Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
Magpie's Grade: B
I liked Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers better. I did enjoy the chapters on EVP and how mediums would fake spirit visitations using sheep stomachs. Though it was a bit on the gross side. I wish Ms. Roach had come to more of a conclusion; as she put it, she indulged in "The Big Shrug" frequently.
I suppose the issue for me is one of belief. Sometimes analyzing esoteric subjects like life after death for incontrovertible truth, for answers one way or the other, destroys the mystery in life. I suppose that's why Ms. Roach chose to go with the Big Shrug. The aspects of human fascination with the afterlife with which she chose to deal focused primarily on the patently ludicrous - the spirit tapping, the googly-eyed mediums, the crooks and shams and money-grubbers that make humans so depressingly fascinating. She didn't mention much about religion, other than as reference for her skepticism.
I did enjoy Ms. Roach's irreverent sense of humor. Her footnotes are hilarious. She is the kind of person I would love to have a beer (or two) with. Her sometimes morbid jokes are right up my dark and twisted alley. Her curiosity about the world is seemingly endless, and I appreciate that.