- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (October 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393249891
- ISBN-13: 978-0393249897
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 266 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death 1st Edition
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Doughty, founder of the Order of the Good Death, a nonprofit organization that advocates for natural burial and reducing the stigma around death, describes funereal rituals around the world while stopping to reflect on U.S. practices. In Indonesia, for instance, the Toraja keep the dead at home for several months or years until the funeral. The author also explores the North Carolina's FOREST facility, which composts corpses, and the Crestone End of Life, a Colorado nonprofit that performs open-air cremations. Doughty shares her reverence for the dead while poking fun at our fears ("gross as it sounds, I'd come back from the dead for a Diet Coke"). She forces U.S. readers to confront the secretive and profitable mortuary business and sheds light on cultures that celebrate death. If death is inevitable, she asks, why are we afraid to address it? As the Bolivians look to their natitas (special human skulls), we can look to them for a level of comfort and familiarity with death. "How would your ancestors deal with tragedy?" Probably not with a $10,000 check to take a dead body away. VERDICT Recommend this fascinating and well-written book to fans of Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.—Pamela Schembri, Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, NY
“Doughty is a relentlessly curious and chipper tour guide to the underworld, and the weirder things get, the happier she seems. … [H]er dispatches from the dark side [are] doing us all a kindness―offering a picture of what we’re in for, even if we’d rather not know.”
- Libby Copeland, New York Times Book Review
“Doughty chronicles [death] practices with tenderheartedness, a technician’s fascination, and an unsentimental respect for grief.”
- Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
“Doughty writes bluntly about open-air cremations, natural burials and body composting, bringing a little more clarity and a little less mystery to the question: 'What happens to us after we die?'”
- NPR (Our Guide to 2017's Great Reads)
“[T]he macabre travelogue is a thoughtful reflection and a smart critique of the American funeral industry, with plenty of gallows humor thrown in.”
- Smithsonian (The Ten Best Travel Books of 2017)
“Doughty finds the humanity in others cultures' relationship with death that seems to be lacking in ours.”
- Justin Caffier, Vice
“This slim volume, full of captivating, enlightening, and humorous tidbits, is a―dare I say―uplifting exploration of what people the world over do to withstand loss and the bite of impermanence. This is death as viewed by a mortician: profound, unavoidable, natural, and a bit funny.”
“This humane book gently provokes you to wonder: what exactly is your ideal funeral?”
- The Times
“From Here To Eternity is fascinating, thought-provoking and – who would have guessed? – sometimes funny. Put it on your bucket list.”
- The Mail
“Caitlin Doughty is razor sharp, and writes about death with exceptional clarity and style. From Here to Eternity manages to be both an extremely funny travelogue and a deeply moving book about what death means to us all.”
- Dylan Thuras, co-founder of Atlas Obscura
“[Doughty’s] fascinating tour of rituals contains liturgies that readers will surely observe as rare, macabre, unbelievable, ancient, and precious―sometimes simultaneously.”
Top customer reviews
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With Doughty’s voice and the influence of her and writers like her, there is a chance in our lifetimes to clear our psyches and sense of obligation, and to think clearly: What do I want? What do I want for my loved ones? It is not necessary, it is not more hygienic, meaningful or respectful to continue with the traditional American ways of death or burial. There are many paths and it’s OK.
Overall, a really neat book well worth the read. I am looking forward to more books by this author!
Thanks for another book that makes death less scary.
As a true believer of DENIAL *not just a river in Egypt*, this book, as well as Caitlin Doughty's other book "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", are invaluable learning tools. These books are so great because they are entertaining and educational. Which is not something you can say about most books dealing with death.
Thanks to Caitlin, I am on the road to death acceptance. Now, this is not that I am out racing to die, just that *IT* will happen no matter what I or anyone else tries to do. Death & Taxes THEY HAPPEN. I am now setting up what will happen to my body once I'm dead. And all the other decisions needed. So many Thanks to wonderful Caitlin.
If you can, check out Caitlin Doughty's book tour. She is a riot ~ LIVE!!! Also, you should watch her youtube channel ~ Ask A Mortician.
So buy this book and read it *LIKE I HAVE*. Oh and buy another as a gift *LIKE I HAVE*...