Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

by mary roach | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0393050939 Global Overview for this book
Registered by jamesmum of Richmond, British Columbia Canada on 4/5/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
22 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Monday, April 5, 2004
A fascinating book! Anyone with a curious mind would probably get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Its ISBN shows it as being in the "Science" category, my bookstore had it in the "Health and Wellness" section (!!), and an argument could be made for shelving it in the "Philosophy" section. It also has some very funny passages (although giggling out loud while reading a book about cadavers will probably win you some strange looks).

Off to TQD via the Australian m-bag.

Journal Entry 2 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Sunday, August 1, 2004
Once again a gorgeous book from the shelf of jamesmum. Hard cover and all. If I was not so busy with the M bag, book rings/rays/rabcks etc etc *as well as* real life, I would put this aside to read before passing on to TQD. It is amusing because I reckon TQD is as busy as me!
TQD has two allocated books that I have so far discovered in the piles of stuff from USA. The two of them together weigh over 500g (a convenient pre paid parcel size) so I shall try and fill a 3kg bag with this, the other allocated book and a few random selections from my pile and that from the USA.

Journal Entry 3 by tqd from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, August 5, 2004
And it (and a whole lot of other books!) turned up today. Huzzah! Thanks very much, jamesmum, I've wanted to read this for ages!

As soon as there's a gap in my reading schedule (newk shall be permitted to laugh here, he's read that on about 7 journal entries today from me!) I shall read this, and then send it out on its ray. (newk, join the ray! I can put you late on the list, if you like!)

So far, ray participants are (in no particular order):

charmedwitch23, fuji, fushmush, augustusgloop, gooby, loopylou127, with-the-force

See what happens when you advertise a ray before you've even got the book in your hot little hands??? Voracious readers down here, all slathering at the bit to be allowed to read this one!! I won't let the power go to my head, however. :)

And further participants are now:

newk, Goodthinkingmax, dolphin-au, boreal (NZ), kirst040, awaywithfairies, Hawkette, ada2, taniazed, KiwiWonder (NZ), lytteltonwitch (NZ), sherlockfan (NZ), rarsberry (NZ)

Journal Entry 4 by tqd from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, September 11, 2004
Gosh, I wish I had more time to read this! I wanted to never put it down, just start reading and then only finish when I got to the end. However, life wasn't working like that for me this month...

The writing style is brilliant. I love the way she just dives all over the place on tangents and you can learn all sort of interesting stuff from the footnotes alone. (Rats have a penis bone? Well, I never.) When I was working as a research assistant many years ago (hey, it didn't pay the bills, or I'd still be sitting in a lab with a white coat, rather than being in IT), I'd have the same sort of tangential research, trying to find out every little bit of incidental stuff just out of sheer curiousity. Mary Roach is a woman after my own heart!

A few detailed comments:

Chapter 3, "LIFE AFTER DEATH", which discusses the decay of bodies. Do NOT read this in the morning after a night out with Jubby et al drinking sake.

Chapter 5. "BEYOND THE BLACK BOX", which discusses how the human remains found following a plane crash can be used to determine why the plane fell from the sky should possibly not be read on a plane. (I have left my boarding pass in there for the next reader.) Strangely enough, while I was quite happily reading this chapter, and reading my neighbours' newspapers (damned cattle class), neither of them was keen on reading my book. Maybe they'd taken one look and were trying to avoid eye contact with me or something, I dunno.

Chapter 9. "JUST A HEAD", which discusses "decapitation, reanimation and the human head transplant" was mindboggling. Those wacky Russians.

Chapter 10. "EAT ME". Medicinal cannabalism. Of course. Why didn't I think of that. One (non-)word: EW. Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew. But oh so fascinating!!

And it's made me think of what I want to happen to my body after I die. I was already dead keen on organ transplantation (if at all possible), now I'm even keener. Burial, cremation, embalming and composting just don't do it for me. (And scientific research sounds a lot more interesting than I thought it would. Not that I'd be around to notice...)

Thanks heaps Jamesmum and everyone for getting this book to me! I was going to pass it on to my mum next, but I think I'll just buy her a brand new copy for Xmas (and that way, I can borrow it again and again myself!).

This will be winging its way over to NZ (rarsberry first, I believe) this week. Stay posted for a full list of all 20 recipients, in the correct order!

Journal Entry 5 by tqd from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Friday, September 17, 2004
PLEASE NOTE: The recipient list has been revamped, since the book got stuck for a while and I needed to know if the sadly out-of-date recipient list was still current. But it's on the move again, and anyone who doesn't respond to a PM by the end of May, 2007, was removed from the list. Thanks all.

Okay, the book got sent off to rarsberry earlier this week (nestled in a nice little padded bag to keep it safe on its journey!). And now, here is the list of recipients (fanfare, please, Mr Music):

1. rarsberry (Dunedin, NZ)
2. boreal (Dunedin, NZ)
3. lyttletonwitch (Christchurch, NZ)
3a. FutureCat & MrPloppy
4. sherlockfan (Wellington, NZ)
5. kiwiwonder (Auckland, NZ)
6. hawkette
7. dolphin-au
8. charmedwitch23
9. augustusgloop
10. with-the-force
11. kirst040
12. newk
13. gooby
14. sabavana
15. outofreach
16. BrisKJJ - asked to be skipped
17. crimson-tide
18. froggirlwendy
19. catbot

The basic guidelines of this bookring:

* Please make a quick journal entry when you receive the book and when you send it onto the next person, so that we all know it's travelling well.
* Try and read the book asap (2 weeks brilliant, 4 weeks excellent, more than 6 weeks, could you please let me know, or just make a note in your journal entry so we know why it's being held up)
* When you've finished (and have entered your thoughts in a journal entry!) please send a PM to the next person on the list to get their address or arrange a meeting to pass the book along.
* If you can't take the book when it comes your way, let me know and I'll shuffle the order to the best of my ability!
* Order of recipients is subject to change without notice!

Journal Entry 6 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, September 26, 2004
I got this book in the mail on Saturday.
Luckily I have just finished reading the other bookray I have, so I can get started on this one.
Thank you to tqd for posting it, and those who have had the book before her. :o)

Journal Entry 7 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, October 1, 2004
I'm almost halfway through the book and loving it.
Its not a topic I read a lot about so I'm learning new stuff.
Anyway I've just got to page 116 and found a plane ticket. I thought it was strange til I read your journal entry and now it makes more sense.
So I'll keep reading now so I can pass it on to boreal soon. :o)

Journal Entry 8 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Finished reading this book a couple of nights ago.
I loved the style of writing that she uses, its easy to read especially with the topic it is, it made it light hearted.
I learnt a lot of new things about cadavers.
I'll pass this along to boreal when we next meet. :o)

Journal Entry 9 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Rarsberry gave this to me this morning when we met up beside Dunedin's Robbie Burns statue to "wave" to bookcrossers around the world via our towns web-cam!
It was great fun. I will attach a photo I took of the statue while we were there.

I am looking forward to this book, and will make a start on it very soon.

Journal Entry 10 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Friday, October 15, 2004
What an interesting book! And like you TQD love the way it is written with all the little tangents and side notes, you learn all sorts of interesting things along the way. It was a bit gruesome and stomach turning at times -I wouldn't have wanted to be the author looking at the decomposing bodies in that outdoor research facility, being near a very dead sheep is bad enough.
This has given me a whole new outlook on the uses of cadavers.
Loved your postcard by the way TQD, and the way the plane ticket was tucked in the Beyond the Black box chapter; I hope you were sitting near and exit!
Thanks Jamesmum for sending it our way and to TQD for organising the ring.
I will send this to Lytteltonwitch as soon as I have her address.

Journal Entry 11 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, October 17, 2004
We were searching in class today for travel and tourism, and I found this interesting piece on the Lonely Planet website, and thought to post it here.
Sky Burials, Tibet
In the very early history of Tibet the dead may have been buried in the ground, but with soil at a premium and firewood equally scarce, Tibetans have spent the last few centuries coming up with alternative ways to get rid of remains. Cremation was an honour reserved only for lamas and senior monks; in the past, commoners were usually tossed in the river. Since the introduction of Buddhism to the region in the 800s, however, sky burials have become the most common way to dispose of the dead. They're also among the most intriguing social practices to emerge from a culture that still remains full of mystery to most outsiders.

When a Tibetan dies, the corpse is kept for 24 hours in a sitting position while a lama recites prayers from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. These prayers speed the soul through the 49 levels of Bardo - the state between death and rebirth. Three days after death the body is blessed, folded and carried on the back of a close friend to the dürto, or burial site.

The charnel ground is usually a large fenced meadow where prayer flags hang and the scent of smoldering juniper purifies the air. Here, special body breakers known as rogyapas cut off the deceased's hair, chop up the body with knives and hatchets and pound the bones, mixing them with flour. Vultures - previously kept at bay by men waving sticks - then complete the job of disposal, often helped by wild dogs.

Although the rogyapas have a special place in Tibetan society, their work is not hampered by ceremony or squeamishness. Their job is a matter-of-fact one, and they will talk and laugh as they tend to their necessary task.

Despite their apparent brutality, sky burials are not a time for sadness or mourning. The soul is considered to have already left the body: the time is used by friends and family for reflection on the impermanence of life. Tibetans are encouraged to witness these rituals and to confront death openly. It might not be to everyone's tastes, but Tibetans could never be accused of denying death. This open mindset carries over into everyday life, where objects as common as trumpets and bowls are often made from human bone.

Although much is known about the process of sky burial, very few travellers have witnessed the ceremony first hand. It's easy to see why foreigners might be interested in seeing a sky burial themselves, however it is a private ritual, and a stranger's presence demeans the burial. Even foreigners who have been invited to a sky burial have been chased away before the rogyapas set to work. If you get too close, expect to have stones - and even corpse knives - thrown at you by Tibetans, or - only slightly less unpleasant - you might be arrested by the Chinese authorities, interrogated, fined and forced to sign an 'admission of guilt'.

Journal Entry 12 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Sunday, October 17, 2004
Interesting to learn about Tibetian funeral customs Rarsberry.

Anyway I sent Stiff to Lytteltonwitch today.

Journal Entry 13 by lytteltonwitch from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, October 21, 2004
Thanks,I received the book yesterday,was looking forward to reading it,but as I am facing a major operation not so sure.Probably not the best of books to take to a hospital to read.What the hell read it anyway.

Journal Entry 14 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, October 30, 2004
*FutureCat sneaking in guiltily...*
Yes, yes, I know I'm not on the list for this bookring, but I saw it at Lyttletonwitch's the other day, and was totally hooked by the first sentence, so I've just hijacked the ring slightly... but it's ok, Lyttletonwitch handed it over to me complete with a posting bag all addressed ready for posting it off to sherlockfan, so I promise I won't hold it up for long...

^ ^

Journal Entry 15 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, October 31, 2004
If I fail my psychology exam on Tuesday, then this book is to blame. I sat down with it when I got home from the meetup this morning, planning to read a chapter before putting in a few hours of serious study for my exam, and now, many hours later, I've done absolutely no study, but I've finished the book! Totally fascinating stuff, written in a really entertaining style, and the footnotes are amazing.

I think MrPloppy might want to read it too (although I think he's had most of it read out to him already, because every time he walked into the room I'd say "this is a great bit..."), but we really will post it off to Wellington soon!

^ ^

Journal Entry 16 by MrPloppy from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, November 13, 2004
Ahhh ... bodies ... dead bodies ... dissection ... slicing ... dicing ... yeass ... all good fun ... anyway ... halfway through (not meant to be reading it of course but i really couldn't let a book with such an interesting premise slide through my grubby hands) and i'll get it onto the next official person soon ... shouldn't be long. Will write what passes for a wee review once i've finished it.
Mr Ploppy

Journal Entry 17 by MrPloppy from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, December 23, 2004
Apologies, it took a little longer than i thought to finish Stiff - end of year etc etc etc. Anyway, loads of fascinating lore regarding what happens to people after they die - the bits about "whole body transplants" was a particular fascination for this old Reanimator fan. Bit annoyed by the jokeyness of the author (yes i know, i despise The Simpsons too ... we all can't have good taste...) ... maybe it's because i come from good European stock and we're not soo squeamish i guess about death or maybe it's because the whole thing is rather funny in itself (in a black sort of way - i mean cutting two dogs in half and then stitching them back together ... mwaah haa haa haaa ...) that there is no need to have a "humourous" feel to it. I don't know. Anyway, i would recommend this as a nice quick read for the goth, funeral director or Edgar Allen Poe fan in your family. Now ... where's my bag of lye???

Journal Entry 18 by MrPloppy from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, December 23, 2004
Nearly forgot ... will post this onto the next pre-cadaverous recipient after Xmas has finally been put to rest for another year. Have a good one, one and all.

Journal Entry 19 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, December 30, 2004
Well, we finally managed to get into town on a day when the post office was actually open, and remember to bring the book in with us to post, so it's finally on its way to Sherlockfan in Wellington.

Sorry again about all the delays.

Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone!

^ ^

Journal Entry 20 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, January 6, 2005
Has arrived safely with me thanks to everyone. Already read the first 3 chapters! What a novel topic - excuse the pun. I'm going to enjoy this book in a macabre sort of way.

Journal Entry 21 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 17, 2005
This book proved to be as fascinating and at the same time as entertaining as promised by everyone's previous journal entries. The research that has gone into making it such an authentic almost classical work is awesome.
With my huge fondness for forensic scientifically based whodunnits I feel that I should have a copy on my bookshelf for future reference at appropriate times.
Sadly I must pass this copy on.

Journal Entry 22 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 17, 2005

Posting today Tuesday 18th January to KiwiWonder.

Journal Entry 23 by KiwiWonder from Auckland, Auckland Province New Zealand on Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Arrived in the mail today -- next on my list, and looking forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 24 by KiwiWonder from Auckland, Auckland Province New Zealand on Monday, January 31, 2005
This is not a book I would ever have picked up without all the reccomendations of others -- but I throughology enjoyed it, if saying such a thing is appropriate!

Like many of the others have commented, I thought the authour's tone throughout the book was just the right mixture of curiosity, matter-of-factness, and factual reporting. I was especially fascinated on the chapters about the scientific research that cadavers can help with -- tho I must confess here that the boarding pass that was travelling with the book has migrated out. However, when I received it there was also a postcard for an exhibit at the Australian mueseum along the same lines -- it was so perfect for the book that I decided they should be kept together.

Sent economy mail to Hawkette on 29/01/2005.

Journal Entry 25 by Hawkette from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Friday, February 25, 2005
This little treasure has arrived at my home in Australia. It is going to make a slight detour to where I am now, so I can read it, and then I'll send it back to Oz, and it will continue on it's journey. I had hoped it would arrive before I left for the UK...but alas.

I have been wanting to read this book for some time, and have been watching this copy get closer and closer to me. Very excited. It enters my TBR list now, and thus will be read as soon as I get it in my hot (cold, actualy) little hands.

This book featured on one of my favourite shows - Six Feet Under. I can hear the theme music in my head, just looking at the cover art of this book...

Journal Entry 26 by Hawkette from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Friday, May 6, 2005
This book is hilarious, gruesome and amazingly morbid - like a car accident, you just can't look away. I advise not eating while reading though!! I think of myself as having a pretty tough stomach, and there were times snacking while reading just could not happen!!

'Death. It doesn't have to be boring.' (p.11), Roach quotes, and she certainly makes it interesting! Making science fun, really, and all with a wicked sense of humour!

Makes you think about organ donation, and even body to Science donation. The benefit it can bring, the research, and the saving of lives in the event of your death.

Her stories are hilarious! The reference to fingers in Cambodia in 2002 gave my stomach a lurch - there were some very suspect looking meals I ate in PP not long after that story!! Although she hasn't referenced that one - could she have made it up?

Her explainations for things, from a science and behavioural perspective were very on the mark - the discussion about transplant recipients and the possible explaintions to 'feeling what the donor was like' was very good. Reminds me of my science study days.

Oh! And the facts about plane crashes - too much imformation!! I am mortified! How will I ever fly again!!??

Excellent read, thought not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure!!
Will be sending on very soon, back to Australia. Thanks to everyone for sharing this one.

Journal Entry 27 by dolphin-au from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Received today all the way from the UK. Thanks Hawkette. From all the reviews it looks like this will be a great read. Can't wait to start, but this book will have to compete with four other bookrings that arived today.

Journal Entry 28 by dolphin-au from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, May 29, 2005
Finished this over the weekend (had been reading bits of it through the week). Fascinating stuff, a bit morbid, but fascinating nonetheless. I must say I found the author a bit intruding in the book. It would have been a better book had she not had such a prominent part in it (the subject is interesting enough, it doesn't need any funny remarks about how the author feels about things).
I don't know if I could stand the idea of someone cutting me to little bits just to learn how a body is put together, but other than that I don't think I would mind being used for some relevant scientific experiment. I do like the idea of being composted though. I'm sure I would make good organic compost.
Thanks tqd for organising this ring I'll get it to the next perticipant asap.

Journal Entry 29 by charmedwitch23 from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Monday, June 6, 2005
Received safe'n'sound. I have been waiting for ages for this one. Cant wait. Have a few ahead of it though so it'll be a while. Finishing my degree in 1 week so am busier than ever b4.

Journal Entry 30 by charmedwitch23 from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Friday, December 30, 2005
Sorry to hold this book up so long. I am 3/4 through it and enjoying it even if it does make my stomach turn :-P

Journal Entry 31 by charmedwitch23 from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Monday, April 24, 2006
Hmmm I finished this book, it was fantastic! I really loved it. Buuuut now Ive lost it. Had it ready to post and someone has moved it on me, so it slipped my mind. Dont panic! I'll find its around here somewhere...
Woohoo, found it! On the move again. Sorry to all!

Journal Entry 32 by tqd from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Good news, everyone! This book arrived bright and early on my doorstep this morning, while I was still in my pajamas and trying to persuade young Miss Boo into some clothes, and then the postie proceeded to have a conversation with me. Maybe he likes semi-dressed women with bed hair, I dunno.

Anyway, many thanks for getting the book back to me, charmedwitch23, and I'll get it moving again onto augustusgloop asap!

Journal Entry 33 by augustusgloop from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wheeee! Received in today's post. Been waiting ages to read this one (only a little over three years, but who's counting eh?) so look forward to getting stuck into it asap.

Journal Entry 34 by augustusgloop from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Monday, January 14, 2008
A fantastic read. I loved the early chapters, particularly that on the stages of decomposition, as well as the coping mechanisms used by staff and students when dealing with cadavers.

Will be contacting the next on the ring to pass it on.

Thanks for sharing this tqd!

Journal Entry 35 by augustusgloop from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, February 7, 2008
Popped this into the post to with-the-force yesterday.

Thanks for the chance to read this, tqd :)

Journal Entry 36 by with-the-force from Werrington, New South Wales Australia on Monday, February 11, 2008
Book arrived here safe and sound. Will send on when I have read it. I am looking forward to the tales contained within.

Journal Entry 37 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Sunday, March 16, 2008
love the bookmark I missed that exibition loved the book also. i got a few interesting comments " Gauld your reading a book about WHAT " I think i like the composting although i've just been reading about the sky burials don't know when any of the methods would be offered by Guardian or White Lady .Maybe we could start a movement ( that sounds like a song I know). It will be travelling on again to the next lucky reader Enjoy

Journal Entry 38 by kirst040 from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, March 20, 2008
Arrived today thanks. Really looking forward to reading this.

Journal Entry 39 by kirst040 from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, April 26, 2008
Just an update...I am dragging the chain on this one a bit. I have been stuck on The Book Thief for a while.

Hopefully I'll get to this next week, I can't wait to get into it.

Journal Entry 40 by kirst040 from Sydney CBD, New South Wales Australia on Friday, May 16, 2008
Wow this was fascinating stuff. I loved it, I found the subject matter so interesting and I really enjoyed the author's humourous asides. This might sound a bit macabre but in some places I really would have liked to see pictures.

I have already recommended this to a few friends. It was certainly worth the wait.

Will be passing this on to the next participant as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 41 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Saturday, June 7, 2008
What a well travelled book. It has made its way back to me. Hello to all of you. I have only read about half the reviews and will get to the rest and the actual book sometime soon.
Thanks all

Journal Entry 42 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Thursday, July 10, 2008
sorry to be so long. I am getting there. just checking in. loves yas all

Journal Entry 43 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Saturday, July 19, 2008
the newk contribution to cadaver research

edit for privacy reasons (mine)

If anyone wants to know PM me

Journal Entry 44 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Saturday, July 19, 2008
I was very pleased to have this book back. It having travelled the world and through the hands of so many wonderful bookcrossers.
I enjoyed it a bit but found the author's style a touch annoying. the ongoing little jokes and puns annoyed me at times. As did the subscripts that seem to be on every third page. Why not just put it all in the text. It is a style that is also used in Bonk, by the same author, which I have just started reading.
Posted of to gooby today.

Thanks again all.

Journal Entry 45 by Gooby from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Monday, July 28, 2008
Received yesterday. Nice distraction from an exam in a slightly related topic!

Note: dust jacket not with book.

Journal Entry 46 by Gooby from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Intriguing book...
Enjoyed the first few sections then kind of lost track - I think around the weapons research bit. Whilst I had been enjoying the tangents, I think it all just got to be a bit much perkiness without the depth. This may well be coloured by the fact that I've spent 3 years of my life doing dissections & several years more (intermittently) dealing with dead bodies, so a lot of the shock has gone out of it - and she seemed to be mostly dealing in shock.

Worthwhile read however.

Journal Entry 47 by Sabavana from Abermain, New South Wales Australia on Monday, September 15, 2008
Woohoo this has finally got to me! I've been waiting on this book for so long I'd forgotten all about it :-) Can't wait to read it, the table of contents looks interesting so I think I'll enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 48 by Sabavana from Abermain, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I found this book really fascinating... unlike the previous reader I didn't find the author trying to 'shock' the reader, more just be straight-up about what really happens to cadavers - no beating around the bush with this book!

I remember when I was studying Anatomy & Physiology, I was given the chance to attend a wet lab to study real muscles and bones. I was the only one from my class game to go, and I took my OH for support (literally, incase I fainted!). As it turns out I had nothing to worry about, it was not squeamish in the least and before we went in we got a mini-lecture about respect for the cadavers who were once people - which is also a theme running through this book.

I found the sections dealing with what happens to the body after you die the most interesting, ie. the processes that happen as we break down and 'return to the earth'. The part about plane crashes was interesting too, it's amazing what evidence bodies can show us if we look at them in the right way.

Thanks so much tqd for sharing this book, I'm about to PM the next person on the list right now.

Journal Entry 49 by Sabavana from Abermain, New South Wales Australia on Monday, November 24, 2008
I probably should have made an entry when I posted this book -- sent this on it's way to the next BCer about a week or so ago.

Journal Entry 50 by outofreach from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
this book just got here yesterday, together with another bookring book. hopefully it won't take me too long to read it..

sorry - that took longer than expected. will contact the next reader now and pass on asap.

this was a great read. roach covered a lot of ground in a witty way. a dark topic presented in a nice wrapping. i liked it..

after trying to contact briskjj on numerous occasions i decided to contact froggirlwendy. to no avail also. i have now contacted crimson-tide. hopefully i will hear back from them.

Journal Entry 51 by wingcrimson-tidewing from Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Arrived today . . . fantabulous! Looks like an 'interesting' read.

Journal Entry 52 by wingcrimson-tidewing from Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Thursday, March 12, 2009
A truly mega great read. Loved it! It's interesting reading everyone's journal entries too, in that we all seem to be pretty much in agreement about the fascinating subject matter, but not necessarily in agreement about the author's approach to it. Personally I think she did a 'sterling job'.

She certainly did a huge amount of research and handled the serious and potentially awkward subject matter with intelligence and respect, while at the same time being entertaining. Yep, I did enjoy the humour. And it's well put together too - as dolphin-au said, even if you took the jokey bits out it wouldn't be boring. I thought the meandering, tangential style was wonderful as it was all fascinating stuff, and it was useful to break up the larger slabs of what she was actually looking at or talking about at the time.

The first few chapters certainly brought back memories of one of my past lives . . . in the university holidays after our second year I was one of the lucky students who had a holiday job doing some of the prosections for the following year's anatomy classes.

It does make you think about what to do with the old bod after you have no further use for it. Or at least hope that someone else will do with it anyway. May as well be useful if possible. And not boring . . .

Just waiting now for froggirlwendy to get back to me.

Journal Entry 53 by wingcrimson-tidewing at Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Released 14 yrs ago (3/13/2009 UTC) at Balingup, Western Australia Australia



Posted off to froggirlwendy a while ago (on the 13th I think) but forgot to do a release note then.
I hope it arrives there soon.

Journal Entry 54 by froggirlwendy from Bracken Ridge, Queensland Australia on Sunday, March 29, 2009
Arrived safely late last week - thanks c-t :o) I have wanted to read this one for some time which is great. Being a bookring/ray it is next in line TBR.

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