From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity

Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

Large Print - 2018 | Large print edition
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Kstobo Mar 30, 2020

Just as enjoyable as her first book 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes'. A fascinating look at death traditions around the world, and how they differ drastically from Western norms.

SCL_BethZ Jul 26, 2019

A fascinating book about funerary practices around the world. The author is the host of the popular “Ask a Mortician” channel on YouTube. In this book she travels to places like Bolivia, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan and the US. The book is very well researched and respectful of the cultures and practices it examines. It’s the type of book that challenges your beliefs and understandings and helps to break down some of our Western stigma and aversion to death. A read-alike for fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers.

Jun 06, 2019

You know how sometimes you end up on, as we call it "The weird part of youtube"? I ended up there because a friend mentioned this channel "Ask a Mortician", and frankly they have excellent taste in weird internet because I've been HOOKED for almost a month. Then I discovered there was a book and boy howdy did I want it. (And thanks to the wonder that is my work AKA the Public Library that had a copy, I GOT ONE)

I was a little worried that the funny and quirky entertainment side of the channel wouldn't translate to writing, but it really did and the book was making me laugh within the first few chapters. Death isn't something I, or most people really, like to think about but I definitely have lately. Finding out about the different ways that cultures handle death around the world (Aka not our regular ways in Western society) was morbidly intriguing and Caitlin honestly makes it fun and entertaining to listen to. The illustrations were a nice touch, because while I missed having actual pictures I can understand why there were none. (I found myself googling a lot later).

I definitely recommend the book, which I already did at work by slapping a STAFF PICK sticker on the cover.


IndyPL_KaseyP May 06, 2019

A wonderful look at death practices around the world. Doughty is funny, candid, and well-researched. She is an advocate of "green burial", and it shows. However, she provides a broad picture of culturally diverse death practices. I found this book to be fascinating and oddly comforting following deaths in my own family.

DBRL_IdaF Feb 25, 2019

Fascinating, and often funny, look at how people around the world handle their dead. Doughty's book shows that what's "normal" is really just what you are used to. But it is written with the utmost respect. Stories of stealth funeral pyres, cremation, folks who keep their mummified family members at home with them until they can throw a proper funeral -- sometimes for years!

Each practice described has its benefits and drawbacks. I discovered my mercury fillings are going to be a problem no matter what happens to my body. Cremation is difficult at high altitudes. How the use of painkillers in cattle led to a mass die-off of vultures in India and is creating a ripple problem for Parsi funeral customs. That's another lesson of this book - we're all in an interconnected web, here on this world.

CedarMill_SabrinaH Nov 28, 2018

This delightful death-oriented travelogue is equally fascinating and thought-provoking. While Doughty's first book made me start to consider the alternatives for my own body after death, From Here To Eternity opened my eyes to death traditions I had never even imagined. The author reads the audiobook herself, to great effect.

lauz32 Nov 10, 2018

This was such an interesting and enjoyable read! I loved learning about the way other cultures deal with death and make it a natural part of life. I was in Mexico for day of the dead so it was quite an appropriate time to read the book, and it didn't feel macabre or depressing. A great quick read.

Sep 14, 2018

This book is so interesting! I didn't want to put it down once I started reading. It came with pictures but I wish more were included. I ended up googling a lot of the scenes described in the book.

AnnabelleLee27 Sep 06, 2018

Doughty deftly explores how the avoidance of death and our current funerary practices have left us bereft and emotionally adrift when facing the death and care of a loved one. She explores funerary practices across the world and finds inspiration and encouragement for rethinking fundamental deathcare. The best part is that Doughty writes with humor, respect, and intelligence and I found her epilogue to be especially smart and moving. The result is an entertaining, thought-provoking, and worthwhile read.

Jul 06, 2018

The title is misleading. I expected a book about medical assistance in dying - its availability and how different countries erect different types of legal and religious barriers. And a book about palliative care availability in various countries. Instead, it's a book about funerals and grieving customs around the world. This makes sense, since the author owns a funeral home. A big disappointment.

Jun 30, 2018

A very knowledgeable read about how one is prepared for the afterlife, and how culture, religion, society, along with ones own core values and beliefs, heavily influence these preparations. Caitlin Doughty is not only witty but shares her own experiences as a mortician, as she travels to many distant lands in search of 'the good death'. An excellent read for those who are interested in all things mortuary.

liljables Apr 09, 2018

I loved Caitlin Doughty's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," and this was an excellent follow-up/companion to that memoir. "From Here to Eternity" explores death and grieving rituals from around the world, allowing the reader to contemplate the concept of "the good death". This book tells a less personal story than "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" - it's more of a death-themed travelogue - but it's just as readable, and it will (hopefully) leave you questioning why we cling so tightly to our sterile, impersonal, expensive, and needlessly commercial death rituals here in North America.

Mar 22, 2018

I love Caitlin's AskAMortician videos, so I thought I'd give this a try. Fascinating examination of death culture around the world, crammed with lots of interesting death-related tid-bits that I've never heard of. I have my own anxieties and complicated feelings towards death and funerals, but I couldn't put this down. I especially appreciate that she was very careful to treat every death ritual with respect and that she centered women's voices and lives throughout the whole book. Highly recommend.

Mar 21, 2018

It's so interesting how different cultures view the process of death and afterlife.

OPL_AutumnH Mar 16, 2018

This was a great companion to Doughty's first book. The death rituals in various cultures were fascinating to learn about, and this took my thoughts and conversations about death to the next level.

DBRL_ReginaF Mar 07, 2018

I loved reading this book! I hope that we have managed to find a better way to eternity by the time I get there.

Jan 28, 2018

I really enjoyed this book - it was fun and interesting to learn about death practices and funeral rights around the world. My only complaint was that it was too short! (And it wasn't that short). I really enjoyed the Festival of the Natitas in Bolivia, in which people celebrate dressed up skulls.

Jan 21, 2018

From Here to Eternity is a brilliant complement to the recent publication of writings on more conscious choices individuals have about how they age as in Atul Gawande's Bein Mortal: What Matters Most in the End. Caitlin Doughty brings it to a whole when she taunts awareness to different culture's rituals and meanings to the disposition (or not) of one's remains. Always insightful and with doses of humor Doughty again opens our eyes to choices in an area of mortality that, as Americans, we generally take for granted in modern tradition.

OPL_ErinD Dec 19, 2017

Once again Caitlin Doughty has written a book that I keep trying to put into people's hands. Told by one of the leaders of the Death Positive movement, "From Here to Eternity" is an entertaining, informative and empathetic journey through death culture around the world.

ArapahoeKati Oct 17, 2017

Amazing. Doughty treats the somewhat taboo subject of death culture with grace and just enough humor to make you relax when thinking about the inevitable death we're all facing.

LPL_MargoM Oct 11, 2017

Caitlin Doughty's follow up to her memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, is everything I want out of a nonfiction book about death and death culture. She treats the subject with a combination of respect and openness that the American public sorely needs. For fans of the "death culture book" genre (Stiff, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Working Stiff, The American Way of Death, etc...) this book is a welcome addition. To individuals who are a little wary or may want to learn more about the subject, the book is both intriguing and welcoming. If you're a little uncomfortable or don't think this book is for you, give it a try. It will surprise you.

Jun 09, 2017

If Jessica Mitford's "Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain" frightened us into facing the reality of dying in America, Caitlin Doughty's writing is like being hugged and told everything is going to be okay. Once again Doughty guides us along an entertaining, informative and empathetic journey through death culture and this time we get to travel the world as we do it.

Just like her first book, this is a title I want to hand to people and say, "Read it and then let's talk."

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