Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

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W.W. Norton & Company, 2003 - Medical - 303 pages
3768 Reviews
"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."--Publisher's description.

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User Review  - dundermifflinkeeper -

This book increased my respect and reverence for the wonderful souls who choose to donate their bodies to science. I couldnt have made it through anatomy without a few choice people who provided that for me and my classmates. Read full review

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User Review  - JaredOrlando - LibraryThing

Mary Roach is enviable. Most of us are afraid of death, and it is partially due to not understanding what happens when we reach the Big Sleep. In Stiff, Roach takes us enthusiastically through what ... Read full review

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