I will be honest – I was not looking forward to reading this book, but I have been on an unintentional hiatus and I just didn’t want it to last any longer. So here I was, holding my Kindle, Stiff on the screen, simply dreading reading a book about dead bodies when I so recently had to confront the reality of death in my life.
That being said, here’s the good side. Roach’s writing is engaging, the topic is (admittedly) interesting, and I even found myself chuckling more than just a bit – she seems to have a delightfully dry, witty sense of humor and it comes across clearly in her writing. I truly do understand the value in using human cadavers to study most of the things Roach wrote about, and it really is fascinating what important information and learning can come from the science of the dead. Also, it was a fast read – just what I needed to break the hiatus.
And here’s the bad side. Not really bad, I suppose. More like… uncomfortable. As it turns out, I am no good at “objectification.” I had an extremely difficult time reading about dead bodies and the things being done to them. I realize that they aren’t alive, and I realize that (in most cases) this was their choice and their families understand that. But, BUT I just couldn’t help but feel a little queasy reading about decapitated heads sitting in roasting pans.
I contemplated giving up multiple times, but made myself go on. So, having gone on, all the way through, here are some final, brief thoughts in the form of superlatives:
- Grossest chapter: Life After Death
- Least Gross Chapter: Dead Man Driving
- Most Informative (Interesting?): Holy Cadaver AND How to Know If You’re Dead
- Chapter I Just Couldn’t Read: The Cadaver Who Joined the Army (not too scary or gross, just… not that interesting to me)
- Chapter Most Likely to Be Confused with an Episode of Criminal Minds: Eat Me
- Chapter that Scared the $#!+ Out of Me: Beyond the Black Box (why oh why did I do this to myself?)
- Chapter I Wish I Didn’t Read: Just a Head (too much puppy experimentation – no thanks)