Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways's Reviews > Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

Spook by Mary Roach
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Dec 21, 11

Read in November, 2010

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Book Report: Hot off the success of Stiff, Roach launched herself at an equally surprising topic: Does the soul exist? Is it possible to find it? Can the soul's survival of individual death account for the mysteries of reincarnation and hauntings?

In a word, No. Roach travels the globe looking for the kind of evidence that scientists look for when postulating the existence of muons and Higgs bosons, sans the billion-plus dollar measuring equipment and teams of serious guys in funny coats and booties. Unsurprisingly, she fails to find it.

My Review: All the stars in this book's favor are for Roach's hilarious writing and funny anecdotal collections. None are for the subject at hand, which she simply cannot bring herself to treat seriously. Her lapsed Catholicism made her too deeply skeptical to break free of it horrible fist-clench and look at the improbability of success from the few, one-quarter-assed feeble swats science has aimed at resolving this topic scientifically. Spend twenty or so billion dollars and a couple decades on it. Then let's see what science has to say. After all, they're doing *just that* for this Higgs boson dingus at CERN, so far with no success, and the immense machine they've built to see this particular angel dance on that particular pinhead seems as cranky as my knees on a cold morning.

So please forgive me for rating her quest at zero, failed utterly before it started due to prejudice on the part of the questor and her chosen henchrats, but that's the only honest judgment I can render. Going looking for something in a place where it just isn't, and you already knew it wasn't, isn't looking...it's looking for chances to be funny, snarky, and cool, plus scoring one off the mental midgets who spiritually abused you in the name of Jeebus.

But GOD this woman's funny! I laughed and laughed and laughed at some of her lines!
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen I have Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Roach and am hoping to get to it soon. If I enjoy it, which I think I will, I will pick this and Stiff up as well.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Stephen wrote: "I have Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Roach and am hoping to get to it soon. If I enjoy it, which I think I will, I will pick this and Stiff up as well."

i love la roach, but this isn't one of her best. get BONK instead of SPOOK. PACKING is a cherished favorite of mine. i hope it will make you grin likw a baboon in a white carpeted livingroom.


message 3: by Tracy (new) - added it

Tracy I read Bonk. Totally awesome and hilarious. I'll never look at pigs the same way again.


Jason I have Gulp, Spook, and Bonk.... trying to figure out which to start first. I just finished stiff, which was amazing. I keep quoting her to friends and they keep cocking their heads with this expression of "what is wrong with this fellow".


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I'd go with Bonk, from among those choices. It's laugh-out-loud hilarious and also chock-full of the kind of trivia you'll have fun disseminating.

heh


Jason Brilliant. Thanks. Sex and dead people will surely attract attention and raised brows.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Jas wrote: "Brilliant. Thanks. Sex and dead people will surely attract attention and raised brows."

"There is no sex in the art of the Maya, but by way of compensation there is a lot of death." -- snobby British arty type, name lost in my mental files


Jason Richard wrote: "Jas wrote: "Brilliant. Thanks. Sex and dead people will surely attract attention and raised brows."

"There is no sex in the art of the Maya, but by way of compensation there is a lot of death." --..."


ha. in your reading have you come up with a good replacement of spook. Although ill admit ill probably read it anyhow... she is so easy to approach and simplistic.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways For afterlife stuff? No, there's a world (!) of stuff debunking and a world of stuff proselytizing. It would be nice to find a fresh, neutral take on the topic.


Jason Richard wrote: "For afterlife stuff? No, there's a world (!) of stuff debunking and a world of stuff proselytizing. It would be nice to find a fresh, neutral take on the topic."

yah. i agree. which this one was suppose to be and the PR suggested. It didn't bode well that it was repackaged under a different name and cover after spook came out. that isnt a good sign. Ill search more and tell yah if i come up with anything.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Thanks! I'd appreciate that.


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