Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection” as Want to Read:
Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Throughout history, the nature and mystery of death has captivated artists, scientists, philosophers, physicians, and theologians.

This eerie chronology ventures right to the borderlines of science and sheds light into the darkness. Here, topics as wide ranging as the Maya death gods, golems, and séances sit side by side with entries on zombies and quantum immortality.

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Sterling
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death and the Afterlife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death and the Afterlife

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  373 ratings  ·  41 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection
Brett C
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history

This is cool book on the human concept of death and the afterlife. Every page is a picture and a brief description about the picture, the concept, and its place in history. The book starts from the days of prehistoric man and finishes in today's modern world. There was some great artwork depictions of the the concepts to include: Heaven, Hell/Hades, resurrection, necromancy, burial mounds, gravestones, euthanasia, autopsy, the electric chair, CPR, embalming, 'Do Not Resuscitate', and a lot of ot
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thanatopsis
I was drawn to this book because of the cover though not the one shown with the two female skeletons. It is a great book almost like an encyclopedia though the subjects are not alphabatized but by dates. The subjects include art, religion, customs, science, history, and so much more. Though I enjoyed this book I do recommend not reading it from cover to cover without a few breaks since it is a lot to take in.
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Bit size entries pertaining to death whether it be funerary customs , supernatural beliefs, zombies, vampires, heaven , hell, Elysian Fields, Transhumanism, Brain uploading, Quantum Ressurection. Lots of ideas and beliefs about death and the afterlife are catalogued. It is up to the reader to separate the sheep from the goats.
Emma Sea
Oct 23, 2015 marked it as own-and-need-to-read  ·  review of another edition
Squee! Look what just arrived. The cover is all textured and prettied with gold, and the endpapers are gorgeous.
I went to visit the Museum of Death in Los Angeles once—the very definition of thanotourism as explained in this book, in fact!. What I’d expected to be an intriguing collection of death rituals and funerary objects actually turned out to be a voyeuristic display glamorising serial killers and the goriest, absolute worst ways people can die (I do not recommend it—I found it very disrespectful and not at all death-positive).

This book is more what I expected that museum to be; this is a beautiful
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Don't judge a book by its admittedly cool cover! It starts off interesting but then it gets really.. bland? It's more geared towards middle schoolers than adults. And there's a part that said "that's all folks!" was Porky Pig's catchphrase lol
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked EVERYTHING about this book. The cover was great, the pages were thick and easy to turn, huge pictures (page-sized) on every left side--text on the right and . . . OH, the text was super interesting too! Fantastic.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It's good, but the meandering off into faux-science speculation near the end was unnecessary. More history pls.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a beautiful book, something cool to have on your coffee-table. Awesome selection of artwork and illustrations. However, if you intend to read it, I'd say it's not worth it. Each subject is only a few paragraphs long, which makes it completely inadequate and too vague and generic, as it doesn't offer much information about anything. So the purpose of this book is strictly ''decorative''.
Emma Helvete
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We are living in a society where everyone is disconnected from death, it became a topic people avoid and ignored, it seems so far away and surreal to us. However, death is such a natural thing that will eventually befall every single one of us, no matter the rich, the poor, no matter your loved ones nor your enemies, no one can escape death, not even the universe that we are living in itself.

This book introduces everything about death, dying, and afterlife throughout human history. For people w
Jun 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lesson in not buying a book for its cover. It was shrink-wrapped in the store, so I was seduced by its subtitle promise of death "from cremation to quantum resurrection." Unfortunately, the text places more much emphasis on the afterlife, especially from a Western religious perspective.

I was looking for a book about death and its aftermath, hoping to learn more about the newest technologies for disposing of human remains. Turns out this book was published in 2015, so it had nothing to
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book to dip in and out of. The book covers a large number of topics and describes them in a way that make it easy for someone without background knowledge of the subject to understand.

One of the best non fiction books I've read!
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
while unfortunately very western-centric (this isn't to say that there aren't a lot of entries about non-western concepts and reactions to death, just that the western entries vastly outnumbered them), this was a highly enjoyable read. lots of great little factoids about anything and everything related to death through human history. each entry is a page long, so don't expect anything to go into too much depth. it's organized by approximate date; things get a bit less exciting once we hit the 19 ...more
Siri Olsen
This book seems to have been made for me and mine, summarizing in an easily read way the many beliefs, practices, texts, discoveries and creatures associated with death and the afterlife all the way from the oldest practices reaching back thousands of years to post-modern philosophical debates. Ideas and beliefs from all over the world and nearly all major cultures are covered. Each topic is followed by some suggested books to read to find out more about that particular subject. In short, the pe ...more
Claudia Loureiro
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dead-and-dying
"Death and the Afterlife" is a fascinating read. It is constructed of short chapters dealing with a particular subject. Each one is meant to get you thinking. Unfortunately it does not have much detail, but once something has stirred your intellect you can do more research. The book shows you the standard stuff like vampires, golems, and witches. Then some of the newer thought of more recent times like quantum immortality. Throughout the book there is page after page of beautiful artwork. In the ...more
Goth Girl Reads
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a really fascinating, fun book that is a great overview about pretty much anything and everything you could possibly want to know about the history of death and it's traditions. The only disappointing thing about this book is fact every subject discussed is very brief and void of deatail. But it's almost excusable due to the sheer amount of content even a death-aficionado like myself may not think to include.
Emily Donnelly
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this book! A small taste of many subjects in the realm of death, drying, and the afterlife! It's a great coffee table book for the Macabre-inclined folks, and it is an excellent "Read on entry and put it back down" book. Each entry, and accompanying photo, certainly sparked my imagination and my passion for learning.
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one was a little different from Pickovers other books, and at times it got a little weird. However, I suppose with the subject matter, a book like this should be a little weird. Lots of interesting tidbits from many, many different disciplines; a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many entries covering different cultures, different media such as books and paintings and different phenomena. Many of the entries were very thought-provoking and left me with many thoughts and questions. Entries were short which is the only problem I have with this book.
Daniela  Pérez Nava
Very beautiful edition. This book has the basics for everyone who's interested in the death culture. But that's it. Just the basics. This is a beautiful, simple dictionary for a general audience. Nice.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I really enjoyed this book. Short chapters that are full of facts and pictures. I found it educational. Excellent read.
Barry D.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Highlights on interesting topics. Shallow but a great reference point for ideas and concepts. It’s a beautiful book, best on a shelf that can be retrieved and referred to later.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p
An interesting coffee table book. Though while it did introduce me to a few new places/concepts/things, there were definitely some entries where it was a stretch to connect it to death.
Masha Romanoff
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful edition, really interesting topics and because of the "encyclopedia" type of format is very easy to read.
Gianella Urday Ibarra
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Entertaining book with interesting photos and information.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loaded with Fun & Creepy topics. Just touching basic information, left me needing to aquire more knowledge on a lot of the topics found in Death & The Afterlife!¡ ...more
Death and the Afterlife is a must have in any dedicated metalhead’s bookshelf. The cover alone is a good enough reason to buy it, and it is filled with powerful imagery. The visual components of the book is in my opinion the best thing about it. It’s more of a souvenir than a thumping good read. It doesn’t mean the content isn’t good though. It is, but the reader never gets enough information on one single topic. Rather, the book’s setup is that one page is alotted to each subject, every one of ...more
Rosalinda Sepeda
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Awesome! many different topics that caught my attention, rather it be true or fiction and that some lead to the making of a movie.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it liked it
So, I don't recommend reading a coffee-table book (the author is very straightforward about this, the information is meant to be sampled at leisure, not driven at like a night road trip) from front to back in this fashion. This book is great; lots of lavish, public domain artwork for the various macabre subject matters, good writing and concise descriptions of all the death stuff - lots of fun. It becomes tedious over a few entries though, as the tone doesn't vary and the book cross-references a ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While I received a number of strange and uneasy glances on the airplane (this is a perfect quick read, great for jumping in and out of on a short flight/during a short layover etc.), it was fun, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable. The content was expansive, but each article was a concice little package wrapped up awaiting your discovery. The timeline layout the author uses is creative and the references at the back of the book allow readers to find out where they can investigate further if th ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Occult Book: A Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca
  • Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners
  • Death: A Graveside Companion
  • Poems
  • Cuentos de miedo
  • Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist
  • Búnker: Memorias de encierro, rimas y tiburones blanco
  • Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)
  • Wicca: A Modern Guide to Witchcraft and Magick
  • The Deep, Deep Snow
  • Gran historia visual de la filosofía
  • Shaking Hands with Death
  • The Good Neighbor
  • Dickon the Devil
  • Cuando estuvimos muertos (Retrum, #1)
  • The Book of Extraordinary Deaths: True Accounts of Ill-Fated Lives
  • The Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & Gore
  • The Dead Girls Club
See similar books…
Clifford A. Pickover is an American author, editor, and columnist in the fields of science, mathematics, and science fiction, and is employed at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, New York.

He received his Ph.D. in 1982 from Yale University's Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, where he conducted research on X-ray scattering and protein structure. Pickover graduated

News & Interviews

You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
42 likes · 19 comments