Thomas Hodgkinson

Ectoplasm and Elephant Man

Six Feet Over: Adventures in the Afterlife

By

Canongate 293pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

What happens to us when we die? Is that the end, the final curtain? Or does some essential part of us survive? Do our souls, in other words, live on? Of course they bloody don’t, is Mary Roach’s firm conviction at the start of this sassy, egocentric exploration of the ‘afterlife’ – which takes us on a Cook’s tour of mankind’s struggle to believe in some kind of life after death, with diversions including a brief history of preformationism (the idea that each sperm contains a tiny, fully formed human being), a great deal of ectoplasm (the yucky stuff that dribbles from the mouth, nostrils, and occasionally other parts of mediums when they go into a trance), and an account of the bizarre experiment that was conducted in 1901 to discover the weight of the soul (twenty-one grams, if you’re interested).

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,