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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
Spook Science Tackles the Afterlife
Author: Mary Roach
"Equal parts Groucho Marx and Stephen Jay Gould, both enlightening and entertaining."—Sunday Denver Post & Rocky Mountain News — The best-selling author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers now trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780393329124
ISBN-10: 0393329127
Publication Date: 10/2/2006
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 146 ratings
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 4
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Mary Roach, also the author of Stiff (the lives of human cadavers) is an investigative journalist with a large funnybone that will keep you turning the pages. Spook gives an overview of society's various theories and experiments related to the afterlife, mediums, ghosts, psychoacoustics,near-death experiences, etc. Facsinating!
VeganFreak avatar reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on
Helpful Score: 3
Funny and easy to read. This is not a serious book for people wanting to study the paranormal or religion. The author is a skeptic who did some research on various things and wrote a chapter on her explorations into each subject. I enjoyed her sense of humor and think that she would be a great lady to go have a cup of tea - or tequila- and chat with.
iluvlibros avatar reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book had a lot of potential, but it fell a bit short of meeting my high expectations. Some chapters were really interesting, and I truly loved the author's subtle touches of humor. But other chapters just dragggged. Overall, it's an interesting read, but you might want to prepare yourself to skim through (or even skip) a few of the sections.
reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Funny in some places, a tad boring in some places, but over all, a good read. I found the chapter on ectoplasm more than just a little interesting and more than a little bit gross.
MerryHearted avatar reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If you will be offended by her mocking tone toward God near the beginning of the book, then you might want to avoid this. If you can set that aside, the book is quite fascinating and at some points laugh out loud funny.
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Readnmachine avatar reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 1434 more book reviews
Roach turns her patented cock-eyed view to the subject of the afterlife -- does it exist? How have humans attempted to deal with the question? Can we ever really know? Not surprisingly, she doesn't come up with a definitive answer, but the trip, as always, is entertaining.
reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 3 more book reviews
this is fabulous reading.

mary roach is funny, well-researched and interesting in the way she presents her topics.

her other books ease the addiction developed after just reading one.

karenbfromtennessee avatar reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 7 more book reviews
Very interesting, but not as good as her first two books, "Bonk" and "Stiff." She seems to rely more on her internet browsing for scientific research, but still, I find it interesting (since I don't have the time to do it myself.) She relates several trips she's taken to interview experts, too. Good questions....makes you think.
reviewed Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on + 32 more book reviews
If author Mary Roach was a college professor, she'd have a zero drop-out rate. That's because when Roach tackles a subject--like the posthumous human body in her previous bestseller, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, or the soul in the winning Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife--she charges forth with such zeal, humor, and ingenuity that her students (er, readers) feel like they're witnessing the most interesting thing on Earth. Who the heck would skip that? As Roach informs us in her introduction, "This is a book for people who would like very much to believe in a soul and in an afterlife for it to hang around in, but who have trouble accepting these things on faith. It's a giggly, random, utterly earthbound assault on our most ponderous unanswered question." Talk about truth in advertising. With that, Roach grabs us by the wrist and hauls butt to India, England, and various points in between in search of human spiritual ephemera, consulting an earnest bunch of scientists, mystics, psychics, and kooks along the way. It's a heck of a journey and Roach, with one eyebrow mischievously cocked, is a fantastically entertaining tour guide, at once respectful and hilarious, dubious yet probing. And brother, does she bring the facts. Indeed, Spook's myriad footnotes are nearly as riveting as the principal text. To wit: "In reality, an X-ray of the head could not show the brain, because the skull blocks the rays. What appeared to be an X-ray of the folds and convolutions of a human brain inside a skull--an image circulated widely in 1896--was in fact an X-ray of artfully arranged cat intestines." Or this: "Medical treatises were eminently more readable in Sanctorius's day. Medicina statica delved fearlessly into subjects of unprecedented medical eccentricity: 'Cucumbers, how prejudicial,' and the tantalizing 'Leaping, its consequences.' There's even a full-page, near-infomercial-quality plug for something called the Flesh-Brush." While rigid students of theology might take exception to Roach's conclusions (namely, we're just a bag of bones killing time before donning a soil blanket) it's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying this impressively researched and immensely readable book. And since, as Roach suggests, each of us has only one go-round, we might as well waste downtime with something thoroughly fun. --Kim Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.