O Me of Little Faith

The June 8, 2009, issue of Publisher’s Weekly features a review of Pocket Guide to the Afterlife…and (holding my breath) it’s a good review!

Here it is:


Pocket Guide to the Afterlife: Heaven, Hell and Other Ultimate Destinations
Jason Boyett
. Jossey-Bass, $12.95 paper (165p) ISBN 978-0-470-37311-8

Who says death can’t be funny? Boyett, the author of two other Pocket Guides (to Sainthood and to the Bible), has a gift for irreverent, humorous prose that is also quite informative. This guide is a hodge-podge mix of factoids, kitsch and jokes about what various religions teach regarding what happens after we die. The author covers a wide swath of material, from Mayan and Aztec religions to the invention of the defibrillator and its connection to increased near-death experiences. Boyett also takes a walk through the Bible to highlight what it states about heaven and hell and who is likely to end up in each. The Lettermanesque “Afterlists” are quite amusing—such as “18 symbols of death throughout the ages” and “11 highly attractive synonyms for heaven.” The author should be commended for the user-friendly layout and for laboring to explicate non-Western religious traditions to a largely Western audience. Here’s hoping this pocket guide series does not die off anytime soon. (Aug.)


It’s always good news when the first published review is a positive one, especially when it’s from Publisher’s Weekly. I join the venerable publication in hoping “this pocket guide series does not die off anytime soon.”

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