Six Feet Over, By Mary Roach
Sunday 13 April 2008
Those who subscribe to the lazy cliché that Americans have no sense of irony should read Six Feet Over and think again.
Roach, a Californian, sets out to discover whether there is any proof for any form of life after death. In a Bryson-esque tour that takes her to India, England and around the US, she interviews oddballs, enthusiasts, eccentrics and experts on such phenomena as reincarnation, ghosts, soul-weighing, the production of ectoplasm, messages from beyond the grave, and near-death experiences.
The book is full of fascinating nuggets – it might theoretically be possible to weigh a thought, for instance – and each claim is subjected to rational analysis and deflating irony. Occasionally, the tone is over-flippant – one wishes she wouldn't dig the reader in the ribs quite so much – but overall this a funny and informative read. By the end, Roach has decided she believes in ghosts. But I think she's being ironic.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith embodies the young singer perfectly
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke