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Cliffs of Despair: A Journey to Suicide's Edge
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Cliffs of Despair: A Journey to Suicide's Edge

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Beachy Head is a bit of quintessential England–a seaside promontory where green pastures roll to the edge of chalk cliffs, a place of sheep and wind and ineffable beauty. But it is also a major landmark on the map of self-inflicted death. Since 1965, some five hundred people have ended their lives by jumping or driving or simply walking off the 535-foot cliffs, making Beac ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Random House (first published January 24th 2006)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  71 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every year approximately twenty people jump, run, fall, and crawl to their deaths at Beachy Head, East Sussex, England. It is so prevalent that the locals such as cab drivers, and those who work at the nearby bar are all on high alert for potential jumpers. At the top of Beachy Head is a phone to reach the Good Samaritans who are on call twenty four hours a day to talk potential jumpers out of harming themselves. The author's desire to examine the phenomenon of Beachy Head is driven in part by h ...more
Oct 31, 2007 rated it liked it
I was so intrigued by the concept of this book, and couldn't wait to read it. The author, Tom Hunt, becomes aware of cliffs in a quaint spot in England - Beachy Head - which is notorious for suicidal jumps. Since 1965, some 500 people have ended their lives by jumping off the cliffs, making it one of the most popular suicide spots in the world. Hunt becomes obsessed with the idea of suicide - for various reasons - and decides to research how the suicidal presence of the cliffs has affected the c ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
TW: Suicide Ideation

I live near the George Washington Bridge, a popular suicide site in the vein of the titular cliffs, and mentioned in the book Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this. I was hoping though for maybe some kind of insight in the power places have when it comes to people who have suicidal feelings. I took nothing away from this book and not in an existential way where it may have been the point, I'm just not sure it ever really came together.

Hunt's prose w
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
i haven't finished this book yet, but so far i'm loving it. maybe i'm a little morbid, since it's about suicide and death, but hunt is an interesting narrator and this memoir-esque story of his venture to london to research the suicides at the beachy head cliffs (the third most popular suicide site in the world behind some big bridge in japan and the golden gate bridge in san fran) is pretty gripping. a few chapters in, you realize that this endeavor is more than just an outsider's curiousity; i ...more
Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the first half of this book much more than the second half. The author's schizophrenic brother-in-law commits suicide, which leads Tom Hunt to an infamous place for suicides, Beachy Head, in England. His encounters with the local people in the area was very interesting. In the second half of the book Hunt writes more about the suicides and I thought it dragged on a little too long. Although I did find his conversation with a man who unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide to be very tho ...more
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

I first became aware of the fatal attraction of Beachy Head a couple of years ago while randomly browsing The Guardian's website. Earlier this week I came across this book on Google Books and decided to give it a read.

While the way this book was written did my head in from time to time, I realize that's hardly the most important aspect of this book. This touches a very important topic in a delicate and sensitive way all while being an interesting read.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Wanted to throw myself over a cliff after reading this book. BORING!
Fascinating and informative. Sad and disconcerting at time, but a good read.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very interesting view of a place and how it is seen by others.
John Jr.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Read as research for a play about suicide. Illuminating in part for a case study of a man who survived a suicide attempt.
Dec 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I went to England and was so obsessed with Beachy Head and then I found this book so I had to read it. Dark topic but very interesting.
Cheryl Martin
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