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This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go
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This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Have you been attacked by a great white shark? Gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Been exposed to anthrax? No, you haven't, or you'd be dead. This Will Kill You reveals the intriguing facts behind the many ways humans bite the dust in encounters with deadly bugs, hungry predators, natural disasters, and freak occurrences. Thoroughly researched and illustrated, not to men ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin
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May 10, 2009 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

i win!! yay for goodreads contests! watching the mails...

some hand-picked excerpts:

michael: "tuberculosis is spread, like pneumonia, via infected water droplets that you inhale when an infected person breathes, talks, spits, or otherwise propels those water droplets your way."

alfonso: "coming in bright blues, greens, reads, oranges, and yellows, with splotches, stripes, and even polka dots in a little body about the size of a AA battery, the poison dart frog si
Aug 21, 2009 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, humour
Lena has me reading about as many books as anybody else on Good Reads with her wonderful reviews, and this was another of those -

This was a strange sort of book. The humour wasn’t as bad as I thought it might have been, although it did became a little tiresome at times. However, the best of this book is that it tells you lots of ways in which you might die and the process that that particular death is likely to take in each of those pathways to infinity.
May 12, 2009 Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, medical
This is a very strange book. If you have ever found yourself wondering, for example, about the precise series of events that cause your body to cease functioning should you happen to find yourself lost in the Sahara Desert without your water bottle, this book can tell you. It can also tell you what happens to your body when you drop a hair dryer into your bathtub, find yourself ambushed by a Komodo Dragon, consume arsenic proffered by batty old ladies, or participate in an "unscheduled plane lan ...more
May 24, 2009 Meaghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is about several dozen different ways a person can die, it's not morbid at all. It's written in a very light, irreverent way that keeps the text from getting depressing. But the humorous tone doesn't mean this book isn't very well-researched and informative: the authors studied hundreds of sources, including prestigious medical journals and health organizations, to gather information for their entries. I learned a lot.

Divided in alphabetical order, This Will Kill You tells you
The authors approached the heavy topic of death with a very light hand and lots of dark humor. This book is presented as a reference manual with sections laid out under topic headings like an encyclopedia. There are entries for Alligator Attack, Cancer, Gun Shot and so on. All the major means of death are covered.

In some ways the text does present new info - giving a brief clinician's view of exactly how the particular method causes death. However, that area is very quick and to the point for t
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
May 06, 2009 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, medical trivia lovers, those not scared to die
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: first reads
I enjoyed this book. The authors write about a fearful and sensitive subject, how we can die, all the while having a grin on their collective faces. They making death amusing, funny, and curiously shocking. I would recommend this collection of trivia for those with the tendency toward enjoyment of the morbid, those whom are a bit paranoid, those enjoying medical facts or statistical data. The authors and publisher tout it to be a good reference book for writers looking for more information on wa ...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Why would anybody enjoy reading a compendium of ways to die, in detail, with horribleness ratings?

I do not know.

However, this was my bedside book for quite a while, and I enjoyed it. I found it more intriguing than amusing. Reading about ways of dying is probably a kind of innoculation, because although you know you ARE going to die, there are so many ways in which it is definitely not going to happen. So you feel somewhat less mortal at the end than at the start.

Or maybe it's because fascinatio
Apr 08, 2009 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most valuable (and hilarious) reference book I will ever own.

Not that i sit around wondering how i'd want to go, but if i were to go, quick and painless seems far more appealing than say... getting clamped by an alligator's jaws, shaken mercilessly until every organ leaks, and finally dragged into a murky swamp for the sweet releif of drowning (if i'm still even alive at that point).

A staple for thriller and horror writers' bookshelves, as well as for the morbid and people with very sick sen
My son is blasting through this book. I sure could use recommendations for similar books a 14 year old boy might like.
Nov 17, 2012 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Post Thoughts:
This will certainly not be a book that I will finish diligently. Thus, this is not meant to be conveyed in a negative way. What I'm trying to say is that this book is more of a comedic, satirical relief rather than a novel. The outline of the entire book basically consist of individual euphemisms and segments on "ways in which we go". If you ever feel a need to determine the most horrifying or exotic way to die, this is somewhat the reference.

When I read the foreword and introduc
Michelle Lemaster
May 06, 2009 Michelle Lemaster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of morbidity and the grotesque
Recommended to Michelle by: Goodreads
Shelves: first-read
So it's not the book that you chat about over tea with your dearest chums. This one is more the book you laugh it up about over margaritas with your girlfriends or over brews with the guys. I can picture it now... "Hey girl! Would you rather bite the bullet by taking a nail gun to the head or by swallowing Drano?" This book is a charmer for all and, true to its word, a great reference book for the death affecianado or coffee table talk piece for the horror junky. Written in a highly readable ref ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Intplibrarian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
If the title and description of this book intrigue you at all, you'll love this book.[return][return]Ever watch the tv show 1000 Ways to Die? This is like a book form of that show. Each "way to die" has a description of how that method would kill you, how long it takes to die that way, an example or two of famous related cases, and various other stats -- all presented in a ... entertaining... way. I was going to say "funny", and the book did make me laugh at times, but at the same time, it actua ...more
May 31, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished This Will Kill You. It might sound a little strange, but I found this to be good bedtime reading. I could read a chapter or two about what it's like to be killed by Alligator, or Hemlock, or Rabies and then turn out the light and get a good night's sleep. I think this is partly due to the humorous tone the authors have taken even while they relate the most gruesome details about dying. And they do relate just about every method of dying you can think of.

This probably isn't for
Don't ask. I don't know why I bought this book. I put it on the bottom of my book pile because I wasn't sure it was smart to read about all the ways people can die -- and all the gory details -- while I'm having so many nightmares. But, last week I decided to give it a try. This Will Kill You is not a book about gore at all. The authors do a great job at keeping the writing light and humorous to balance the heavy topics within the book. Still, I'm not sure I'd recommend this book to anyone. It ...more
May 27, 2009 Myriah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy crow, this book is informative, fascinating and humorous. I gave it three stars because it was a bit of a was about death, after all. If I read too many entries I would start to get a bit depressed, and would have to take a break.

I liked the length of each entry, and the overall format of the information.

I liked this book, despite the whole death thing.

As a bonus, it is a great conversation starter.
May 06, 2009 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I really enjoyed this book. It was respectfully hilarious, considering the topic. In fact, I got the feeling the authors were restraining themselves.

Each chapter is the perfect length for going outside to smoke a cigarette. An activity that I'm seriously rethinking after reading the book.

A topic that I was looking forward to, but was absent, was Stinging Ocean Creatures. Where's the box jellyfish and blue ring octopus? The horror factor on those should be pretty high.
Sheila Judson
Jul 20, 2009 Sheila Judson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great little book about the ways in which a person can die, by their own hand or the hand of fate. It covers everything from alligator attack, to death by komodo dragon, to a nail gun in the head and so on down the alphabet. It is written in a lighthearted manner and can be comical at times. The facts are more interesting than horrific. Thank you Goodreads for your contest.
May 24, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the obvious morbidity factor in enjoying material of this type, I absolutely LOVE this book! My favorite chapters to date are the bits on hemlock and starvation. Crazy? Maybe a little. Great coffee table book and reference for anyone looking to add a little flavor to the latest death segment of a work in progress. Very entertaining.
Jul 28, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: paranoid hypocondriacs looking for more fear fodder.
This is not a book that I would typically have picked up. However, I wasn't going to turn down a free Goodreads promotional copy either. It actually turned out to be pretty good book. It was easy to read, entertaining, and best of all, informative. Well worth flipping through if you have the time.
Jun 14, 2010 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusingly morbid & interesting. Especially the 'on a scale of 1-10' how much does this way to go suck. Everything from TB to the bubonic plague to the alligator death roll, plus a comparison of which death by snake is more awful, venomous or constricting. A: Constricting. Uplifting bathroom reading.
Apr 28, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now I know the answer to a life-long question: Is it worse to burn or freeze to death (FYI: according to the book, it's burn, but that's being burned at the stake, so a different type of burn might not be as bad as being a human marshmallow). A crazy book, but it's definitely one I won't forget!
Lorra Fae
May 17, 2011 Lorra Fae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man there is some disturbing shit out there - guinea worm?? UGH! I'm glad I know some things to avoid and watch out for, though a lot of these things, thankfully, are really unlikely. Phew. VERY interesting reading, I highly recommend. I just wish there was MORE - maybe a sequel?
Apr 24, 2012 Xanthi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much! Full of dark humour and interesting facts and case studies. Written in a way that is both entertaining and informative. I didn't want it to end - what does that say about me? Ha!
Jun 24, 2009 Jeannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was an enjoyable read, I learned some things I didn't know. some of it horrified me but mainly this book just enlightened me to the many dangers that are lurking out there just waiting to take us out. a fun read.
May 06, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: won it from First Reads
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. This was an interesting read. For the crime drama junkie in me, it was cool to learn just how you die from a gunshot or ricin poisoning. On the other hand, not so crazy to be reading about death by Guinea worm...
Sep 07, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Very entertaining read! Fun to pick up and read a few entries at a time. I would recommend reading this book out loud to a spouse or friend; and is even better if you get into a "documentary style narrative" voice while reading it out loud.
Mar 23, 2011 rabbitprincess marked it as maybe  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: library catalogue
Shelves: non-fiction
This turned up in the library catalogue when I did a search for the Diana Wynne Jones novel Fire and Hemlock. And that was with a title search. Odd, but I might not have stumbled on this otherwise.
Aug 21, 2009 Kirill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting quote at the end: "you are more likely to die before 25 if you have a tattoo."
Otherwise more of a reference book. Entertaining read
Sep 11, 2011 Becki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book on various things that can kill you and how they affect your body. A very good, fast read.
Loving this book right now! Fun book for writers.
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HP Newquist's books and articles have been published all over the world, and his writing has been translated into languages from kanji to farsi.
His books have have received awards and citations from numerous organizations. His writing spans a vast array of interests and issues.

In the late 1980s and 1990s he wrote extensively about artificial intelligence (AI), compiling a body of work that is arg
More about H.P. Newquist...

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