Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BOOK: Stiff, the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

I recently finished reading, Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. What could have been dry reading filled with the whens, wheres and whys of human cadavers, is actually a very well written, witty account into what happens to us after we die.

Bodies donated to science are used for medical training, scientific study, crash test dummies, and more. Through the donation of others we as a society have learned a tremendous amount about how the body decomposes under various circumstances as well as how to cure the maladies of the living.

"The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken. I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today have I seen a head in a roasting pan. but here are forty of them, one per pan, resting face up on what looks to be a small pet-food bowl. The heads are for plastic surgeons, two per head, to practice on."
Chapter One, Stiff

Roach offers some historical facts, which I am much obliged, and offers a respectful though humourous account of her escapades while researching this book. I zipped through it chuckling all the way and gleaning tonnes from the knowledge splashed within. No doubt this is one I will read again.

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