Probably the most complete recent book on the physical and cultural aspects of death. Covers everything from embalming, cremation, cryogenics, autopsies, organ donation, anatomical dissection, burials, funerals, decay, cannibalism, body snatching, use of corpses in secret rituals and religious ceremonies. This book sheds light on a subject that our society conveniently buries--literally and figuratively. As the author argues, the topic of death is treated with even more circumspection than pornography.
I plan on being prepared when I croak. That's why I've turned to the definitive book on pushing up daisies, one Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies? By Kenneth V. Iserson. Indeed, everything you've ever wanted to know about cashing in your chips is included in this deadly little 709-page tomb, uh, tomefrom A, for autopsy (step 2: "A Y-shaped incision that begins at each shoulder or armpit area and runs beneath the breasts to the bottom of the breastbone. The incisions then join and proceed down the middle of the abdomen to the pubis, just above the genitals."), to Z, for zombies (from Haiti, where live burials purportedly take place after an injection of tetrodotoxin, a fish poison that induces a deathlike state in which the victim exhibits no outward response to stimulation.) -- Discover Magazine
Some people will be absolutely fascinated by these details, and other people will be very uncomfortable... so... be advised. -- Terry Gross, Fresh Air, National Public Radio
Take one corpse, and add worms . . . A huge range of queries . . hundreds of questions and answers, that could be subtitled "What you always wanted to know about death, but were afraid to ask." -- New Scientist
This book is too icky
for the reading public. -- New York magazine editorial group