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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.
©2005 Mary Roach (P)2005 Brilliance Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Brad on 07-31-08

good book, gave me more questions then answers

I thought this was an interesting read. She gives many examples of the possibility for our hope of an afterlife from the belivers point of view as well as from the skeptics. It is not really a book to convince you we do or don't go on after death but gives some compelling examples to support this and also explanations for how they could be misinterpreted. I personally like the book and found the readers presentation to be enjoyable. I also found it to be a good book for provoking thought.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful


By BirderMame on 09-22-08

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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44 of 46 people found this review helpful

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