Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
- By: Stephen Ginn
I have spent the past few years deeply embroiled in the study of how to prevent Londoners from dying. But I have never devoted much time to wondering what happens to their remains once they are actually dead. Nevertheless, human remains have something morbidly interesting about them, and this subject provides American journalist Mary Roach with more than enough material for her fascinating book.
Many people donate their bodies to science with the hope that in death they may help others to live more successfully, so conferring a kind of immortality. But beyond the donating of organs and dissection, a world of alternative fates exists for our earthly remains, and Roach guides us through a banquet of possibilities. A cadaver really is useful to research, like a person in many important respects—size, shape, tissue type—but totally without complaint as it unflinchingly researches car crash injuries or bullet wounds. As a