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Death: The Trip of a Lifetime Hardcover – May 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0788193828 ISBN-10: 0788193821 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788193821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788193828
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,523,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this surprising, occasionally sobering but often lighthearted travelogue designed to accompany a PBS series, Palmer, a broadcaster, playwright and filmmaker, examines death images across the world, interviewing people or just poking around and examining horror books, cartoons and other entertainments. He notes the tranquil names often given to cemeteries, like the ubiquitous Pleasant Hill or Taiwan's Happy Peace Garden. He reminds us that death is celebrated in holidays commemorating public figures and war heroes. In lively anecdotes, Palmer reports on the attitudes towards death declared by a Ghanaian witch doctor, a Buddhist priest, an AIDS hospice patient, the head of a cryonics foundation and a failed suicide. The author concludes by describing concepts of afterlife as held by religions, most of which promise some form of immortality. Illustrations not seen by PW . $50,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The aging Sixties generation now confronts death in this nonfiction romp that rivals Evelyn Waugh's classic The Loved One (1951) as a laugh-a-minute examination of death rituals and customs. Not really psychology or anthropology per se, Palmer's book is a tour of such death-related places as a death theme park in Taiwan (the title of the book is a ride at the park), a burial in Ghana (where funerals are so lavish that families usually have to store the body in a morgue for several years while saving up for the wake), the Alcor Life Extension Foundation (a cryonics facility), a funeral parlor in Florida that features a drive-up window, and much, much more. While this title will not add much to a serious social sciences collection, it is quite interesting and entertaining. In addition, it is a companion volume to a PBS series that debuted in October. Recommended for public libraries.
- Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Greg Palmer wrote for more than forty years--books, plays, articles, speeches, brochures, advertising, and reviews, news, features and documentaries for commercial and public radio and television.

He was, undoubtedly, the only person who won the Peabody Award for radio humor AND was named both the California Funeral Directors' Media Man of the Year and an Official Hero of the People's Republic of Georgia.

Greg's put-bread-on-the-table career was anchored by work in long-form and short-form broadcast media. His books (Cheese Deluxe; Adventures in the Mainstream; The GI's Rabbi; Death: The Trip of a Lifetime) and plays (The Falcon; The Big Bad Wolf and How He Got That Way; Puss In Boots, among others) showcase the broader range of his eclectic, eccentric interests.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel K. West on January 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A friend loaned me a copy of this book when I was doing some serious soul searching. It took me almost 6 months to work up the courage to read Mr. Palmer's book because I did not want to confront 'death' even by opening a book about the subject. When I finally did start reading it I found it hard to put down. Greg Palmer is alternately funny and somber, dealing deftly with each situation as he tries to understand what 'death' means. From his first experience with death, through the many people he encounters along the way, Mr. Palmer provides a much wider view of the world than we are used to. The book is a difficult journey, undertaken both with humor and great love. I recommend this book to anyone seeking an understanding of death and how it affects those left behind.
Do not fear death, come to understand it, we only fear the things we do not know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Decker on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Part of the book and the entire project, was the filming and interviewing and writing aboout my dad, Ed Decker,Sr. as he worked his way through the last days of his life.

I found the section about my father on You Tube yesterday and watching dad and mom [also now gone] deal with death and their love for each other after 65 years, it brought back memories and the pain of loss and the peace of release all over again..and tears..of course..

Those of you who have read this great book or seen the documentary, know that Greg Palmer had a great sense of humor. My dad was a gag writer for comedians like Bob and Ray, Herb Shriner, Henry Morgan and a number of others during the golden days of radio. He and Greg had a fun time ribbing each other. Dad still laughed at things on his death bed.

A few months after dad's passing and the release of his book, I called Greg to thank him for giving my dad a purpose outside his suffering during those months. Greg was stunned to hear my voice and literally was speechless. you see, my dad and I have deep, unique voices.. and sound exactly the same on the phone.

Greg thought my dad had played the last big joke on him and called him from heaven..

Greg also passed away a bit ago and I guess he and dad are chuckling over something up there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Siegel on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm a cultural anthropologist, and was compelled to pick this up when I saw it. It is the most sensitive, beautiful, and funny book about death I have ever read. I bought a copy for a dying friend, and she loved it too -- though it creeped out her daughters at the time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
IF you don't want to die, don't get born. Opps! Too late. If you reading this, you are already in for the ride. Therefore, read this book and discover the range of rituals men and women in every society among humankind perform for this one of five most important events in our personal lives. Along the way, find confirmation older than the ancient Greek Stoic, Epictetus, who suggested physical death is not the problem. It is our fear of death. With surprising underlying warmth, Greg Palmer surveys how human societies choose to acknowledge the event none can avoid. Like birth, attainment of adulthood, marriage, and parenting, death is one of the five most ritualized life passages. The one who is born, grows up, marries, parents and dies is not the only one who is affected. In each of the five, there is an ever-shifting mix of altering relationships with others, tears, joy, and affirmatios. Take the chance this book offes and find new meanings.
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