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Posted July 20, 2006
Totally disarming, involving, and powerful
I was blown completely off guard by Tom Hunt's book 'Cliffs of Despair: A Journey to the Edge.' He considers a small hamlet in England that sits on a cliffside that is the third most popular suicide location on Earth. This macabre fact is explored with only the smallest of sardonic views Hunt, whose journey in writing the book leads him to reevaluate a suicide in his only family and most startlingly propose that there may in fact be something heroic about the act of endings one's life, considers his subject with a probing grace. He looks with an exquisite sense of detail upon the denizens of the town, who seems as weary from the suicidal draw of their home as the wind-cracked lands on which they live. The book is a true exploration, so much so that it at times diverges on interesting albeit irrelevant tangents. Nonetheless, 'Cliffs of Despair,' despite its somewhat maudlin title ('Cliffs...ya get it?!'), is a fascinating read.
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