Curiosity got the better of me so I read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Last Sunday I finished reading Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Author Mary Roach goes into depth of what can happen to a Human Cadaver when it donates the organs or the body.

green mountain with river in the middle
Photo by Matteo Badini on

Death, on its own is fascinating but Mary makes it that much more interesting.

Mary really makes you think about the aftermath of death, she pushes past the idea of death being the end. She gets herself into unique situations to further explore the science behind death. With witty banter and humor, she takes you deep into the mechanism of life after death.

When I say life after death, I mean she explains what happens to cadavers that aren’t only buried but also cremated, liquefied, and vibrated… Stolen, hung, and exploded. Most of these in the name of science.

Stiff is a book that will get you thinking about death but it completely changed my perspective on it. It’s a book that humbles you, enriches you with knowledge, and best of all… it leaves you wondering…

It will gross you out!

snow covered road between bare trees
Photo by Street Donkey on

She does a magnificent job painting pictures of realistic gore through her words.

“Turning yellow from jaundice? Try a glass of urine.”

There are a lot more cringe-worthy moments in this book. Especially the paragraph before the urine where she talks about how doctors used to prescribe feces for medicinal purposes. That’s disgusting and I had to share that information!

The book left me feeling like I got a lot but it also left me searching for more. Some of the topics she touched were brief and straight to the point that I did my own separate research on death by guillotine.

This books gives you a kick in your realities. When you donate your organs, you won’t know where all of them are going to go. Same with the body. If you wanted to get specific about everything, it could happen in a will but that takes too much time in my opinion…

cobweb on tree branch against grassland background in autumn sunrise
Photo by Ivars on

I recommend this book, especially if you’re interested in science, gore, comedy, and dark humor. It’s not boring. You might have to skip a paragraph or two to get past the gore but it’s definitely worth the read.

Buy it here!

Leave a Reply