Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

stiff
By Mary Roach

Synopsis: “One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year….Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting.”—Entertainment Weekly

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. 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 reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries—from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors’ conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Published: May 2004 | ISBN-13: 978-0393324822

Author’s Homepage: http://www.maryroach.net
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/mary_roach

Not Always On Book Review
The Guardian Book Review
Journal of Young Investigators Book Review
Publishers Weekly Book Review

[Image Credit: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6ndu6B0Om1qfex7s.jpg ]

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