Stiff by Mary Roach
The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

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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. 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.
 

About Mary Roach

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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.
 
Published May 17, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 305 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Cooking. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Author of the “My Planet” column in Reader’s Digest and a regular contributor to Salon.com’s “Health and Body” section, Roach displays here a knack for persuading morticians, scientists, engineers, and others whose work involves corpses to let her watch them at their labors.

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The Guardian

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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach 304pp, Viking, £14.99 In an article about the controversial United States "death tax" - an estate inheritance tax - a political commentator pointed out that it was a misnomer: only 2% of Americans would pay the tax, while 100% of Ameri...

Jul 26 2003 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

Publishers Weekly

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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 circum...

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BC Books

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Her book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, released in 2003, takes kicking the bucket to a whole new level.

Nov 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

Entertainment Weekly

Mary Roach's enormous cast of characters is the unluckiest in recent nonfiction.

Apr 18 2003 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

Pajiba

The bodies are used to test how many pounds of pressure the human body can withstand before severe injury or death occurs (the death in question is, of course, not of the cadaver being tested).

Mar 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

SF Signal

Well, a smattering of potentially-off-putting topics in this book include a detailed narrative of bodily decay, using human heads for plastic surgery practice classes, the fine art of body snatching (not to be confused with grave robbing where the only thing taken is stuff), impact tolerances (su...

Feb 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

California Literary Review

I was so taken aback when I walked in the book store and found the book on exactly what I had been wondering about.

Apr 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

Horror News Net

It’s been a long time since I have laughed so much but also learned so much at one time.This book has truly opened my eyes to what decisions I need to make for my own cadaver (as in me after I’m dead), and trust me, I owe it all to Mary Roach!

Oct 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

Alibi

Not everyone, of course, eventually leads the exciting and completely pain-free existence of a cadaver donated to science, but Roach includes an entire chapter dedicated to natural decomposition for those inclined to feel left out—a chapter that, if anything, is likely to send every reader of her...

Jul 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Stiff: The Curious Lives of H...

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Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

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