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Short Synopsis
For 2,000 years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and, in so doing, tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Full Synopsis
An oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem.

For 2,000 years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure—from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery—cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries—from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

"Not grisly but inspiring, this work considers the many valuable scientific uses of the body after death." ---Library Journal

"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year." ---Entertainment Weekly

"Uproariously funny...informative and respectful...irreverent and witty...impossible to put down." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
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Author Interview
Mary Roach

Stiff

The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Author Mary Roach

Narrated by Shelly Frasier

Publication date Sep 1, 2003

Running time 8 hrs 4 min

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