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

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

The best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with “dignity.”

Fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body. Grandpa’s mummy has lived in the family home for two years, where the family has maintained a warm and respectful relationship. She meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and introduces us to a Japanese kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes.

With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters vividly decomposed bodies and participates in compelling, powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in America. Featuring Gorey-esque illustrations by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity introduces death-care innovators researching green burial and body composting, explores new spaces for mourning—including a glowing-Buddha columbarium in Japan and America’s only open-air pyre—and reveals unexpected new possibilities for our own death rituals.

Title:From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780393249897
Format Type:

About Caitlin Doughty

Mortician Caitlin Doughty—host and creator of


    From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death Reviews

  • PorshaJo

    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 f...

  • Petra X

    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 collab...

  • 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 k...

  • Emily

    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 ...

  • Emily

    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 ...

  • Ammar

    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-in...

  • Ashley Brooks

    4.5In 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...

  • Sydney (?????)

    This was quite interesting as it covers the more common features of how different cultures approach death. The Thai culture was probably the more interesting, as they follow the same ancient tradition...

  • Ross Blocher

    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 a...

  • 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 w...