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She cites two Dutch physicists, J.

Mary Roach: Spook: Science Tackles The Afterlife

Matla and G. Zaalberg van Zelst, and notes that one worked with a Ouija board.

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She hopes that "the question 'What is my full name and that of my partner? How serious is Roach in wondering about life after death?


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Not very. She appears more concerned with comic effects than cosmic ones, and she is constantly on the lookout for bizarre details and turns of phrase.

In the index to a 17th-century medical text by a Paduan physiologist named Sanctorius, she finds "Phlebotomy, why best in autumn" and "Leaping, its consequences. Obviously, Roach's gift for facetiousness serves her well here; "Spook" is dependably witty. And it is populated by vividly evoked oddballs, like Duncan Macdougall, an earlyth-century theorist who supposed that the departing soul would be separated from its body with rapid speed.

Incredibly frustrating. Four stars for the book. One star for the terrible e-book version. Buy it conventionally!!! Mary Roach is an excellent, talented, and funny writer.

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She is by far my favorite author and I have read all 5 of her books, Spook most recently. However, the iBook version of Spook is crap. Mary Roach's insightful and clever footnotes at the bottom of many pages in all of her books aren't formatted that way in iBooks. Rather, they are all grouped together at the end with no correlation to the text and no way to easily switch back and forth…which is a pain anyway.

Images are absent also. It's a heck of a journey and Roach, with one eyebrow mischievously cocked, is a fantastically entertaining tour guide, at once respectful and hilarious, dubious yet probing. And brother, does she bring the facts. Indeed, Spook 's myriad footnotes are nearly as riveting as the principal text. To wit: "In reality, an X-ray of the head could not show the brain, because the skull blocks the rays.

What appeared to be an X-ray of the folds and convolutions of a human brain inside a skull--an image circulated widely in was in fact an X-ray of artfully arranged cat intestines. Medicina statica delved fearlessly into subjects of unprecedented medical eccentricity: 'Cucumbers, how prejudicial,' and the tantalizing 'Leaping, its consequences.

And since, as Roach suggests, each of us has only one go-round, we might as well waste downtime with something thoroughly fun.

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

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