Tuesday, September 29, 2009

O Death, where is thy sting?

Death comes to us all, but the way we die varies. This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go enumerates 75 different ways that people annually kick the bucket. From a Great White Shark attack to anthrax, from going over Niagra Falls in a barrel to being slimed by a dart frog, authors H.P. Newquist and Rich Maloof catalog our road to dusty death.

The book rates each death for frequency (only one or two people a year is eaten by an alligator), lethality (maybe you can escape being totally eaten and just get chewed up a bit) and its horror factor (the alligator thing is thought to be quite terrifying). You even get an urban legend or two, like the one about the Boy Scout Troop that was wiped out from toasting marshmallows over a fire made of oleander leaves.

There is a forward by a doctor from the Mayo Clinic, so one suspects that the science is right. It's easy to pick up and put down (each death is covered in two to three pages), so you may want to leave a copy in the bathroom this Halloween. Anyway, at $14.95 it's a cool read.

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