Spook: Science Tackles The Afterlife

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What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that - the million-year nap?


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  • Spook


Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?

In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soulsearchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.

She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of 'ectoplasm' in a Cambridge University archive.

Additional Information

Author Mary Roach
Publisher WW Norton
Page Count 312pp
Publication Size 5.5 x 8.25
Publication Notes Softcover
Publication Date October 2006
ISBN 978-0393329124

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