The Seven Ages of Death

The Seven Ages of Death : A Forensic Pathologist's Journey Through Life

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Description

Pre-order the heart-wrenchingly honest new book about life and death from forensic pathologist and bestselling author of Unnatural Causes, Dr Richard Shepherd.

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

Dr Richard Shepherd, Britain's top forensic pathologist, has spent a lifetime close to the dead.

As a medical detective, each autopsy he carries out is its own unique investigation, uncovering the secrets not only of how a person died, but also of how, through every stage of life, the risks to each of us ebb and flow.

Through twenty-four of his most intriguing, enlightening and never-before-told cases, Dr Shepherd shares autopsies that span the seven ages of human existence, and have taught him as much about the marvels of life as the inevitability of death. From old to young, from murder to misadventure, and from illness to accidental death, each of these bodies has something to reveal: about human development, about mortality, about its owner's life story, about justice and even about Shepherd himself.

From the bestselling author of Unnatural Causes comes a powerful, moving 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), how to embrace it as the last great adventure.

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Praise for Dr Richard Shepherd

'Gripping, grimly fascinating, and I suspect I'll read it at least twice' Evening Standard

'A deeply mesmerising memoir of forensic pathology. Human and fascinating' Nigella Lawson

'An absolutely brilliant book. I really recommend it, I don't often say that but it's fascinating' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

'Puts the reader at his elbow as he wields the scalpel' Guardian

'Fascinating, gruesome yet engrossing' Richard and Judy, Daily Express

'Fascinating, insightful, candid, compassionate' Observer
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 30mm | 500g
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9780241472040
  • 161,502

Review Text

Heart-wrenchingly honest
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Review quote

Enlightening, strangely uplifting . . . Shepherd's final chapter on death itself is a meditation of great beauty and light which puts all the darkness of the previous pages into perspective * Daily Mail * Each chapter is like a finely crafted detective story in which he expands on the causes of death as revealed by the post mortem, or the hidden reasons that precipitated it. Some are ordinary, others extraordinary. Shepherd writes beautifully, and despite its subject, the book is very funny in parts * Daily Telegraph * Deeply insightful . . . Shepherd is unflinching in his self-dissection * The Times * Fascinating * Daily Express * Fascinating. He has the ability to examine himself and other people with the same forensic eye that he applies to corpses - one of the reasons why his books feel so life-enhancing * Daily Telegraph * Praise for Dr Richard Shepherd * - * One of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time. Engrossing, a haunting page-turner. A book I could not put down * The Times * Heart-wrenchingly honest Gripping, grimly fascinating, and I suspect I'll read it at least twice * Evening Standard * A deeply mesmerising memoir of forensic pathology. Human and fascinating An absolutely brilliant book. I really recommend it, I don't often say that but it's fascinating Puts the reader at his elbow as he wields the scalpel * The Guardian * Fascinating, insightful, candid, compassionate * Observer * Heart-wrenchingly honest * Mail Online *
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About Dr Richard Shepherd

Richard Shepherd was born in West London but grew up in Watford. At the local grammar school he was introduced to a medical textbook smuggled into the classroom by a friend which opened his eyes to the world of crime and murder, setting him on a lifelong quest to understand death in its many forms. He trained as a doctor at St George's Hospital medical school at Hyde Park Corner, qualifying in 1977 and then completed his postgraduate training as a forensic pathologist in 1987. He immediately joined what was then the elite forensic department at Guy's Hospital.

He has been involved nationally and internationally in the forensic investigation of thousands of deaths from unnatural causes, from headline-making murders to mass natural disasters, and many sudden and unexplained deaths that his investigations showed were from natural causes or due to accidents. His skills and expertise still remain in demand around the world.
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