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This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go Paperback – Bargain Price, May 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312540620
  • ASIN: B0046LUH8O
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,380,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—In alphabetical order, with the occasional sidebar that seems unrelated to the immediate peril under discussion, the authors describe about 75 specific ways by which individuals can meet their demise. The causes range from the sadly ordinary (stroke) to the much-publicized but rare (alligators), the old-fashioned (hemlock poisoning), and the usually uncharted (playing professional sports). Each entry discusses the mechanics of the particular death (or extensive damage just short of death) the agent causes, as well as the likelihood of succumbing through this means. Data on death rates, parts of the world most afflicted, and notable victims ushered out by the method end each two-page write-up. Also included for each is a "horror factor" gauge that takes into consideration dread, likelihood, and gore, and a brief but useful list of "grim facts" that put the agent of death into place in history or current events. Illustrations are simple thumbnails—no gore. The potential audience for this book includes list lovers, horror fans, and even students engaged in history or science research. Sadly, there is no index.—Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Irreverent yet informative…Makes a perfect preventive guide, breezy summer read, or ideal gift for your cousin, the hypochondriac.” –Men’s Fitness

"There’s nothing like a beach read that graphically details exactly how a shark will chew you up. This book...not only explores the myriad ways in which we kick the bucket (pray you never get a Guinea worm infection), it dares to look at death in a lighthearted way. Sure, being burned at the stake is no fun, but reading about it is a hoot." --Boston Herald

"From syphilis to snakes, from alligators to anthrax, THIS WILL KILL YOU is a light-hearted look at the myriad ways we humans can depart this earth. It is an iconoclastic and informative romp through our last moments that will leave readers both informed and amused. I enjoyed it immensely." --Michael Collins, M.D., author of HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL and BLUE COLLAR, BLUE SCRUBS

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Richardson on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
HP Newquist and Rich Maloof have coauthored this little-known gem of a book which plays off something every person possesses to a certain degree: morbid curiosity. Humans are both repelled and fascinated by the subject of death, and the dual-aspect of this tendency lies at the core of the book. The authorial tone is equal parts wittiness and sober reflection on the grisly realities that we as humans must learn to face. The back of the book says that the content is "irreverent," but I think nothing could be further from the truth. If the authors laugh, it is not a laugh of defiance or of superiority. Rather, being oh-so-human themselves, they know that they are just as susceptible as the rest of humankind is to the things they explain in quite some detail in their book. The book IS very amusing, no doubt, but it gallows humor through and through. And this is the key to the work - they are not prison wardens laughing in the face of dangerous prisoners who are unable to harm them. Rather, they function similarly to Virgil in Dante's Inferno: they lead us down on a tour through the hellish fates that potentially await us at some point in the foggy future. Only this time Virgil has a great sense of humor to help prevent us from being overwhelmed by the horror before our eyes.

I make this sound dramatic, but it really isn't. For all the grimness of the material, it has one advantage: the lightness which comes with accepting inevitability. This is reflected somewhat in the book's structure. This is not one single narrative work, but a long series of short chapters, each devoted to a certain potential death. Chapters on average are a mere 3-4 pages in length, making this book ideal for short spurts of reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
THIS WILL KILL YOU is an absolutely intriguing guide to the various ways homo sapiens can exit "this veil of tears." Authors H.P. Newquist and Rich Maloof dish up the facts on 76 - count 'em, 76! - ways to die ranging from black widow spiders to space suit malfunctions to gangrene. While some might find the topic morbid, I found it an entertaining and informative guide to a subject of importance to us all.

THIS WILL KILL YOU presents its magical misery tour contents alphabetically. The first entry is Alligators; the last, Working in a Coal Mine. Among the "ways to go" covered are Alzheimer's, Arsenic, Botulism, Burning at the Stake, the well-named Death Cap Mushroom, Binge Drinking, Ebola Virus, Going over Niagara Falls, the really revolting Guinea Worm, Hemlock, Komodo Dragon, Lions/Tigers/Bears, Nerve Gas, the Plague, Pufferfish, Radiation Exposure, Snakes, Stroke and Unscheduled Plane Landing. Each entry merits a four-page write-up with info on how that particular items kills, the medical cause of death, those at highest risk of dying from it, lethality, annual death tolls, historical death totals, notable victims, etc. Despite its grim subject matter, the tone is factual, straightforward and just a bit irreverant.

Each entry has an accompanying cartoon or two. If you're interested in photographs of what a victim of a shark attack, type 2 diabetes or syphilis looks like, this ain't the book for you; no pix!

All in all, I thought THIS WILL KILL YOU was - to borrow one of Mr. Spock's favorite words - fascinating. It might not be bedside reading but it is a great read. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jeni chen on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was so good I keep searching for more. And unlike most books, once you finish it, it's still useful to have around as a reference, and doesn't sit pointlessly on a shelf gathering dust. Highly recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alice on March 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a day when I was bored... this book kept me thoroughly preoccupied. It is tongue in cheek, lighthearted information of various ways to die. It ranges from the normal -such as pneumonia- to the outrageous- space suit malfunction and burning at the stake. The information is excellent, as someone in the healthcare field I felt that the information was interesting enough to hold my attention without being over the top technical for the non-medical professional. Also interesting tidbits on how some famous people died. All and all very interesting and informative without being heavy or grusome. I would recommend this to anyone!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE E. NEWMAN on June 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love books like this. BUT if you have not yet read Dead Beat or Stiff try those first. This one is not really thorough in all it covers. It does give one enough information regarding how one can die. The rest could be extrapolated, I suppose.
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