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Readers remembering the consummate countercultural masterpiece, Stewart Brand's The Whole Earth Catalog, will begin chuckling immediately upon reading the title of this idiosyncratic book by Schechter (American literature & culture, Queens Coll.; The Devil's Gentleman). Schechter offers readers a scholarly yet wildly hilarious romp through the cultural history of death and dying. It is not only rollicking entertainment but also provides a wealth of practical and historical information about death. Thus, amid chapters with titles like "Funeral Fun Facts" and "Cremation, Cryonics, and Other Postmortem Possibilities," readers will find useful advice on writing living wills and avoiding funeral industry scams. The perversely macabre illustrations and sidebars are alone worth the price of the book. A significant contribution to the literature on death, this work merits a prominent space on the shelves next to Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death, Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and the oeuvre of Elisabeth KA'bler-Ross. Highly recommended.
—Lynne F. Maxwell