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From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  12,043 ratings  ·  1,688 reviews

As a practising mortician, Caitlin Doughty has long been fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies. In From Here to Eternity she sets out in search of cultures unburdened by such fears. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather's mummified body. She meets Bolivian ñatitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and discovers th

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Steven Yes, it is a detailed look into death practices from around the world. Interesting to say the least.
Karin Yes indeed.Do yourself a favor and read it if you haven't already.You will be so glad you did.
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,043 ratings  ·  1,688 reviews

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OK, this might sound really weird....but I've been to a lot of funerals. And I mean a lot. As a very young girl, I used to go church on weekends with my grandparents, and they would always go to the funeral home after church. It was always the funeral home three day viewings followed by a church service and grave site service. Many, many years later a family member passed and was cremated. I thought it the oddest thing, completely unheard of. I had many long discussions with my husband about it ...more
Petra Eggs
This is a brief tour of some of the world's strangest burial practices. In the epilogue, thanking people, Caitlin says, "Finally Landis Blair, who was an all-right boyfriend but is now a killer collaborator". And that feels like the key to this all-right, 3.5 star (at best) book.

It feels like flushed with the deserved success of first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, the author had decided to have a dual career as of funeral home proprietor and writer and had
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I was sent this book by the publisher after responding to an email sent to a librarian email list; they had extras leftover from ALA, and I was #ALAleftbehind, so I asked for a few from their list.

I knew of Caitlin Doughty but never read her earlier book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, which talks about her experience running a crematory and funeral home. In this book, she visits several different places that deal with death differently, either from cultural diffe
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caitlin Doughty has done it again: dragged us death-phobic Westerners into the light of what grieving and death could (and maybe should) look like. In From Here to Eternity, Caitlin travels the globe and shares her first-hand experiences of getting up close and personal with death rituals from around the world.

I found each section absolutely captivating, and although the Tana Toraja bit did give me a nightmare last night (seriously), I'm going to blame that on the arms-length (or maybe football
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this. I cannot wait to pick up more of Doughty's work and to binge watch her YouTube channel "Ask a Mortician."

In this book, Doughty outlines all of the fucked up ways in which the US death industry is fucked up. She looks at expenses, dignity, and the seeming moratorium on public grief here in the states.

In contrast, Doughty takes the reader along with her as she travels the world learning about other cultures' death rituals and mourning practices. This could have very easily
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fascinating book about the various cultures and how they interact with death, and the concept of the departed or loved one. were many non-western cultures perform more natural acts of burial, a non-industrial cremation. some use a pyre to lit a loved one, while others keep them mummified, and visit them often.

The Japanese use chopsticks to pluck their loved one's bones from the ashes.

Fascinating and written beautifully
Ashley Brooks
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, non-fiction
In her second book, Caitlin takes us around the world to take a look at how other cultures view and treat death. If you're already aware of how bizarre, detached and corporate-ified the US is about death, this will be a lovely trip through some truly beautiful rituals and cultures. If you aren't aware, well, this might be a bit jarring for you.

Caitlin approaches the topic with respect and just the right amount of humor. I can't recommend her writing enough, and would definitely recommend her
Ross Blocher
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From Here to Eternity is the kind of exuberant, passionate non-fiction I live for. Caitlin Doughty has a deep fascination with death: she is a funeral director by trade and her knowledge, enthusiasm and good humor are clearly evident as she describes and de-stigmatizes cultural attitudes toward death around the world. Many of the stories revolve around her own travels to various parts of the world to witness ceremonies, crypts, crematoria, and columbaria (places where cremated remains are kept). ...more
Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Doughty's previous book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, but some parts were really interesting (Himalayan vultures with nine-foot wing spans) and others quite moving (people grieving their dead children).
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My anticipated reaction:

My actual reaction:

This isn't bad, not by a longshot. It's also not the stunning masterpiece I'd lead myself to believe it would be. A lot of that is my fault because I've stalked Caitlin Doughty for about 4 or 5 years now and am up to date on all her YouTube videos. I often read articles about her or by her or those written for Order of the Good Death so not a lot of this information was new to me. While I expected such to be the case, I also expected to get a more in-
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think that it was possible, but I loved this even more than Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. I like to pretend that I'm not, but I am an extremely squeamish person. Despite that, Doughty had me hooked on page one. From Here to Eternity is entertaining, surprisingly heart warming, and very eye-opening.

Special thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. This book will be out October 3, and I highly recommend grabbing a copy.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Η Caitlin Doughty είναι ιδιοκτήτρια ενός εναλλακτικού γραφείου τελετών και γνωστή Youtuber. Το κανάλι της στο Youtube ονομάζεται “Ask a mortician” και ανεβάζει εβδομαδιαία βίντεο. Το «From here to eternity» είναι το δεύτερο βιβλίο της, το πρώτο ήταν το «Smoke gets in your eyes», και σε αυτό το non-fiction βιβλίο της αφήνει πίσω την αυτοβιογραφική της διάθεση για μια πιο αποστασιοποιημένη αφήγηση.

Η Doughty αποφάσισε να ταξιδέψει σε διάφορες χώρες με σκοπό να γνωρίσει από κοντά τους διάφορους τρόπ
This author is so awesome. I want to go to her funeral facility when I pass. More to come.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: death, non-fiction
This was not what I was expecting, which was a SGIYE part two. This is very much an informational nonfiction rather than a memoir, though there are memoir-esque elements about the companions Caitlin travelled with. This is a great overview of death rituals around the world, but not an in depth resource for death geeks. My favorite chapter was about Japan, as there were more details that helped me understand their rituals and culture. I wish Caitlin had been more present in the text as she was in ...more
Victoria ♡
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so interesting! It really got me thinking tbh. Recommend Caitlin's books to everyone they're so good!!
This is an absolute must-read. Here in America, we are so separated from death. It is something to be feared, kept away from, hidden behind expensive caskets and embalming and services in a "multisensory experience room" (p. 234). Our dead are basically ripped from us, held in morgues and funeral homes, with little transition from the state of living to being buried in a cemetery or being resigned to the flames during cremation.

Doughty's point during this book isn't a tour of the world's strang
Sonja Arlow
3 stars

I absolutely LOVED Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory.

It was a quirky memoir of an inexperienced cremation assistant finding her feet in a macabre and sometimes quite depressing industry.

But Caitlin has grown up, the funeral business is no longer just funny anecdotes but an industry that sometimes hurt the grieving more than help by making the final goodbye so absurdly clinical that it loses its humanity.

This book follows Caitlin around the world exploring dif
From Here to Eternity asks us to confront our bias against other cultures’ “savage” death rituals and see how they might be healthier than the usual Western approach of denying/hiding death. Many rituals Doughty observes are about maintaining a personal connection to the dead. In South Sulawesi, Indonesia, corpses remain with their families for months or years, preserved as mummies. Other destinations include a North Carolina body farm that is attempting to compost corpses and a Japanese columba ...more
This didn’t blow me away like her first book, but it was still a pretty fascinating read. The cool illustrations added a lot, and were, I would imagine, more pleasant than actual photos would have been. The writing was a little flat and research paper-ish, though. I really wanted more of Doughty’s wacky personality.
Rating 5 Stars

I really can't find any reason to complain about Caitlin Doughty and her grim but amusing books on her experiences with death. Especially as she walks hand in hand with the reaper on a daily basis as a mortician; a job I could never do myself but have always been curious about.

This book however is more on the customs and traditions of families all over the world when it is time for someone to leave their mortal coil behind. For what I have read from what Caitlin has experienced, th
Rebecca Renner
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, nonfiction
Few life events affect us more than the death of a loved one. At times, it can seem that grief is monolithic, but not every culture deals with death and grief in the same way. The death culture of the US endeavors to paint a pleasing facade over what we consider macabre. Embalmers camouflage the reality of the grave with chemicals and adornments. Cemeteries wall off the dead behind stone, concrete, and coffin wood. In her nonfiction book From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the G ...more
Erin Duerr
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Jessica Mitford's "Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain" frightened us into facing the reality of dying in America, Caitlin Doughty's writing is like being hugged and told everything is going to be okay. Once again Doughty guides us along an entertaining, informative and empathetic journey through death culture and this time we get to travel the world as we do it.

Just like her first book, this is a title I want to hand to people and say, "Read it and then let's talk."
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Solidly written, intelligent, witty, insightful, and unexpectedly heartfelt. I love Caitlin's YouTube series, Ask a Mortician, and equally loved her first book and memoir, The Smoke Gets in your Eyes. Although this book was less autobiography and more historical and informational, I did definitely enjoy it. Plus, the illustrations were haunting and gorgeous.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Calling all fans of cultural anthropology for this dive into how different cultures approach death and funereal rights is eye opening and fascinating. I never know how other people will react to this subject but I found her former book, Smoke gets in your Eyes, which talked about the cremation process utterly engrossing. This book is no exception. She takes us on a world tour of different practices through her easy conversational style,humor ,and her dedicated belief in accepting different cultu ...more
Ruth Berent
Cuando era más joven siempre salía enfadada de los entierros. No entendía como la gente a la que claramente no le importaba nada se ponía en fila para decirte que te acompañaba en el sentimiento, pero en realidad era para hacer acto de presencia. No entendía el cinismo de ir al tanatorio o velatorio o misa solo por quedar bien con la familia del difunto.

Ahora piensa, si el ser que más amas en este mundo muriera ahora, ¿Cómo te sentirías cómod@ despiéndol@? De eso va este libro. Del viaje de una
Reading this book gave me some good ideas for conversation starters!

Doughty's last book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, was a "pull the curtains back" on the funerary industry piece, and I enjoyed that one immensely. This book follows a different logic altogether, instead of Doughty sharing information about her field, she is now learning right along with us as she travels to a few locations [Indonesia, Bolivia, Spain, Mexico, various locations in the US) and lea
I was actually surprised I would Love this book as much has I did! From the first page I was engrossed! It had me like Do people really do these things with their deceased loved ones? It gave me a more cultural perspective on death and how far people will go to persevere that life. I finished this pretty quickly mainly bc I couldn't put it down. When i wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. Haha. I highly recommend this book!!
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
*My 5th book for the 2018 PopSugar Challenge -#17. given to me as a gift.* This book was special and eye-opening. I was introduced to new cultures and new customs regarding death, a topic in which I've always been interested. This book made me rethink everything I thought I knew about death culture and options after passing. It helps the reader take comfort and to see death as a beautiful, natural next step, rather than something to be ignored and feared. I hope this book and Doughty are able to ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Mary Roach
Who says death can't be fun? Well, maybe not death as in the process of dying, but a a good book about death? Sure, it can be lots of fun!
In "From Here to Eternity", Caitlin Doughty takes us to several countries around the world, detailing their practices with their dead. At times quite macabre (this is a book about death, afterall), it is nonetheless a most interesting book. Ms. Doughty mixes wit and sarcasm with fascinating details, making this one delightful book to read! Why is it each cult
From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death
by Caitlin Doughty
It seemed only fitting that I chose to read Caitlin Doughty's “From Here to Eternity" on a rainy Saturday afternoon on the third anniversary of my mother’s death and contemplate a subject that makes most of us a little squeamish. Doughty's book is a frank and good humored look at death rituals around the world. "All will die...We avoid the death that surrounds us at our own peril, missing its beauty and its les
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Mortician Caitlin Doughty—host and creator of "Ask a Mortician" and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes —founded The Order of the Good Death. She lives in Los Angeles, where she runs her nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA.
“It is worth noting that the main players in the recomposition project are women—scientists, anthropologists, lawyers, architects. Educated women, who have the privilege to devote their efforts to righting a wrong. They’ve given prominent space in their professional careers to changing the current system of death. Katrina noted that “humans are so focused on preventing aging and decay—it’s become an obsession. And for those who have been socialized female, that pressure is relentless. So decomposition becomes a radical act. It’s a way to say, ‘I love and accept myself.” 11 likes
“Insist on going to the cremation, insist on going to the burial. Insist on being involved, even if it is just brushing your mother’s hair as she lies in her casket. Insist on applying her favorite shade of lipstick, the one she wouldn’t dream of going to the grave without. Insist on cutting a small lock of her hair to place in a locket or a ring. Do not be afraid. These are human acts, acts of bravery and love in the face of death and loss.” 8 likes
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