This is a book that seems to fall between many stools. It describes itself in its subtitle as "The Complete Book of Death & Dying" but even in the Introduction the author admits that it is hardly comprehensive. It's ten chapters cover a wide range of issues, including "The Science of Death and Dying," "Moral Statistics," "The Fate of the Body," "The Culture of Death," and "Making Arrangements." There are pages full of lists: different theories of causes of aging, dates of epidemics, serial killers, wars, different kinds of coffins, to name a few. Although there are seven pages of bibliography at the end of the book, there are no footnotes, and so this is not a scholarly book in the sense that one could base any research on it. It has very little about bereavement or discussion of how to deal with grief, and it certainly is not any kind of self-help book, although there is some information about modern funerals and some legal issues. It might possibly be used as a textbook for a college course on death and dying (I used it one semester) but there are far more comprehensive college textbooks available, and they have pictures in them and teachers' guides to accompany them. (I am currently using The Last Dance.)
So really what R.I.P. is best for is browsing. It's a bathroom book for the morbid. As such, it's is quite interesting. Did you know that
- Gracie Allen and Humphrey Bogart are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
- Violets carved on a tombstone represent humility.
- In ancient Rome, someone who sang rude songs could be executed.
- In 1994, Iceland had the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.
- The people most likely to be shown dying violently on TV are elderly women, followed by lower-class men and elderly men.
- Hegel's last words were, "Only one man ever understood me. And he didn't understand me."
- In paying tribute to a person at his or her funeral, guests might be asked to wear the deceased's favorite color.
So R.I.P. is a good starting point for thinking about death and dying. The writing style is good, and it does contain plenty of useful information.
To discuss this book or the review you have just read, join the Metapsychology Discussion E-Mail Group by going to this URL: http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/metapsy-discussion
Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology.
We feature over 7700 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and
We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.
Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'
Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send
review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank
you for your support!
Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these
announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click
Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers
for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.
Metapsychology Online Reviews
Promote your Page too
Metapsychology Online Reviews