences.

    21 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Cashaw Buffalo, New York 08-03-16
    Anthony Cashaw Buffalo, New York 08-03-16 Member Since 2016

    NERD! Nerd nerd nerd...nerd nerd nerd...neerrrrrd.

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    "Horribly Categorized. Tremendously crafted."
    What made the experience of listening to Shocked the most enjoyable?

    the ability of the author to create a narrative out of what is quite a bit of technical medical information is magical. having him sneak that much information into your head while making you titter and smile and cry and cajole is truly the art of writing.


    What other book might you compare Shocked to and why?

    Bill Bryson's "A Complete History of Nearly Everything". See above box.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The account of the most current ingenue of resuscitation. She's currently married to a person she was on a trip with when her "death" occurred. you can google up some youtube videos of her and her spouse if you're curious enough.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandi 07-03-16
    Brandi 07-03-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting stuff"

    I found the history fascinating and the science completely engaging, if not a little over my head. The narrator did a fair job of not sounding too much like a doctor despite the fact that the book was very obviously written by one. However, the text was not muddled down in technical terms and the story clipped along at an enjoyable pace. My interest has definitely been captured and it will be exciting to see how this field advances in the next few years.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ROBERT S BASEY 07-07-16
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    "Dull and dry"

    I didn't get far before I'd had enough. I probably would have made it farther if the narration wasn't so bad! But not much farther...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. A. Jones 02-28-17
    M. A. Jones 02-28-17

    Philly girl

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    "Not as expected"

    The publisher's overview called this a "spectacular tour" but I think "not so much." I managed to get through about a third when the narrator announced we were about to delve into experiments on dogs. I abandoned ship. We had already covered some dog trials. And groundhogs.

    I expected to read about ethical decision making as well as actual cases, but that is not what this book does. It plods on like a lecture (the narrator is spot on for that). I've been married to a wonk for more than 30 years, and I recognize nerd humor. This guy thinks he's being funny or humorous is a number of passages, and it falls absolutely flat. This is all very interesting to him, but the presentation falls really short.

    Very disappointing, unless you want to know how people attempted to revive the recently deceased or what types of experiments were conducted to learn the effects of trying to revive them (or dogs or monkeys who were killed to provide subjects for such experiments). Ethical issues? Hmmmmmmmmm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Angelbaby Houston, TX USA 02-15-17
    Angelbaby Houston, TX USA 02-15-17 Member Since 2012

    P2AIP

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    "Not what I thought"
    What did you like best about Shocked? What did you like least?

    I am not sure if I read the summary about this book when I got it, but it was not what i expected or thought that it would be about. I guess I thought it would be about summary but this book goes into detail about the testing on animals and trying to kill them and then bring them back to life.


    Would you recommend Shocked to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really, I could barely stomach this book when it got to the animal testing part, I found the true stories in the beginning of real people who were dead and then were brought back to life, which I thought this whole book was going to be about miracle stories like that, but it wasn't. Most of my friends are animal lovers and would not like this book due to the testing.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    nothing really I just think it is the topic that might get people. you have to have the stomach to be able to take listening to certain stories.


    Was Shocked worth the listening time?

    For me personally no, but that is because I couldn't stomach some of the content, others might be able to stomach it and the content and testing with science may be interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    none

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Miller 01-04-17
    Mike Miller 01-04-17
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    "Better than I expected"

    I bought it as a daily deal, because why not. It was actually informative and I appreciated the author's humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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