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Death becomes you, and it's just another fact of life explored in Cause of Death, a revealing abundance of startling data, false perceptions, bizarre fallacies, and some totally unexpected statistics about how, why, when, and where we all bite the dust, check out, buy the farm, kick the bucket, and all those other euphemisms for perishing after falling out of bed (roughly 1,800 fitful sleepers a year). It also answers questions most people never even consider (but should):

Do crocodiles kill more people than alligators?
Are we more prone to commit suicide or murder?
How many still die from leprosy?
Does salmonella have anything to do with salmon?
Can the condition of your toenails predict your mortality?
What's the connection between kitty litter and brain damage?
Has irony ever killed anyone?*

Disease, accidents, occupational hazards, poisons, plagues, infections, murder, fauna and fungi, insect bites, war, and even bison. What's the most popular killer of the decade? The rarest? How many deaths per year by age? Gender? Location? Time of day? Stupidity? All this and more in a book you really shouldn't be living without.

* Yes! While experimenting with the safe preservation of food in snow, Sir Francis Bacon caught a cold and died.

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    We can go anytime. But in so many different ways!

    Poor death, so misunderstood. We feel bad for dying patients when ultimately we are just as dead as they are. Doctors talk about saving lives, when they are actually just delaying death a bit. I always found it strange how talking about our inevitable fate is often considered morbid and taboo. I appreciated how Cause of Death it treats this dark theme with a lot of good humor. The book is a compilation of curious statistics of death in the United States and the world. It is divided in chapters like cancer, vascular diseases, hormones, bugs, war, starvation, murder, etc. As you can see, it is the perfect gift for that hypochondriac aunt of yours. What I liked the most about the book where the boxes of curious historical deaths. Like literal “fashion victim” Isadora Duncan, suffocated by her long flowing scarf when it became entangled in the back wheel of her roadster. There are several other weird ways people have died, but my favorite is martial arts teacher Tran Quoc Dong’s, the world’s only known victim of karaoke, electrocuted by his microphone while singing in 2003. Perhaps what got me more impressed was the Big Cats section. I had no idea tigers and lions killed – and still kill to this day – so many people. Cancer statistics are also good to scare smokers a lot. A friend of mine stopped smoking after I nagged him reciting a few passages. Another curious fact is that Cause of Death has a brief introduction by Star Wars killer George Lucas. I did miss a bit more in-depth information, but that would contain the broad scope of the book. As it is, Cause of Death is good guide for the curious or perhaps writers trying to find creative ways to kill their darlings


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