Why this book?
Mary Roach displays an uncanny ability to make science accessible and death hilarious in Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. If you have even a hint of morbid curiosity, you must read this book. She answers so many questions that I’d always been afraid to ask, like what really happens to a body donated to science (hint: it’s not quite what you imagine). You’ll also learn about the science behind cremation, decay, and get an inside look at the forensic workings of a body farm. You wouldn’t think such topics could be so delightfully entertaining, but Roach has a way of making them so. This book was a great reminder to me not to take life—or death—too seriously.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
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 confirmation surgery, cadavers have helped make history in their quiet way. "Delightful-though never disrespectful" (Les Simpson, Time Out New York), Stiff investigates the strange lives of our bodies postmortem and answers the question: What should…