Tag Archive: Roach; Mary

Sep 26

Review: Spook by Mary Roach

Spook Mary RoachOkay, so once upon a time, there was this really cool secondhand bookstore that I went to in Tallahassee’s Railroad Square.  That’s where I usually go rock climbing, but Dale and I went early one day and explored the galleries, restaurants, yarn stores, and this place. All the books.  Excellent selection.  Great prices.  So I promptly bought all of the books and didn’t read them.  But, I was looking for a shorter book to finish off my reading goal for the year (75 books down!), and I decided to pick up Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach.

I am a Mary Roach fan.  I have been a Mary Roach fan since my creative writing teacher in college gave me Stiff as an example of how nonfiction can be crazy informative and funny all at the same time.  And then I read Packing for Mars which almost cured me of ever wanting to go to space because the discomfort just might not be worth it.

Spook is a little different from Roach’s typical books.  Instead of looking at the human body, she’s looking at the soul and whether she can find any proof for the existence of the hereafter.  She goes an exhaustive hunt for evidence, from the history of weighing dying people to see if the departing soul led to weight loss to stories of reincarnation in India to modern medical experiments about near death experiences, Roach leaves no stone unturned in her investigation.  For anyone who wants a practical history of ghost hunting, mediums, hauntings, and electronic voice projection, Roach has you covered.

And let’s not forget:  this book is funny.  Like inappropriate chortle in the middle of church funny.  Dale looked over at me several times as I was reading in bed and just laughing and laughing.  And then I’d read him a section and he wouldn’t really laugh because it’s all about context, but trust me–it’s pretty damn funny.  Especially the chapter about going on a weekend retreat course in how to become a medium.  I didn’t even know such a thing existed, but now I want to go.  Because oh the stories you could tell after that.

So I don’t know why this book never came together for me.  It was funny.  And engaging. And the subject matter is up my alley. But I had the hardest time getting through it.  I’m going to blame myself.  I’m so crazy busy with Capstone writing and life living and new job finding that my focus can be a little at loose ends.  And it certainly hasn’t dissuaded me from pursuing the rest of Roach’s catalog.

JMF Rating: 7.5/10

‘Tl next time,