MINI-REVIEWS: Stiff by Mary Roach & The Most Dangerous Animal by Gary L. Stewart

I’ve got a few mini-reviews for your consumption because a few words are better than none, am I right? :)

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Published April 17th, 2003 by W.W. Norton & Co.
Hardcover; 303 pages
Genre: Non-fiction, Science, Humor, Medical
Source: Library

Stiff is a just what you think it is: a book about what happens to us after we die. Mary Roach investigates and discusses the many uses of human cadavers.
I’ve been wanting to read Stiff for quite awhile now, especially with it’s resurgence on the book shelves of our local overpriced, chain book stores. However, I will flat out say that I was disappointed. The book is broken up into sections and I understand the need for them, I do. There’s no way to cohesively put them together; each one was represented almost like an investigative reporting piece for a newspaper or magazine. Perhaps it’s just because my last non-fiction read was so well written that it read like a novel that this writing style bothered me. Or, maybe it was the humor. I can handle death and disgusting things without something attempting to make it humorous. The humor felt contrite and unnecessary. Overall, the book was a bit of a let down and sadly, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know from watching gratuitous amounts of true crime television. Maybe it was more enthralling when it was first published, though. Bummer!

The Most Dangerous Animal of All by Gary L. Stewart
Published May 14th, 2014 by Harper
Audiobook; 10.8 hours – 9 discs
Genre: Non-fiction, True Crime, Mystery
Source: Library

When Gary Stewart set out to find his birth father, with reluctance from his loving adoptive parents, he never expected to find out that his father was the Zodiac Killer. Or, so he claims anyway.

Once this came in to the library I jumped right on it. I am a self-professed true crime mystery enthusiast (is that the wrong word for this kind of thing?). I don’t enjoy that a crime has been committed but I do wonder what on earth possesses people to commit these heinous acts. I figured that I would love this audiobook. Unfortunately, while the evidence is very strong… it isn’t one hundred percent validated. The evidence is very compelling, I will give Stewart that. However, I was truly hoping for the DNA test that was done near the end to come back with an explosive confirmation. But, then, I realized if it had that it would have already been all over the news. It wasn’t. It was never tested. In fact, it seems the police department is determined not to do anything with it (which leaves me wondering about police involvement/cover up scandals, etc.) and thus, the ending was rather lackluster. I almost hope that it really is Stewart’s father so that he hasn’t wasted all this time and effort researching for nothing. But, perhaps we will never really know.


One thought on “MINI-REVIEWS: Stiff by Mary Roach & The Most Dangerous Animal by Gary L. Stewart

  1. I’m so relieved to hear you didn’t enjoy Stiff! I wanted to comment while you were reading it on GoodReads but didn’t want to be a downer. I really disliked the book though and I agree: the humour was largely out of place.



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