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Stiff

The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

by Mary Roach

Stiff by Mary Roach X
Stiff by Mary Roach
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2003, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2004, 304 pages

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There are currently 12 reader reviews for Stiff
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Power Reviewer
Becky H

Macabre, but fun too
For anyone interested in the “messy” part of human science, this is the book for you. Mary Roach has a unique sense of humor that makes her off beat topics fun to read. You will learn many facts while being amused and bemused.
STIFF tells what happens to the human body after death whether that death is natural or not. You will discover how long decomposition takes and exactly what happens. You will find out who did the first autopsy and the first anatomical dissection and why those activities were and continue to be important. Roach covers plane crashes and gun shots and automobile crashes among other ways humans die. She discusses funeral practices and all the other topics dealing with death that you might (or might not) have ever wondered about.
The style is straightforward, no medical background is necessary. Teenage boys will love it. Girls will be grossed out and parents may be dismayed, but everyone will learn something – rather painlessly
A student from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, IL

Stiff
Stiff was an excellent book which even caught the attention of someone who doesn't read often. It's charm, wit, and history make up the perfect combination for anyone in need of a tale to remember. It challenges the reader, almost, to think what they value more: scientific benefits, or they're religious belief.
Emile

Stiff-Mary Roach
All I can say in addition to what's already been written is: Buy this book, you won't be sorry! I damn near died from laughter just reading the preface. This is without a doubt one of the ten funniest, most cleverly-written books I've ever read, bar none!
Sara

STIFF The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
This is one of the most intersting books that I have ever read. However, I did get odd looks from strangers who noticed the cover of the book as I was reading it in public. I especially was given strange looks when I would start laughing out loud at the book. The truth was though that it was quite humorous at times and I think that helps the book to be balanced. There was also a section where the author discusses her respect for a certain organ donor as she stresses the importance of donation. This part of the book made me cry and I have left it bookmarked there so that I can share it with others. I think Mary Roach did a wonderful job with this subject and I am looking forward to more books from her.
deja11999

this book is great and i love her sense of humor
marintia

I picked up "Stiff" at the airport thinking it might be interesting, little did I know that it would become my total companion for the next two days -that's how long it took me to read it- during which time, I sort of became the target of wondering looks about me. How could people not stare, when I was laughing, making faces and screaming from time to time while underlining and making notes on almost every page of my copy of "Stiff".
I don't recall having recomended the same book so many times to so many different people.
Needles to say, I have recieved some weird looks when doing so, but still, most people went on and read it.
I never thought of death as an enjoyable topic, however, it became so under Mary Roach's absolutely delightful writing. I can't wait for a new book by her to appear.

Marintia Escobedo


Erin Noelle

One of the best non-fiction books I have read in my lifetime. It's very compelling and has no problem holding a person's interest to the very end. Ms. Roach is comparable to the fabulous fiction novelist, Chuck Palahniuk. With her dark humor and wit she still retains respect for the dead. I applaud her work.
M.Z. Visi

This book is a remarkably engaging read. Ms. Roach possesses the ingenious ability of being able to make digestible the most repulsive of subjects. she answers questions often best left unspoken. She covers a range of topics from medical experimentation, process of decay, crucifixion experiments, and the list goes on, and through it all she manges to honor the dead yet not to overglorify the cadaver-science is still science...... Great book, I highly recommend it.
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