As many of you know, my book collecting far exceeds my book reading, and as a result I have collected many odd books, including books on bodily functions (The Big Book of Bodily Functions and The Art of the Fart), books on all the weird and wonderful aspects of neurology, books of Cockney and Irish slang, books on computer programming languages…
…and then there’s the books on death. Because I’m a sick little monkey. And also because it’s kind of an interesting topic, when looked at objectively.
Firstly, I have a book called The Pocket Book Of Death. Written by Morgan Reilly and Joanna Tempest, with great illustrations by three of the four creators of webcomic Cyanide & Happiness, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick and Kris Wilson, this neat little book serves as a compendium on this morbid subject, covering aspects such as the history of death, facts and statistics from around the world, the science behind death, odd rituals, urban myths and so much more. It’s presented in an easy to read and concise manner, and is quite funny and entertaining too – I read the book in a single sitting. But at over 150 pages, it’s definitely bursting with information, much of which you might not have known.
Secondly, I have a book by David Southwell and Matt Adams titled 1001 Ridiculous Ways To Die. As you might have guessed, it covers 1001 true stories of some of the most silly ways people have died, from people being killed by flying lettuces, to a convicted murderer electrocuting himself…on the toilet, to a show off who died when he tried to lift a beer keg over his head in a pub. Most of the stories are only a paragraph in length, making it fun to read in short sharp bursts when you’re feeling bored, although this also makes it easy to keep reading on (“oh, one more story and then I’ll put the book down”). Entertaining, hilarious, and downright bizarre, this book is a must for anybody with a slightly strange and dark sense of humour.
What about you – are you interested in this topic, and do you think you could find it funny? Would you read either of these books? Have you read any books on the topic yourself?