Once in library with my cousin, on search for books on medical studies (I needed to sate my brain, after all the work with fictional literature, and she’s a med student learning), she picked out Mary Roach book “Stiff” and jokingly offered it to me. Might I just add I already held a book on shot wound studies in my hands, so jokes on her, I took the book and then recommended it to her too after I was done. It was a great book that lead me to research the author. Today I have finished another book by Mary Roach, called “Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife“, also known as “Six Feet Over: Adventures in the Afterlife” (ISBN 184195845X; 293p.; Goodreads) and might I just say how I love her? It’s like she wakes up with a question “hm, could this be?” and then starts a book, knowing little to nothing, learning together with the reader, with us. It’s wonderful, I tell you. Like having a research friend.
So is there afterlife? Can we travel out of our bodies? Can consciousness survive bodily death? If all of the above are “yes”, then what it’s like? Is there heaven and hell? What about reincarnation? Mary Roach takes us to India, where reincarnation is common and as simple as putting on shoes when walking out to most. We read about and meet mediums, tackling their ectoplasm, seemingly produced out of every possible crevice in their bodies, since it looked like something awfully familiar. Heck, we even visit hospitals, where clinical death and near-death experiences are common enough to start making a proper study. People working there leave those without bodies clues and toys, things they can tell us about when they return to their bodies! I must say, I want to believe more than I do believe. And yet Mary Roach didn’t do a thing to cross either side of mine. She has an amazing sense of humor and healthy skepticism of “let’s first check all the facts and factors, then we’ll decide and conclude”, being wonderful like that.
I did like Stiff more than Spook, just saying. And I love how I first read Stiff, a book about the dead, and then went ahead to read Spook, a book about afterlife. I’ll give this one a firm 5 out of 5 too. Definitely worth the while.