This book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about what happens to bodies after they die. From a plastic surgeon's convention, where the doctors test out the latest nip n'tuck techniques on the recently expired, to the quest for the perfect crash test dummy, Mary Roach tracks down the dead and the people who spend their days with them. ...Read MoreThis book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about what happens to bodies after they die. From a plastic surgeon's convention, where the doctors test out the latest nip n'tuck techniques on the recently expired, to the quest for the perfect crash test dummy, Mary Roach tracks down the dead and the people who spend their days with them. For 2000 years human cadavers have been at the forefront of scientific exploration. From testing the efficiency of the guillotine, experiments to weigh the soul, calibrating crash test dummies, to advances in modern medicine such as heart transplants, the deceased body has been a silent partner to many of the major advances in the understanding of ourselves.Read Less
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I picked up one for my daughter, who works in a hospital, one for myself, and one for a friend. The friend finished it first and was a bit grossed out by the last few chapters.
It is a grim topic, but handled with Mary Roach's arch humor. She holds her own with John Steward and Steven Colbert.
Oct 28, 2010
This is a fascinating and well written book about a subject one would not think to be fascinating. The book is very respectful of the dead but amusingly entertaining about the subject as a whole. It is also a very informative book.
Sep 24, 2009
What more can I say? Whether you've been struck with a morbid curiosity for the fate of corpses or a writer doing research on the effects of death on a body, you'll find just as much insight into the living as you will into the dead in this well-researched book.
Feb 2, 2009
Hilarious yet Informative!
Mary Roach is such a great author. I've also read her other book, Spook, about what happens when we die, spiritually. She's hilarious, I found myself literally laughing out loud while reading this book. Not only is she funny, but very, very informative. The book gives us an in-depth idea of what would happen to us if we donated our bodies to science and what an impact we can have on the future of it. Cadavers are used for so much more than we can think of! I strongly recommend this book, Mary Roach won't dissappoint you.
Jan 29, 2009
Humor & Mayhem
This book held my interest thru the reading & had a good amount of humor in it. I recommend this book for a good read and something to put you in a good mood.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-02-24 "Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. From her opening lines ("The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back"), it is clear that she's taking a unique approach to issues surrounding death. Roach delves into the many productive uses to which cadavers have been put, from medical experimentation to applications in transportation safety research (in a chapter archly called "Dead Man Driving") to work by forensic scientists quantifying rates of decay under a wide array of bizarre circumstances. There are also chapters on cannibalism, including an aside on dumplings allegedly filled with human remains from a Chinese crematorium, methods of disposal (burial, cremation, composting) and "beating-heart" cadavers used in organ transplants. Roach has a fabulous eye and a wonderful voice as she describes such macabre situations as a plastic surgery seminar with doctors practicing face-lifts on decapitated human heads and her trip to China in search of the cannibalistic dumpling makers. Even Roach's digressions and footnotes are captivating, helping to make the book impossible to put down. Agent, Jay Mandel. (Apr.) Forecast: Do we detect a trend to necrophilia? Two years ago it was mummies; in the last few months we have seen an account of the journeys of the corpse of Elmer McCurdy and a defense of undertakers; and now comes Roach's disquisition on cadavers. But death is, after all, a subject that just won't go away. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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