Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Title: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Author: Mary Roach
Can writing about dead people be funny? If you're Mary Roach, apparently it can. She discusses anatomy-class cadavers, crash test cadavers, cadavers in mortuaries, cadavers in the wild-- she runs the whole gamut of the recently departed.
I'd heard about Stiff from lots of people over the last few years, but never got around to reading it. I'm so glad I finally broke down and delved in. It was such a funny read. I would sit up in my bed at night, giggling. But at the same time I was learning all sorts of interesting and random facts about what happens to our bodies after we die. Before reading Stiff, I hadn't given much thought about what would happen to me after I cease to be me. I figured that my kids would put me in a box and bury me, or possibly incinerate me. But now that I know that I could decompose in a forest, get strapped into a vehicle and crash at high speeds, get cut apart by eager medical students, or even get turned into freeze-dried fertilizer, I feel like I have so many choices. I think I'll go with fertilizer.