Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dead ahead

I now know more about cadavers than I ever knew (or wished to know) before.

Stiff is a rather strangely compelling book. If it werent for the millions of other things I had to read for class, I'd probably have finished it earlier.

There are bits about cadavers being used for practising surgery, on human decay, on crash test dummies, on embalming. And the author Mary Roach agonises over what she'll do with her body when it's her time to go.

Roach, a journalist, is both appreciative of her subjects and also quite amused about the cadaver situation.

"The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing much new happens and nothing is expected of you."

With such an opening paragraph, how could I not take this book home? It was just demanding to be read instead of languishing on the shelf at the library. So go on, take home a Stiff today.

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