SPOOK by Mary Roach (is my Boyfriend)Posted: June 20, 2012
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT: So I’ve been on a significant Roach kick. Read Spook after Bonk with only one book in between and after Spook dove right into Packing For Mars. I feel like a kid who just wants to eat pizza every night for dinner even though his parents are like “You know, chicken tenders and mac and trees is also an option.” There are a ton of good books on my shelf right now, but all I want to eat is Roach!
So let’s do a run-down of Spook. As with all her books, Roach picks an area of scientific exploration and dives in with intrepid girl reporter skills and a if-Roach-had-an-HBO-Comedy-Special-I-would-watch-it-a-bunch-on-Netflix-Instant sense of humor. Bonk was, of course, about S-E-X (you guys, I’m too embarrassed to say it, I can only spell it!) and Spook is about D-E-A-T-H (you guys, I’m too scared to say it, I can only spell it!) In particular Spook explores the possibility of life after death, and how we as humans have tried to hypothesize, experiment with, and prove something that is quite possibly not provable.
As with all her books, Spook is divided up into sections, each section details Roach going out gathering a new story relating to her subject. Roachventures! These jaunts include trying to weigh a soul, fun with ectoplasm, and telecommunicating with the dead via audio equipment.
I think all of us could use a little more Roachventures in our lives.
She does not come to a solid conclusion re: whether there is scientific proof of life after death. I didn’t even bother with a spoiler alert on that last sentence because I think we would have all heard if someone had proved the scientific existence of the soul (those shenanigans would have been on EVERYBODY’S Facebook feed). But of course that isn’t the point. The point is the adventure, the exploration, thinking about things that don’t tend come up in everyday life, wondering if what you assume is wrong. I think the scientific community should let Roach be their spokes girl the way expensive makeup and shampoo companies get sexy actresses to be their poster children. Roach makes science feel accessible, her writing makes it feel like laypeople such as myself are invited to the party where smart and fancy people discuss the secrets and mysteries of the universe.
WHAT KIND OF BOOK BOYFRIEND IS HE:
A dead one. But he said he would send me a sign from the grave!
MY DATE WITH SPOOK:
Waiting for that sign from the grave…
Waiting, waiting, waiting, WAITING, WAITING.
In case you guys were wondering, waiting for a sign from the grave takes a LONG ass time.