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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The heart-wrenchingly honest new book about life and death from forensic pathologist and best-selling author of Unnatural Causes, Dr Richard Shepherd.

This book is about death, but in it I will take listeners on a journey through life....

What can death teach us about life? 

Conducting many thousands of post-mortems has given Dr Richard Shepherd the opportunity to examine death at every stage of life. Each autopsy is its own unique investigation, providing evidence of how, through life, the risks to us ebb and flow. From old to young, from murder to misadventure and from illness to accidental death, each body has taught him something: about human development, about mortality, about its owner's life story, about justice and even about himself. 

From the best-selling author of Unnatural Causes comes a powerful, moving, endlessly fascinating and, above all, reassuring book about death as it touches our own lives - how to understand it, how best to postpone it, and, when our time comes (as it must come), how to embrace it, as the last great adventure on our journey through life.

©2021 Dr Richard Shepherd (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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Excellent

Loved it, finished it in two sittings. Dr Shepherd has the ability to intertwine scientific facts and personal anecdotes to create a context for every case and story. Just like his first book, I'm struck by his respect and understanding of both the dead and the living, his honesty is admirable. Highly recommend this book for anyone interested in forensics, anatomy or medicin in any way. To be honest, I think everyone could benefit from it. I sincerely hope this won't be his last book

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A gloomy book, but impossible to put down

The experience of listening to this audiobook was a strange one. The first book by Richard Shepherd was released approx. 3 years ago. That first book was more of a biography threaded through strange or controversial cases worked on by this pathologist. This second book offers more in-depth discussion on other cases centered around accidents, murders, loneliness, suicide, and natural deaths across the young and more mature generations. This time, biographical aspects are more limited, while the coverage of poignant, peculiar, or baffling cases is more fluid and sometimes relentless.

After long periods of lock down loneliness or overwhelming stress, this may be a difficult book for many people to entertain.
Dr Shepherd’s narration and examination of thought-provoking cases creates a gloomy ambiance which is firmly buoyed by a detailed examination of the events that occur at cellular level in tissues, and major organs when the body ebbs with the stresses of age, disease or injury. It really can make one feel very vulnerable. The book will strike chords with those readers who become immersed in it.

You will gain fascinating insights on aging and disease and human brutality. There are reminiscences of deaths that could have been avoided if the deceased, or relatives of the deceased, had trusted the medical profession to a greater extent. Had I not trusted a team of oncologists when I was 15 years of age, I would not have reached 16 years of age, so these ruminations on those particular cases made me feel particularly melancholic. I met Dr Shepherd at one his talks in Stratford-upon-Avon in the summer of 2019, less than a year after the release of his first book. I am glad that I was able to spend a few mins with him and sit listening in a tightly packed, warm and eager audience that was prepared to devour the conversation. Great book but reflect on your state of mind prior to embarking on it. It may not be suitable for people who are depressed or feeling anxious. Note that this is my personal opinion and is not connected to my employment or employer.

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Amazing and scary

Eye opener on the life, our choices and how they turn into consequences. I loved it - might have just scared me healthy!

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A must read

An excellent book and really is a must read. Informative, interesting and I will problem listen to it again.

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Just brilliant

Another fantastic piece of work by Dr Shepherd. A throughly engaging book throughout, one which I could not put down. Beautifully written and narrated, with thought and consideration for the families involved in the cases discussed. I did not want the book to end.
I am very glad I found Dr Shepherd’s books and will look forward to a third book, should he decide to write one.

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magnificent

fantastic read. very honest view of life and death and an amazing life at that. thank you Dr Shepherd.

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Fantastic

A must read! Brilliant book and so well narrated by the author. would read it again!

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Interesting however not as page Turing as last one

The first book was fascinating couldn’t put it down. This book is different… as the first books story was exhausted.
Interesting insights into health issues by decade of life. Too late for me as many who read this to learn this truth I suspect…

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Brilliant book

loved he whole book. The way in which he put his cases together made sense. 10/10

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Utterly fascinating!

Chose this book with some apprehension due to the title but had read previous book by author, which was so good that decided to give it a go. Totally absorbing from beginning to end just loved the clear and considered delivery of the detail of each case and the explanation of what happens to the body at different ages of life. So thought provoking as we are all make this journey and comforting too. Difficult subject beautifully delivered.

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  • Nicky Brouwer
  • 21-01-22

A great read!

Brilliantly narrated by the author. A pleasure to listen. I was engrossed in the different scenarios he was explaining here. A world I know very little about. Well recommended and thoroughly enjoyable.