I don’t have any particular interest in space exploration, but I love myself a little Mary Roach. In her previous books (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal), she always managed to make me laugh, no matter the subject matter. So I figured that I’d give this a try.
Having said that, I have to admit that I didn’t find this book quite as appealing as Stiff or Bonk. I thought that, since the subject of food interests me, I might find Gulp to be more interesting … but alas, that was not the case. I don’t think it’s because Roach did any less of a great job with Gulp than with her previous books.
I went into reading this book thinking that it’d be fun and silly and I’d laugh at all the things that “some people” believe are true but that really aren’t. Urban legends abound these days, especially in the days of easily-shareable “knowledge” on the internet, and people’s inability to critically think about what they believe, read, or are told.
I finished reading this book knowing that I was included in “some people”.
This is the second of Roach’s books that I’ve read – the first was Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll definitely be picking up another of her books soon.
In Bonk, Roach tackles of the topic of medical research that looks at sexual physiology. Unlike her last book, Roach actually had quite a hard time getting to see firsthand what kind of research was being done in this field.
This is the first book of Roach’s that I’ve read, and I’ll definitely be going back for more.
Stiff explores the history of cadavers – dead bodies used for science – and ethical implications throughout the ages of their use. You might think that this would be a dry subject, but you would be wrong. Indeed, Roach manages to approach the topic with just enough candor and humour to make it interesting, but not so much as to show disrespect.