'I have yet to come away from reading [Bering's] work and not feel considerably better informed than I was minutes before' (Forbes)
This penetrating analysis aims to demystify a subject that knows no cultural or demographic boundaries.
Why do people want to kill themselves?
Despite the prevalence of suicide in the developed world, it's a question most of us fail to ask. On hearing news of a suicide we are devastated, but overwhelmingly we feel disbelief.
In A Very Human Ending, research psychologist Jesse Bering lifts the lid on this taboo subject, examining the suicidal mindset from the inside out to reveal the subtle tricks the mind can play when we're easy emotional prey. In raising challenging questions Bering tests our contradictory superstitions about the act itself.
Combining cutting-edge research with investigative journalism and first-person testimony, Bering also addresses the history of suicide and its evolutionary inheritance to offer a personal, accessible, yet scientifically sound examination of why we are the only species on earth that deliberately ends its own life.
Bering's book touches upon some deep questions relevant to all of us. Indeed, it is as much about what makes us uniquely human as it is about suicide. A Very Human Ending transcends its own objectives. It is a fascinating, thoughtful, unflinching meditation on one of the most intriguing and curious aspects of the human condition.
I'm not surprised that a book on suicide would be very personal, but I didn’t expect it to be so damn funny. It's also engaging, thoughtful, and sensitive – although Bering is certainly irreverent, there is a real appreciation of how painful and difficult this topic can be. This is a book for scholars and for a general audience, but it is also entirely suitable for people whose lives have been touched by the suicide of someone they loved.
I have yet to come away from reading [Bering’s] work and not feel considerably better informed than I was just minutes before