Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

Spook Science Tackles the Afterlife Spook Science Tackles the Afterlife published by W W Norton Company a non fiction work by Mary Roach who also wrote Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers is a humorous scientific explorat

Spook Science Tackles the Afterlife 2005 , published by W W Norton Company, a non fiction work by Mary Roach who also wrote Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, is a humorous scientific exploration as to whether there is a soul that survives death.

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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

  1. Mary Roach is the author of the New York Times bestsellers STIFF The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers GULP Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, PACKING FOR MARS The Curious Science of Life in the Void and BONK The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Her most recent book, GRUNT The Curious Science of Humans at War, is out in June 2016 Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, Discover, New Scientist, the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, and Outside, among others She serves as a member of the Mars Institute s Advisory Board and the Usage Panel of American Heritage Dictionary Her 2009 TED talk made the organization s 2011 Twenty Most Watched To Date list She was the guest editor of the 2011 Best American Science and Nature Writing, a finalist for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize, and a winner of the American Engineering Societies Engineering Journalism Award, in a category for which, let s be honest, she was the sole entrant.

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  1. Roach is the author of Stiff, a raucous romp through the wonderful land of death It is only natural that she might continue that escapade with a look past the curtain Are there ghosts Is there life after death She examines a host of topics under her conceptual umbrella, looking at reincarnation, the hunt for the seat of the soul, the notion that the soul weighs 21 grams, ectoplasm, the effectiveness of mediums, including her stint in medium school, she outgrew small but was not yet advanced enou [...]

  2. I learned a number of interesting things reading Mary Roach s survey of the historical and scientific efforts to prove the existence of a soul Her discussion of the scientific inquiries into stories of reincarnated children provides an excellent example of the difficulties of trying to objectively prove something when your main resource is the shaky memories of those who are already convinced of whatever it is you re trying to prove.Though I was already familiar with the theory that infrasound s [...]

  3. Not bad, but Roach reveals her limitations in this book namely, she writes mostly to entertain She spends most of her time making fun of mediums from the spiritualism craze in the 20 s which, let s face it, is like shooting fish in a barrel.But you can also sense the places where her unspoken thesis i.e that the idea of a soul, and any attendant special effects, is bunk runs into problems.She hurriedly scurries past it as in the case of Kirlian photography, or a scientific experiment which seeme [...]

  4. This is a book that tries too hard to be cutesy From page one, we re dumped with tons of cute little footnoted anecdotes about quaint pseudo scientific afterlife related topics many of her anecdotes tend to veer far off topic , but nothing meaningful or even slightly memorable Further, Roach s humor comes across not as funny but as smug, even mean spirited and, as a firm non believer, I was predisposed to agree with her point of view anyway.Her research and organization were both terrible She se [...]

  5. Want to know what happens when we die You and everyone else apparently Many people believe in some sort of continuation be it an afterlife, reincarnation or maybe that your soul sticks around and haunts old, abandoned mansions Unfortunately, no one really knows for sure With Spook, Mary Roach isn t going to provide you with a concrete answer but rather an exploration of several beliefs and possibilities.I didn t enjoy this one nearly as much as Stiff It s not to say it s a poorly written book, I [...]

  6. Mary Roach s book has two great strengths The first is that she s damnably funny she brings humor to any place of uncertainty and any place of anyone s absolute certainty The second strength is that she s humble and friendly her prose is downright gregarious, so that reading often comes off as chatting with a well versed but not know it all friend She is less interested with one person being right and interested in finding every available source of information, which often means transcending tw [...]

  7. A trip through various scientific and not so scientific attempts to ascertain whether or not the human soul, consciousness, personality, or whatever survives the death of the body Looks at reincarnation, mediums, ectoplasms, attempts to measure or weigh the soul, anatomical searches for the seat of the soul within the body, electromagnetic haunting, quantum physics theories of consciousness, ghost hunting, electronic voice phenomena and near death experiences Not at all a scholarly work and writ [...]

  8. This would have been a much better book if I had read it, rather than listened to it as an audio book The problem was that the person reading it had been told Roach is funny, in much the same way bad actors spend too much time remembering Shakespeare wrote his plays as poetry so she read this almost with a laugh track playing throughout Nothing kills a joke quite so stone dead as telegraphing it in your voice two sentences ahead of the punch line Given that the humour in this one had been sent t [...]

  9. Now this was fun I ve never read Mary Roach before, but I enjoyed her exploration of possible evidences for life after death very much She s a skeptic, but not a debunker she would like to see solid evidence that some sort of consciousness continues after the body dies, but for the most part what she finds is that even where scientists and other investigators are trying to be rigorous in their experiments, squishiness often intrudes Results can be interpreted in various ways, and the ways subjec [...]

  10. Rating 3.5 of fiveThe Book Report Hot off the success of Stiff, Roach launched herself at an equally surprising topic Does the soul exist Is it possible to find it Can the soul s survival of individual death account for the mysteries of reincarnation and hauntings In a word, No Roach travels the globe looking for the kind of evidence that scientists look for when postulating the existence of muons and Higgs bosons, sans the billion plus dollar measuring equipment and teams of serious guys in fun [...]

  11. I enjoyed Stiff , also by Mary Roach, so perhaps my expectations were too high for this book Although I liked Roach s irreverent style in Stiff , I found it forced and distracting in Spook The copious footnotes, that were only sometimes relevant, annoyed me Perhaps Stiff was interesting because it was full of facts that surprised me, things that made sense, but that I didn t know about For example, I didn t know that if you donate your body to science it could end up in an experiment helping de [...]

  12. I have this book on my Kindle Not a good idea Spook is not a novel It is a thoroughly researched publication about the search for the soul by scientists and everyone else looking for it in different ways.This is the kind of book that should be on a coffee table, or in the throne room of the house It is for interest s sake It can be entertaining, or it can be serious, depending on your approach to the subject It can be many things to many people It is just not a book that should be read in one si [...]

  13. When I sat down with my newly purchased copy of Spook and started to read, I was rather surprised The first thing I find myself reading about is reincarnation This is not a subject I readily think of when I think of ghosts, nor is it a topic I care much about However, as I read I was fairly engaged and found Mary Roach to have an opinion of the whole thing similar to my own As I kept moving through the first few chapters I began to realize something rather disappointing While this book is titled [...]

  14. I picked up Spook first because it s subject matter interested me and then I knew I had to buy it when I saw that the author was none other than Mary Roach who had written another interesting and intriguing book dealing with the physical body at death Remembering how amusing and fascinating that read had been I recommened it to several friends who have the same weird sense of humor and morbid curiosities I do I had a feeling this book would not disappoint And it didn t.First off I m going to giv [...]

  15. Given the title, I expected a little actual science and less mockery of fringe and historical science The last two or three chapters came the closest to what I d actually expected this book to be chapters where she s researching subjects she felt were credible but the rest of the book was meh The subjects were mostly interesting, but the author s superior and mocking tone REALLY got up my nose For the record, no, I don t believe in most of the stuff she talks about, either, but I do at least fe [...]

  16. I was totally disappointed in this book Although I like the premise, which is looking into the scientific aspects of afterlife reincarnation, I did not like the way that the author approached it The first chapter is about reincarnation and she travels to India to investigate some of the reincarnation reports I should have gotten a hint of the tenor of the book at that point as she is condescending and borders on being offensive about the Indian people and the Hindu religion The rest of the book [...]

  17. I am feeling a little tired of Mary Roach s books I think this is the fourth I ve read, and I m starting to get the same feel from many of them, and it is this she finds interesting stories, but she doesn t do enough with them, just plops them down in front of the reader like her job is done with the anecdote, and without delving deeply into the issues that really interest me.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement You can read why I came to [...]

  18. Maybe a 3.5, but I ll round up because I laughed out loud several times and I m hard pressed to do than a smirk when I find something I m reading funny.If you ve never read a Mary Roach book before, her work is like this she researches a bunch of scientific studies about a particular subject, and then presents them to you with witty prose and tons of oddball stories along the way It s quite enjoyable, but beware that there is a fuck ton of name dropping constantly, to of course credit all the s [...]

  19. I loved Mary Roach s Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers how can I not adore an author who has me laughing heartily as I read about what happens to dead human bodies a 5 star book for me and I d like to read her book Packing for Mars The Curious Science of Life in the Void and maybe Bonk The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex too, but I wasn t that enthusiastic about reading this book But, it s the October selection for my real world book club so I dived in, with maybe not an open mind bu [...]

  20. Ugh, holy shit did Mary Roach drop the ball on this one Spook reads like a terrible first draft I didn t finish it.I read Stiff and Bonk, two of her other books They were entertaining, informative, and light Spook was just horrible She didn t bother to come up with a real story for the book, so she resorted to the lazy device of describing her own experiences in chronological order as if those experiences were the story While uninspired, that would be OK if her experiences were interesting They [...]

  21. This is a funny and fascinating book on the soul Does it exist Is it physical Can it be seen or measured Are NDEs Near Death Experiences real Do animals have souls Mary Roach fearlessly dives in head first This book comes down on the side of no No proof of a soul, no proof of a next life, no proof of ghosts Even though in the end, she says I believe in ghosts , that is just because she WANTS to believe that there is something out there The book will turn people into skeptics I enjoyed it a lot [...]

  22. A lot of wordy waffling from the author, with some interesting historical strange but true stories from the halls of crank science just enough so I didn t DNF from boredom Roach s inability to let a peanut gallery opportunity go by made the tone wearying after awhile, and some sections were long winded and deathly dull Maybe it was the subject matter or the way she presented it, but at any rate, it was just ok in the end 2.5 stars.

  23. Mary Roach s Spook tells the story of her research on the afterlife, a mystery that many are than eager to learn about The book consists of her quest to search for answers to her questions which cause her to look through various books, explore ideas from the past and travel to different locations in the world, bringing us readers along for the ride This book doesn t have a set conflict or problem, but rather tells a story of a curious woman who hunts for evidence in an attempt to prove or dispr [...]

  24. Not as good as the author s previous work, Stiff, but still entertaining.This book would be accurately named Mary Roach Tackles the Afterlife , as it s an account of her personal search for proof of life after death If you like Roach s writing and her sense of humor, you ll probably enjoy the book She does have a tendency to include amusing yet irrelevant anecdotes about the people and places she encounters during her research.Part of the book is concerned with the historical efforts to seek pr [...]

  25. The debunkers are probably right, but they re no fun to visit a graveyard with With that one sentence, Mary Roach sums up my whole view of the survival of a soul She explores reincarnation stories, Victorian spiritualism, and ghost hunting She attends a workshop to develop her mediumship In general, she treads the odd pathways that I would if I had the freedom to do so, and she does it with her characteristic humour.I think one of the key things, that gets several mentions in the book, is the ro [...]

  26. Mary Roach is smart and funny, which made this a mostly entertaining read But I don t really feel like she had anything to say It was of an exploration of kooky metaphysical or pseudoscientific people throughout history, most of whom were full of shit Each chapter is connected to the next by one paragraph of half assed segue, and there is no apparent reason for her chapter order At the end, she seemed to realize she needed an overall theme for the book, so she used the last few pages to say, SP [...]

  27. Amusing and well written Still giggling at the section wherein a North Carolina court accepted ghost evidence back in the 20s.

  28. Is there a soul Mary Roach 3.5 starsMary Roach goes at it again This time she tries to find out what happens with your soul after death Basicly she tries to find out if there is such a thing as a soul and how would you observe, measure and quantify it How would reincarnation work and how do you prove it Meanwhile she unearths a lot of interesting information and shines a light on past and present research on the hereafter Science with ghost and humour.

  29. Roach s insatiable curiosity is so compelling that one tends to forgive her hit or miss attempts at humor I enjoy the methodical nature of her approach, exploring techniques used over the years to prove an afterlife seances, infrasound, EVPs, etc I also like her honesty as she evaluates each one it s almost as if she wants to believe in an afterlife but cannot overlook the lack of hard evidence.When she includes a clever footnote her humor works well, but inserting witticisms in the middle of a [...]

  30. I thoroughly enjoyed Mary Roach s sarcasm throughout the book Frankly, I applaud Roach s restraint on that front I would not have been able to keep my eyes rolling out of my head while researching witnessing most of the events detailed in the book Alas, I ended up giving Spook 3 stars, as there are only so many paranormal experiences experiments a skeptic can read about before growing weary and a bit bored And the last sentence of the book left me exasperated Really, Mary Really

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