Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Author(s): Mary Roach


An oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For 2,000 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.

Product Information

Rowan writes: If you donated your body to science, would you imagine that it would end up as practice material for comsetic surgeons? In Stiff, Mary Roach confronts mortality - specifically, mortal remains - with an inquiring spirit and more than a dash of black humour. From crash testing and weapons experimentation to forensics and medicinal uses, Roach leaves no (head)stone unturned.

Mary Roach is a journalist. She has written for Salon, Wired, GQ, Discover, Vogue and the New York Times Magazine. This is her first book.

General Fields

  • : 9780141007458
  • : Penguin Books
  • : Penguin Books
  • : 0.238
  • : July 2004
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 17mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Mary Roach
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : very good
  • : 304