Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spook by Mary Roach

In Spook, Mary Roach examines the scientific evidence of whether or not we survive as conscious souls after death. She visits scientists who are doing research on brain waves, near death experiences and other physical phenomena. She visits libraries to read about the earliest experiments and investigations of mediums. But this is not all dry science. She also visits actual mediums and goes to medium school, where the sponsers claim to be able to help anyone discover their psychic talent. She even researches a case in NC where a court set legal precedent by admitting evidence that it said was revealed to the plantiffs after death, when a father "returned" and told his sons about a will that redistributed his estate.

I found this book fascinating. Roach strikes the right balance between dry science and more interesting personal antedotes. It is evident that the book is well researched and written. I enjoyed it quite a lot except for one thing. I listened to this on audio and the reader had such a mocking tone at times that it detracted from the book. I think this one would be better read than listened to. This book is recommended for nonfiction readers curious about the scientific explainations of life.

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