Monday, 21 April 2014

Reading in 2014 - Book eight: Stiff by Mary Roach

I've got a whole collection of Mary Roach books in my "to-read" queue so get ready to hear about a few more of these in the future as well.


Stiff was much more interesting to me than the last book I read by her, Six Feet Over. It's a non-fiction book about what happens to dead bodies once they're out of our sight. I finally get what all the Mary Roach hype is about.

I absolutely would NOT recommend this to a squeamish person, a person whose loved one has recently died and donated their body to science, or anybody who really doesn't want to know. If you'd prefer to imagine a beautiful death with a pretty white ghost floating to heaven and then a sterile coffin and that's it, great. But don't read this book.

I, myself, have been on a real "confronting my mortality" kick this year due to a few life events of my own and others around me and this book ... it gets real. And it goes down some rabbit holes that made me physically look away from the book in horror! (Especially when she talks about experiments that took place in the 1800s, man those people were cruel.) But even some of the descriptions of surgeries happening in present day were shocking.

When you donate your body to science you really have no idea where you will end up, but this book will give you some idea of the possibilities. And it will also tell you what happens to the coffin-buried people as well. And somehow she keeps it pretty funny. This book is very well written, I wish I could write like Mary Roach.

I recommend to the strong, the truly curious and the realists out there. 9/10

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