Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Mary Roach

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 206mm x 25mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 22 June 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393324826
  • ISBN 13: 9780393324822
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 19,521

Product description

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers-some willingly, some unwittingly-have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

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Author information

Mary Roach is the author of four previous books: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.

Customer reviews

By Alcina Barrett-Kilby 06 Feb 2010 5

This book is such an interesting read. It's well written with both respect and humour. The author has done an amazing amount of research and the historical information is fascinating. I have recommended this book to others - who have also found it an enjoyable and enlightening read.

Review quote

"This quirky, funny read offers perspective and insight about life, death and the medical profession... You can close this book with an appreciation of the miracle that the human body really is." -- Tara Parker-Pope "'Uproariously funny' doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach... has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty." "A laugh-out-loud funny book... one of those wonderful books that offers up enlightenment in the guise of entertainment." -- Michael Little "As weird as the book gets, Roach manages to convey a sense of respect and appreciation for her subjects." -- Roy Rivenburg "Roach's conversational tone and her gallows humor bring her subjects to life." -- Alex Abramovich "Roach seems intent on helping us (and herself) get a better handle on the meaning of death, or, at least, on making one's own death meaningful." -- Steve Fiffer "Roach is authoritative, endlessly curious and drolly funny. Her research is scrupulous and winningly presented." -- Adam Woog "Mary Roach is one of an endangered species: a science writer with a sense of humor. She is able to make macabre funny without looting death of its dignity." -- Brian Richard Boylan "Roach writes in an insouciant style and displays her metier in tangents about bizarre incidents in pathological history. Death may have the last laugh, but, in the meantime, Roach finds merriment in the macabre." -- Gilbert Taylor "Acutely entertaining, morbidly fascinating." -- Susan Adams