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Genres :Humor , Non-Fiction , Science , Health , Medical
Published By : W. W. Norton Company
ISBN : 0393324826 (ISBN13: 9780393324822)
Format :Paperback
Language :English
No. of pages : 303
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    “The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing much new happens, and nothing is expected of you.”
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    “It is astounding to me, and achingly sad, that with eighty thousand people on the waiting list for donated hearts and livers and kidneys, with sixteen a day dying there on that list, that more then half of the people in the position H's family was in will say no, will choose to burn those organs or let them rot. We abide the surgeon's scalpel to save our own lives, out loved ones' lives, but not to save a stranger's life. H has no heart, but heartless is the last thing you'd call her.”
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    “We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget.”
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    “The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken. I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today have I seen a head in a roasting pan.”
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    “You are a person and then you cease to be a person, and a cadaver takes your place.”
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  • Author of the “My Planet” column in Reader’s Digest and a regular contributor to Salon.com’s “Health and Body” section, Roach displays here a knack for persuading morticians, scientists, engineers, and others whose work involves corpses to let her watch them at their labors.

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  • Roach delves into the many productive uses to which cadavers have been put, from medical experimentation to applications in transportation safety research (in a chapter archly called "Dead Man Driving") to work by forensic scientists quantifying rates of decay under a wide array of bizarre circum...

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  • Mary Roach's enormous cast of characters is the unluckiest in recent nonfiction.

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  • Well, a smattering of potentially-off-putting topics in this book include a detailed narrative of bodily decay, using human heads for plastic surgery practice classes, the fine art of body snatching (not to be confused with grave robbing where the only thing taken is stuff), impact tolerances (su...

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  • Not everyone, of course, eventually leads the exciting and completely pain-free existence of a cadaver donated to science, but Roach includes an entire chapter dedicated to natural decomposition for those inclined to feel left out—a chapter that, if anything, is likely to send every reader of her...

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