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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers…
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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (original 2003; edição 2004)

por Mary Roach

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9,475423598 (4.09)589
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.… (mais)
Membro:diovival
Título:Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Autores:Mary Roach
Informação:W. W. Norton & Company (2004), Paperback, 320 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***
Etiquetas:borrowed, nonfiction, science, grimport

Pormenores da obra

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers por Mary Roach (Author) (2003)

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    BookshelfMonstrosity: These engaging, unusual accounts deal with the human body after death. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes wittily relates the work of an assistant in a crematorium, while Stiff presents an entertaining account of what happens with cadavers.
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    PuddinTame: If you liked either on of these books, I recommend trying the other author. Both offer nitty-gritty medical details leavened with humor, which helps make the gross details more bearable. For my money, Mary Roach is funnier, but I thoroughly enjoyed both authors… (mais)
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Inglês (418)  Italiano (4)  Francês (1)  Holandês (1)  Todas as línguas (424)
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I enjoyed the hell out of this book. Well written, informative, amusing, and thought-provoking. What else could you ask for in a book about cadavers? ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Not for the squeamish, but absolutely fascinating for those who aren't. Matter-of-fact and wryly humorous. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
This is a remarkable and wonderful work of science journalism, with a good bit of historical and contemporary anthropology thrown in. Each chapter details a different set of ways in which a human body, after death, can be or has been treated or used. Roach covers embalming and burial, cremation, composting, and other means of disposition. She looks at organ donations, and various things that can or cannot happen to bodies that are willed to science. Much of this is surprising, except in retrospect - crash-test dummies are calibrated to accurately model the responses of human bodies, because researchers measure the results of impacts of various types on actual human body parts. Other things are just plain surprising - centuries ago, melified (honey-cured) human flesh and powdered mummy were both used medicinally for many years. Throughout much of the work she argues the case that it's better to let your body be used for something of use to others, rather than simply being put in the ground to (eventually) rot.

Nearly every chapter diverts off its principle topic into historical and/or scientific side-notes. Roach accomplishes this in a marvelously fluid stream-of-consciousness manner that leads from one subject to the next, and then back to the original topic just when you'd forgotten what you were reading about. For example, starting with organ donation she goes on to examine the history of when a person is considered to have died, methods that were intended to prevent live burial, and varying cultural and historical beliefs about where in the body the soul and/or consciousness were believed to reside, all as a digression from her description of watching a brain dead donor's organs being recovered, some while the heart was still beating. From that last bit you might conclude that the book is gruesome and disturbing. And I won't say you're wrong - there are definitely some wince-inducing passages, and if you are squeamish, you might want to give this whole book a pass. But I'll also note that the entire book is respectful, sympathetic, and often moving. It's never grisly simply for the sake of sensationalism, and often quite funny.

If you're trying to figure out what you'd like to have done with what you leave behind when you're gone, this is a great survey of your options. Even if you've already made a decision, there's a lot to learn and enjoy here. I'd recommend it to anyone, except those whom the last paragraph made queasy.
( )
  JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
the many uses to which human cadavers can be put in research and other endeavors.
  ritaer | Jul 11, 2021 |
Funny. Interesting. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
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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.

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