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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Average Rating 4.5
( 510 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(303)

4 Star

(142)

3 Star

(45)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

On A More Serious Note...

My most difficult decision came in 1961 when my husband and I donated our full term, first born, anencephalic baby, for scientific research. The doctors said everything was perfect except it had a profoundly absent brain. They knew very little because it was...
My most difficult decision came in 1961 when my husband and I donated our full term, first born, anencephalic baby, for scientific research. The doctors said everything was perfect except it had a profoundly absent brain. They knew very little because it wasn't a common occurrence, and was even less common to get an opportunity to studying it in depth. They told us that anencephally occurs very early in pregnancy, was caused by nothing we could control, had never happened to the same woman twice, that the baby couldn't perform rudimentary life supporting functions, death was imminent, and last rites were performed in the delivery room. Both a nun and a doctor asked us to consider releasing the body for scientific research. Feeling that if I could help prevent another, even if just one, new mother from feeling this kind of hurt, then our experience wouldn't be in vain. So when the baby expired, I immediately turned it's body over for research and I gave as much as I could to the March of Dimes. I did these things in hopes that another woman would not have to face what I had. I've cried many times because some people either didn't understand or thought my decision implied I didn't love or want my baby with all my heart, but I know I made the right decision. After having read Mary Roach's book I am convinced she has insight regarding the need to help others in a way that I do, one that is still not readily accepted nor talked about nearly enough. I do think the last chapter was a bit weaker than the rest of the book and although I love humor, the last part should have ended on a more serious note.

posted by Anonymous on August 18, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Interesting story, poorly written/edited

I could not believe the number of grammatical errors in this book. How did it get past an editor? It was very interesting though and I enjoyed reading it.

posted by 5847694 on September 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Pleasant, Considering the Subject Matter

    I bought this book after visiting a Bodies exhibit it really is an illuminating peek into the world of corpses and cadaver research.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Interesting story, poorly written/edited

    I could not believe the number of grammatical errors in this book. How did it get past an editor? It was very interesting though and I enjoyed reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    The tweli tribes of hattie

    Very good but you must read each chapter closely this novel change the life of hattie

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  • Posted December 18, 2011

    Interesting and thought provoking

    An interesting read. Ms. Roach also weaves the ethical and moral views of organ and body donations into her book in interesting ways.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting for sure

    I picked this up after reading Mary Roach's Packing for Mars; I must say I liked that even more. I found this to be interesting to say the least. Some fascinating chapters on crash tests, embalming and some good history too. I found the chapter on cannibalism a bit hard to swallow, pardon the pun, and some may find it a bit too graphic. Near the end didn't know what other topics on the dead Mary could squeeze in, but overall a good read.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    Surprisingly Boring

    Yes, I gave this book 3 stars.... I expected it to be a full 5! I had heard great things about this novel. I think she could have wrapped it up around page 167. After that chapter it felt as though she was pushing for chapters to write about. Finally, she uses 11 pages to say what she is planning for her body after death. Get to the point! I had a hard time seeing the connecting thread through the whole book. Too many disjointed chapters.... at least for me.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    Left Me Cold

    I found this book to be okay, but not great. To be sure it had some humorous, educational and moving passages but I believe the author's work is more self aggrandizement than a work of journalism or the humanities. Having finished the book, I want nothing to do with organ donation, but rather want to be cremated immediately - after death that is. Please see my below recommendation of a far superior book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    not a very joyful book

    This book is scary.And whoever says this book is humorous is a messed up,nerdy,psycho with no life.I dont like the author,who fits this same description,but if u want to find out about all the sick stuff with dead people involved,u should read this book.This book contains lots of gross facts,and absolutely no humor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    this book is ok

    This book is not funny.It is kinda interesting,but also sick.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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