Want to know what happens when we die? You and everyone else apparently. Many people believe in some sort of continuation be it an afterlife, reincarnation or maybe that your soul sticks around and haunts old, abandoned mansions? Unfortunately, no one really knows for sure. With Spook, Mary Roach isn’t going to provide you with a concrete answer but rather an exploration of several beliefs and possibilities.
I didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as Stiff. It’s not to say it’s a poorly written book, I just found my interest waning at certain points. That being said, there are some interesting chapters detailing EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) reincarnation, ectoplasm and the ongoing search for the human soul but they felt long winded and repetitive. With Stiff, Roach’s research is scientific and factual whereas with Spook, it’s a lot of interviews with folks who are speaking about belief systems and faith. I’m not trying to knock organized religion or anything, it just didn’t hold my attention as much as Stiff, or even Packing for Mars.
If anything, seek out the chapters about her enrolment and experience in medium school. I’m not the biggest fan of that “profession” and while she goes on record in detailing her personal scepticism, I found that she provided a fair and balanced approach regarding the students and professors.
I’d be interested to hear thoughts from someone who carries a firm belief in the afterlife and what, if anything, this book did for them. I consider it a fault of mine to be unable to shut off the voice in my head screaming, “You’re lying! None of this is possible!” when Mary is interviewing someone. If I could, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more.