The subtitles says it all. This book is about the curious lives of human cadavers. Each chapter details the various experiences that a cadaver might have after death. Mary Roach does dedicated, in-depth research to answer all of her biggest questions about bodies after death. What really happens in gross anatomy labs during dissection? How does a body donated to science become a crash test body and what does that entail? What kids of studies are done at the decomposition lab (also known as the body farm) at the University of Tennessee and what do we learn from them? This book is everything you ever wanted to know about cadaver science...and a few things you didn't.
Why It's Worth Reading:
I've mentioned before that I'm not naturally a non-fiction person and I'm definitely not a dead body person. The pig dissection lab in high school grossed me out, so this is way beyond my comfort zone. But this book was totally fascinating. I had no idea how many different paths a cadaver can take after death. I found the entire book thought-provoking and full of interesting facts that I felt compelled to share with friends and family over dinner. (Sometimes my friends and family are victims of my reading habits. I guess it's a hazard of loving a librarian, right?) Science buffs and those pursuing medical careers should definitely grab this book for some fun yet productive summer reading. Also, though I recognize how strange this statement is, Stiff was hilarious! Mary Roach writes with such an engaging and witty style that even though her subject matter may seem grim, it was often chuckle-worthy. Now picture yourself out in public, bursting into giggles at the humorous line you just read in your cadaver book - you're officially the most intriguing person in the room!