Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, Mary Roach attacks a topic that has very few real results and does it in a way that admits the gaping holes but also allows for the possibilities of, well, possibilities.
As the title implies, Spook takes a look at some of the research, both past and current, that has been used to try and provide proof of a soul and proof of an afterlife where that personal essence continues on past bodily death. It also touches on the spiritualist movement which I've always been interested in.
I have the impression that Roach had much the same approach to the subject as I do. I find the quest for proof fascinating (and amusing) but I'm skeptical enough to not really expect any of these experiments to ever pan out. I'll watch an episode of Ghost Hunters International every once in a while but honestly it's more for the unique look at historical buildings than for the ghost hunting. I never hear the voice on the EVP (electronic voice phenomena) recordings and the lights that move across the room always seem like the headlights from a passing car or dust caught in the light on the camera. Old buildings creak and sigh and are quite drafty at times. Just the other day there was a mysterious cold spot right in the center of my living room. I felt it more than once and couldn't explain it -- not until I remembered leaving the flue open after turning off the gas fireplace a week earlier.
So, overall I found this book amusing but not especially informative or life-changing. Roach has a very conversational and snarky writing style which may put some readers off (especially those who want to believe) but others will surely be amused by her irreverence. I am willing to check out her take on some of the other subjects that she has researched -- namely sex, cadavers and space travel.
The truth might not be out there,
Support our site and buy Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife on Amazon or find it at your local library. We received our copy from our lovely blog buddy, Jenners. Here is her review.