Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

by mary roach | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0141007451 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BC-08041015142 on 7/14/2005
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BC-08041015142 on Thursday, July 14, 2005
To be read.

Journal Entry 2 by BC-08041015142 on Thursday, November 9, 2006
At first glance, a book about what happens to people once they become cadavers might strike people as somewhat macabre. However Roach has a very light-hearted writing style and the book is peppered with a lot of humour, which makes it very easy to read.

This book not only covers the available options (burial, cremation, dissolution, composting (my personal favourite) and donation, amongst others) but also what happens once a body has been donated to science and what the possible uses are (such as dissection, surgery practice, ballistic protection testing and crash test dummy). The historical use of cadavers is also discussed, particularly in reference to the medical arena and how unscrupulous gangs procured the cadavers for tests and experiments.

This book had sat on my Mt Toobie for almost two years before I decided I was in the “right frame of mind” to read it. I needn’t have worried, though, as the book is not overly graphic or gruesome, and there are no worrying pictures to shock the reader!

This is a truly excellent book, and I will definitely search out more titles by this author.

Journal Entry 3 by BC-08041015142 on Thursday, November 9, 2006
This book is off on a BOOKRING! Usual rules apply - please try and read and pass on within 1 month!

1. Mytilus – Plymouth, Devon
2. RonOren – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
3. Chelseagirl – Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire
4. Tanamo – Hinckley, Leicestershire
5. Riverwillow – Beckenham, Kent
6. Loopy1 – Herne Bay, Kent
7. Flanners – Havant, Hampshire
8. WelshHelen – Dunstable, Bedforshire
9. Dolph1n – Chester, Cheshire
10. Dirtmother – Coventry, West Midlands
11. Cyzaki – Newport, Shropshire
12. MrsDanvers – Ely, Cambridgeshire
13. Perfect-Circle – Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear (Bronze Spike)
14. Semioticghosts – Ipswich, Suffolk (Silver Spike)
15. Pookledo – Loughborough, Leicestershire (Golden Spike)

Journal Entry 4 by Mytilus from Plymouth, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, July 5, 2007
Yay!

I think I first joined a ray for this four years ago, which sadly went the way that rays oft do. But now my good friend Colanne has started one up and put me at the beginning (bless her littl' cotton socks).

I've already begun and should finish sometime next week.

Cheers darlin'!

Journal Entry 5 by RonOren from Wandsworth, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 7, 2007
This just arrived. Although I am looking forward to it (in a morbid kind of way), I''m in the middle of two books at the moment, so I won''t be reading this one for a few days at least. And then we''ll see how gruesome it is, really... ;-)

Journal Entry 6 by RonOren from Wandsworth, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, August 24, 2007
That was a very interesting and impressively enjoyable book! I was quite surprised how few gory details there were in the book; more impressively, even those one or two chapters that actually dealt with decomposing and other yukky stuff were quite palatable (hmmm, wrong choice of words?).
I really liked the humour that Mary Roach (isn't that the best ever name for someone writing about dead bodies?) put into it. What I liked best, though was to read how much one can mean for society even after death; and about the respect that people (researcher etc.) show for their subjects, even though they're "only" bodies.

I've never been very squeamish about what happens to my remains, so to say that I'll now try and donate it, sounds as more praise to Ms. Roach than it really is. But it is useful to know that donating your body to science isn't the same as being an organ-donor and that one has to arrange it directly with the local hospital. Something to keep in mind for when I've actually settled somewhere...

Thanks for sharing this book, Colanne! I'll get in touch with Chelseagirl and get the book moving again soon.

Journal Entry 7 by RonOren from Wandsworth, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, August 25, 2007
It's going to Chelseagirl later today. Hope you'll enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 8 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, August 30, 2007
Arrived yesterday and as we were going out for the day, I took it and read the first couple of chapters while the children were swimming .... very interesting and enjoyable so far. Thanks :)

Journal Entry 9 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Saturday, October 27, 2007
I am SO sorry ... I just discovered this book in the pile by my bed, I was sure I'd journalled and sent it on but obviously not. Apologies.

Anyway, I finished this yonks ago and I'm suer I had lots of profound things to say at the time but can't remember any of them now :( It was a fascinating read, occasioanlly stomach-churning but on the whole very readable and illuminating - made me realise that being chopped up for medical research is probably one of the better ways of decomposing, though I quite fancy the garden fertiliser method.

Thanks for sharing, Colanne - I might even look out for a copy of this for PC, for research purposes - well, we've all got to go sometime!

I'll PM the next on the list now and get this moving on asap.

Journal Entry 10 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Really sorry, just realised I've still got this book and haven't had an address from Tanamo. I'll PM again.

Journal Entry 11 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 28, 2008
I am so sorry ...... life has been really rotten lately and I've pretty much retired from BookCrossing - and just discovered I still had this. it is wrapped up and will go in the post today ... sorry for holding on to it so long, can't believe I messed up this ring :(

Journal Entry 12 by wingTanamowing from Hinckley, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Monday, March 31, 2008
I was cleaning the bathroom when the doorbell rang so I cursed as I hate answering the door with my marigolds on but if I struggle to get them off the caller is usually gone by the time I get to the door. Glad I didn't stop to struggle as it was the postman with a nice big parcel for me which contained this ring book I'd signed up for, an unexpected RABCK from my wish list and two mini bars of chocolate from Thorntons. Thanks a lot chelseagirl. It was a lovely surprise.

Journal Entry 13 by wingTanamowing from Hinckley, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Monday, May 19, 2008
I've finally finished this book. As a squeamish soul I had to read it in fits and starts interspersed with another book although the author's sense of humour helped. As a believer in life after death, I'm not terribly bothered about what happens to my body once I die as that's not me, just the vehicle I was using for this incarnation so, as far as I'm concerned, my relatives (assuming I'm not the last to move on) may do as they wish with my remains. Should I be the last to move on, I assume the local authority will, as usual, go for the cheapest option and that's fine too. I'm now off to pm the next person in the ring for their address and then I'll get the book off on its travels again.

Journal Entry 14 by wingTanamowing from Hinckley, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Friday, May 23, 2008
I've had no reply to my pms to Riverwillow and I gather other bcookers have had problems passing ring books on to this person so I've decided to skip and have pm'd Loopy1 for her address.

Journal Entry 15 by wingTanamowing from Hinckley, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Mailed to Loopy1 today.

Journal Entry 16 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, May 29, 2008
Arrived here safely, thanks, I'm looking forward to reading it.

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