• by Mary Roach
  • Narrated by Bernadette Quigley
  • 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that - the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?"In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Read this book, but don't listen to it!

To preface this, let me say I have never written a review of anything before, but I feel compelled to do so now. I love Mary Roach's writing style and sense of humor! "Stiff," has been a favorite read, so I was thrilled to see other works by her available on Audible. Anxious for, what I thought would be an enjoyable experience, turned out to be torture. I am an easy-going person who normally can persevere until the end, but after the first two chapters, I couldn't take it any longer. The narrator ruined the experience - more eloquently described by previous reviewers - in such a horrendous way that I will waste this book credit. I will, however, download the book onto my Kindle and enjoy it, as I recommend you do, in the written form.
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- Christine

Ghosts with fake accents

Entertainingly written exploration of ghosts, ectoplasm, mediums, and other paranormal phenomena. Roach, a thorough skeptic about all these, has a droll style of writing, but reader Bernadette Quigley's attempt to emphasize the drollness is exceedingly annoying, with sudden hushes to whisper volume, portentous pauses and shifts in tone, arch intonations, and the very bad accents another reviewer has mentioned. The performance was almost bad enough for me to ditch the whole book, but I persevered.
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- BirderMame

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-07-2008
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio