Tag Archives: Mary Roach

Book Review: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

[adsense] In Mary Roach’s “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers”, she explores both the history and science of the dead. Yes, this book is about dead bodies. Mary Roach is outrageously humorous, captivating, yet respectful as she enlightens the reader about the “Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” in her New York Times Bestseller. Before reading this book, I had no idea in how many ways cadavers were and are used for science.

Medical School Prep

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Indeed, cadaver’s lives (an oxymoron as that is) are quite peculiar. Each chapter in the book describes a different aspect about medical research on cadavers, or what happens to bodies that were donated to science. I was comfortable reading a chapter and then putting down the book for some other time. Even Mary Roach’s footnotes are enthrallingly fascinating and witty.

Previously, the common view of life after death was that a body goes to heaven, so dissection on corpses was only done on executed murderers; however, when the 1800s came around, anatomy professors had to resort to other means of teaching their students besides using pictures and textbooks. Body snatching from graves became a means of obtaining “subjects” to work and teach with, but today it is common to donate your body to science and medical research.

Have you, however, honestly sat down and done your research? Do you know all the crazy things your body might be used for after you die? How about letting it sit on a farm to decompose into an oozy, smelly, maggot-filled pile for forensic research? Or would you prefer for your body to be tested upon impact in crash and safety research? Would you prefer your body to be cannibalized? These are just a few of the many subjects that Mary Roach addresses in this book. After reading, you may find yourself reconsidering the plans you have had for your body after you pass on. I certainly did.

This is an excellent book to read when preparing for medical school, an interview, or if you are already in medical school. It’s easy to start an attractive conversation when mentioning the lives of human cadavers and what you have learned and laughed at in “Stiff”.

Here’s the Amazon Link: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Hope you all have a great week!