Death is a touchy subject. No matter your opinions or beliefs about death and the realm beyond, this is one subject that everyone has thought about, questioned, and perhaps experienced at one point in their lives. It’s the inevitable end, the grand finish, the ultimate fate we all share. Whether it’s lying in a box or an urn, our bodies are destined to have a final resting place…well, for most of us.
For those brave souls who decide to donate their bodies to science, death can be their most exciting adventure yet. They can experience what it’s like to get a face lift, get in a car crash, or even what happens when you step on a land mine. The lives of the dead when it comes to human cadavers are often much more exiting than anything they may have done in their time on Earth. For human cadavers, death is just the beginning.
In Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, author Mary Roach explores what happens to those individuals who decide to donate their bodies to science.
In each chapter of Stiff, we learn about a new use for the human cadaver. From “beating heart” cadavers to those unfortunate bodies that are used for plastic surgery practice and crash test studies, it’s clear that the human body continues to fascinate and teach postmortem. Roach even embarks on an adventure to hunt down a Chinese man accused of making human dumplings…and explores new ways of disposing of the human body, while helping the environment.
Stiff is a fascinating read…and is near impossible to put down. From the very first lines of the book, it’s clear that Roach takes a unique and refreshing approach to death. With comical stories, digressions, and even captivating footnotes, Stiff opens our eyes to the wonders of the human body…and how the dead are forever changing the way we live.
NEXT WEEK: How one Jewish woman survived the Holocaust…by doing the unthinkable.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.