Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Review: Bonk by Mary Roach

Today in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, Caroline Cummins reviews Bonk by Mary Roach. Says Cummins:
Years ago, Mary Roach paid the bills as a freelance travel writer. Being Mary Roach, however, she tended to pick offbeat locations (Antarctica) or offer goofy takes on the familiar (poking gentle fun at taxi drivers for a three-days-in-London story). Roach is best known now, of course, as an irreverent science writer. But she’s still picking unusual destinations, or finding the funky hiding in the familiar.

Her three books -- Stiff, Spook and now Bonk -- boldly go where most other writers fear to tread, into the realms of cadaver research, scientific attempts at tracking the afterlife and the hush-hush history of sex studies. They’re beloved because, unlike most non-fiction books about science, they’re laugh-out-loud funny. But under the humor is a serious mission: to report on the valuable, if bizarre and/or embarrassing, work that science is doing on the nature of death and sex.
The full review is here.

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