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Download Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Mary Roach
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (13,083 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Roach Narrator: Bernadette Quigley Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN:
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What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that - the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?

In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of ectoplasm in a Cambridge University archive. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 2/16/2014

    " I'm giving this book three stars because I liked the subject much more than the writing - and did enjoy many of the tales and historical research that was done - but I feel Ms. Roach's humor (sometimes funny and sometimes condescending and very unnecessary) gets in the way. I credit her for her research and choice to do a book like this - but most of the subject matter was weird, funny, absurd and downright "nutty" enough without being hit on the head with her constant (and more than not - unfunny) one-liners at the end of every chapter and most paragraphs. I haven't read STIFF yet - but do plan to, as again, I like the idea...but I'm prepared to read the information and treat Ms. Roach's comments like footnotes...usually unread. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyla | 2/15/2014

    " I heard good things about Mary Roach's writings, so I thought Spook would be a good one to try first. I like Roach's sense of humor for social situations (as in, if we were having lunch somewhere), but as a reader I often found that her condescension toward people or beliefs undermined what should have been a neutral position to evaluate claims and findings. Roach's examination of near-death experiences, recording spirits on audio, and other such phenomenons is entertaining and informative despite her sarcastic asides. Her findings don't really lead to a definitive answer to the question, "Is there life after death?" It's quite possible that if you believe in the afterlife/spirits, you would still believe so after reading this book. It's just as likely, though, that you would continue to NOT believe in an afterlife if you were inclined to think that way at the onset. Overall this is an enjoyable read, but not one I consider a serious scientific evaluation of available evidence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Ellen | 2/3/2014

    " A quirky and fun examination of the human obsession with proving the existence of the afterlife. Science itself seems to become a specter in some of the experiments described in this book. Also, I will forever think of New Age hullabaloo as communing with the "spit-its". "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Matt | 1/23/2014

    " Didn't finish it, wished I never started. When she got to describing where people had bunnies come out of to proof some sort of psychic power, I was done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fred | 1/22/2014

    " Assuming that a book is intended to be more than the sum of its parts, this volume fell down a bit in that regard. Mary Roach's investigation into the afterlife approaches the notion of "afterlife" by looking for demonstrable evidence that something of us persists after death. In doing so, she unearths a number of interesting scientific explanations for various phenomena that people have claimed could only point to ghostly interference. Many of these things kept me interested, but I was less interested in the chapters that featured the author traveling to interview people about their studies--of reincarnated souls, of electromagnetic fields, of electronic voice phenomena--because the incidents sought to amuse more than inform. Roach takes the skeptic's point of view during her research, seeking explanations that can be verified and results that can be replicated. This makes for an interesting study in itself, and I think I would have preferred it if she didn't also adopt the role of the hapless, sarcastic participant as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendall | 1/22/2014

    " 100% Nonfiction and I might go so far as to call it entertaining. The author is a scientific investigator who sets out across the world to debunk ghost stories and find evidence of the afterlife. I would read it again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skylar | 1/20/2014

    " My favorite Mary Roach, which means a lot, considering everything she writes is incredible. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meghan | 1/14/2014

    " I guess I loved Stiff too much. This just didn't compare. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristyn | 1/5/2014

    " Definitely interesting and enjoyable, but not my favorite of her books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Summer | 1/3/2014

    " Mary Roach- awesome as always. I want to be her friend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda | 8/19/2013

    " Wish Roach added more footnotes. Hers are like petit fours of science.Its a like able book she could have made much longer and I wouldn't have minded at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susie | 5/25/2013

    " Has a few moments of hilarity, but no where near as entertaining as Stiff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristine | 12/31/2012

    " Very interesting, but not her best. Mary Roach has an excellent way of viewing and questioning life and the hereafter. I like her objectivity, this one just wasn't as entertaining as Stiff and Packing for Mars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 9/28/2012

    " I was disappointed in this book because I thought the author was biased moreso than with her previous book. It is very funny though and I learned a lot about what is behind people who claim to have contact with the other side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria Norvell | 6/11/2012

    " I thought this was a unique, funny, and witty take on what happens, or might happen, after after we die. I love how Mary Roach writes, she's fantastic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tayler K | 3/29/2012

    " This book is very funny and extremely easy to read. It includes witty comments and inside jokes from other parts of the book (close enough together that you recognize them) along with the various research and researchers consulted. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn | 3/3/2012

    " Not as good as Stiff, but I like her style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Palmer | 1/23/2012

    " What does science tell us about the afterlife? Not much, unless it's that some people are odd and some are ingenious and some are both and bound to end up being featured in a Mary Roach book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Xanthi | 8/5/2011

    " I listened to this one on audiobook. An interesting book but not as good as her others, I felt. I like the humour, the style of writing. I guess it was just the subject matter - not as a compelling read as say, Bonk or Stiff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica Jackson | 7/3/2011

    " Interesting book. Love Mary Roach's humor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abbie | 5/21/2011

    " Entertaining - interesting to find out what types of experiments people are doing and have done. I was a little disappointed that she didn't go out with a group of ghost hunters. I always get sucked into those TV shows and was hoping I'd get the inside scoop. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 5/16/2011

    " A skeptic and the afterlife, and the people that communicate with it. Equally fascinating, horrifying and hilarious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 5/10/2011

    " Nothing will ever top Stiff but this book is entertaining, interesting, and very Mary. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bart | 5/4/2011

    " Uninteresting - quit half-way through. There's a little humor in there, but she's basically just describing a bunch of failed experiments by quack scientists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 4/30/2011

    " Funny, not as good as Stiff "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/25/2011

    " A very intriguing and oftern funny look at what is behind and what may or may not happen when we die. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/24/2011

    " Roach is a great author. This is her best work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 4/19/2011

    " I am a huge fan of Mary Roach, for some reason I had a very hard time getting into this book. As hoped (and feared), I learned so interesting and crazy information in reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendall | 4/11/2011

    " 100% Nonfiction and I might go so far as to call it entertaining. The author is a scientific investigator who sets out across the world to debunk ghost stories and find evidence of the afterlife. I would read it again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judith | 4/10/2011

    " I was left with more questions than answers...anytime a book does this to me, that's an
    awesome day! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevan | 4/9/2011

    " Not as good as her other books, but still very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joseph | 4/8/2011

    " Delightful little book on the paranormal, that had me questioning the value of life and its intricacies. It is a light-hearted, mischievous book, and I was enraptured in the skepticism mixed with wonder. "

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About the Author
Author Mary Roach

Mary Roach is the author of several books, including Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary CanalPacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Oakland, California.