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Download Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Audiobook, by Mary Roach Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.99999403847891 out of 53.99999403847891 out of 53.99999403847891 out of 53.99999403847891 out of 53.99999403847891 out of 5 4.00 (55,355 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Roach Narrator: Shelly Frasier Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2003 ISBN: 9781400170975
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An oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For 2,000 years, cadavers-some willingly, some unwittingly-have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure-from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery-cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries-from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Not grisly but inspiring, this work considers the many valuable scientific uses of the body after death. Library Journal
  • “One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year…Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Uproariously funny…informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty…Even Roach’s digressions and footnotes are captivating, helping to make the book impossible to put down.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Fascinating, unexpectedly fresh and funny look at the multiplicity of ways in which cadavers benefit the living…entertaining, absolutely.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 5 Brianne | 10/11/2016

    " This book was a very interesting read. It was not my typical genre, since I am not a non-fiction reader, but it captivated my attention the entire time. Gross, yet interesting. The author did a fabulous job of writing about the topic in a way that was humorous and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Medeiros | 2/19/2014

    " One of the most interesting laugh-out-loud funny non-fiction books I've ever read. I love it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nigel Sellars | 2/19/2014

    " The best book on death, dying, cadavers, and corpses you will have even read or will read. Informative, loads of fun, and a terrific source for every writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lana Wood | 2/11/2014

    " This was interesting. Had to skip the section on cannibalism (Yuck). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Tregear | 1/3/2014

    " I loved this book. Any one who describes death as being on a cruise will win me over. I dipped into this book over a few weeks as it's not really bedtime reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Squirrel Circus | 12/22/2013

    " I liked this book. I did. Mary Roach does her research, clearly, and she shares it in a very accessible and often humorous way. I felt like I collected some really great cocktail party factoids, but....the details are definitely cringe-worthy throughout the book, and it wasn't one that I read while eating...EVER. Also, there were sections where I felt that Roach forced humor into what should have been more serious territory. Having said that, I would still plan on reading one or more of Roach's other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeffrey | 12/11/2013

    " Enlightening book about the use of cadavers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whitney | 11/26/2013

    " Need to finish. Put it down some time ago. Halfway through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sisiely | 11/24/2013

    " finished my first non fiction book of the year "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristina Luu | 11/14/2013

    " This is one of my favorite books of all time. Not only does it deliver interesting information, it explores concepts that we take for granted, which I don't want to spoil. You do, however, have to have at least a little love of science to appreciate this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Les | 10/30/2013

    " Was boring to me. I had to force myself to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 9/29/2013

    " I found this book very interesting and am glad my book club chose to read it. I enjoyed the author's humor, which made the subject easier to read. Not sure I'll donate my body to science (don't really want to be left naked in a field to decompose), but I will donate my organs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tarra Cunningham | 7/8/2013

    " One of my all time favorites. So educational & interesting. It's an overview of the different things that cadavers are used for- not for everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 4/20/2013

    " Loved this book about the after lives of cadavers. Well-written, humorous, and informative. Mary Roach really delved in and nailed the facts down. Do read it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliet Chatham | 4/20/2013

    " Very interesting---have read multiple times. Mary Roach is a great researcher/writer! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia Boyle | 1/18/2013

    " An interesting subject matter but I didn't like the author's attempt at humour in certain sections. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosa | 12/24/2012

    " As a person interested in all things anatomy-related, this was a great read. And Mary Roach's macabre sense of humor and genuine interest in the subject made it even better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randall | 11/6/2012

    " A smart and sophisticated piece of work. You can learn a lot about life by studying death. The really remarkable thing about this book is that it is often funny without ever being demeaning. Not an easy thing to do. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 9/21/2012

    " Fabulous and fun read - recommended for all! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 5/22/2012

    " I first thought it would be gross and disgusting, but it was very interesting, entertaining and I have to admit, I learned things I never knew, or even thought I'd need to know about corpses! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren Buchholz | 4/14/2012

    " One of the best non-fiction books I've read to date. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olga Ko | 2/8/2012

    " Well-written, well-researched, funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Stacey | 8/15/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, but it left me with many questions. Truly fascinating details; definitely not for the squeamish. Should have been longer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 6/6/2011

    " She writes like I would about this, with a healthy dose of humor and a bit of snark. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad Meyers | 5/28/2011

    " Mary Roach's take on a sensitive subject for some is humorous and maybe a little twisted. Enjoyable read. Didn't like hearing about the dog experiments, kinda ticked me off, but I'm a realist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 5/22/2011

    " Another very interesting book, that did lead to a discussion with my husband about how to dispose of one's corpse after death and if we had any preferences. We didn't go so far as that, but did agree we were both happy to be organ donors. Surely that makes the book a success? :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi | 5/19/2011

    " This book sticks in my mind whereas many others I have read bleed together. Facinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Georgie | 5/18/2011

    " A fun read but about 2 chapters too long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/18/2011

    " I read this in one sitting. Rad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Non | 5/17/2011

    " Hilarious and informative. Not gross enough to stop me from listening to this audiobook while eating. "

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

    " Fascinating, if often divergent, look at human death. I gave my copy away, and that makes me sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Netts | 5/14/2011

    " i wish every non-fiction writer shared mary roach's sense of humor "

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

    " This is one of my favorite books-both fascinating and morbidly funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 5/9/2011

    " This book made me laugh and shudder. I'm not sure I can ever look at rice crispys the same. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/4/2011

    " Wonderfully quirky, it is incredibly informative with a dry sense of humor. Definitely a must read for anyone thinking of donating their body to science...ergo, I'm making my husband read it!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 5/3/2011

    " Great read, if a little morbid. Couldn't put it down! "

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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.

About the Narrator

Shelly Frasier has appeared in many independent film and theater projects in Arizona and Southern California and has done voice-over work for commercials and animation projects. She trained at the Groundlings Improv School in Hollywood and South Coast Repertory’s Professional Conservatory in Costa Mesa, California. She has performed at theaters throughout North Hollywood and Orange County. Recent performances include Blue Window, The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry, The Haunting of Hill House, and a British farcical version of A Christmas Carol. She resides in Hollywood.