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Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper

af Lori Erickson

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3412579,424 (3.69)1
"An ideal guidebook to facing the inevitable." --Foreword Reviews  After her brother died unexpectedly and her mother moved into a dementia-care facility, spiritual travel writer and Episcopal deacon Lori Erickson felt called to a new quest: to face death head on, with the eye of a tourist and the heart of a pastor. Blending memoir, spirituality, and travel, Near the Exit examines how cultures confront and have confronted death, from Egypt's Valley of the Kings and Mayan temples, to a Colorado cremation pyre and Day of the Dead celebrations, to Maori settlements and tourist-destination graveyards. Erickson reflects on mortality--the ways we avoid it, the ways we cope with it, and the ways life is made more precious by accepting it--in places as far away as New Zealand and as close as the nursing home up the street. Throughout her personal journey and her travels, Erickson helps us to see that one of the most life-affirming things we can do is to invite death along for the ride.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked the premise of this book, for the author to come to terms with her mortality by traveling to and visiting different places such as King Tut’s tomb. However, I became increasingly disinterested in her quests, the more I read. Basically, it seemed as if she could not decide between her book being a memoir, travel book or history book. She glossed over her feelings and began sharing mainly facts. I learned a lot though. ( )
  joyfulmimi | Dec 7, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Enjoyable read. Much more a memoir than a travel book. Not too heavy, despite the subject matter. The author is a travel writer and a member of the Episcopal clergy. She laces her writing with a dose of humor and a dose of reality. I found her writing on her mother touching. I thought that she approached the places she visited with an open mind. I am not Christian and I did not find her references to her spiritual point of view off-putting. (Some other reviewers have mentioned this.) I don't think you can get an honest memoir without the author telling it like they see it. You don't have to agree to get something from the writing.

The Buddha told us that one problem of human existence is that we think we have time. We really don't. But I would make some to read this book. ( )
  AzureMountain | Nov 30, 2019 |
Near The Exit:Travels With the Not-So-Grim Reaper
by Lori Erickson
2019
Westminister JohnKnoxPress
3.5 / 5.0

Lori Erickson is a travel writer, and, also, an Episcopalian deacon. After her brothers death, and her mother was placed in a memory- care facility, she began this memoir as a "quest, to face death head on, with the eye of a tourist and heart of a pastor."
From Egypts Valley of the Kings, and the Mayan temples, to Colorados Creamtion pyre....from Day of the Dead celebrations to Maori Settlements to graveyards, Erickson blends this memoir with spirituality and travel. Absolutely enjoyable, and funny, from start to finish.
The cover is mole-skin feelings, embossed and really a stand out. ( )
  over.the.edge | Nov 22, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not very inclusive...
This book is a travel memoir that is supposed to explain the effects of death and dying throughout different cultures in the world.
I'm going to be one of the odd men out here. I started to enjoy this book but the constant reminder that the author is of a Christian religion really makes you look at the practices of different cultures in the wrong light. Referring to some of these practices as "icky" and the like, is truly a medieval and indeed barbaric way to describe such things. Some of these instances irritated me and others downright pissed me off.
I understand that the majority of her audience that is reading this book is from a Western culture, however you cannot be so uninclusive and so presumptuous as to think that some of the audience of this book is going to not be of the Christian religion. I mean, you simply cannot just write a book about death and dying and tilt it towards one singular religion and not piss a few people off. That's it, that's all I have to say on the matter.
There are also a few inaccuracies that I caught in the book. I won't list them out, but I feel as if the book was researched enough to write a book but not researched to the point where it is correct.
The author does a good job in describing her own musings but that is nearly the only thing that I like about this book. ( )
  SumisBooks | Nov 1, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked it well enough, and for those who didn't already know much about other cultures, I think it would be more enjoyable/enlightening. There is a nice set of group discussion questions at the end. I think this work would also make a nice, friendly, interesting way to introduce kids to the idea that there isn't just one way to view the passing of our loved ones.

The humor, almost immature, was off-putting to me as was the occasional negative criticism of another culture's practices ("no freakin' way") and I kept being surprised to remember this was a deacon of mature age doing the writing.

The connection between travel and the study on the topic of death was, I thought, not as clear as it could have been. Yes, she traveled to the places she wrote about, but I wouldn't place this at all under the "travel/tourism" heading. Not sure how I would improve that, but it felt vague to me.

The best chapters for me were on ancient Egypt, hospice care, the Aztecs and Mayans, eulogies, and graveyards. They offered the most in-depth study on the topic, the most thought-provoking statements, and new info.

I received my copy free from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  seongeona | Oct 28, 2019 |
Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
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In the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen, death was everywhere: splayed out on a beach towel like a vacationer who'd gotten way too much sun, dressed in a spangled tuxedo as it walked on stilts through the crowd, projected as a huge dancing skeleton on the side of a building.
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I realize she's in the Eternal Now, a state reached not through meditation, but through the gradual fraying of the synapses in her brain. When I'm with her, it feels as if time stops for me as well.
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"An ideal guidebook to facing the inevitable." --Foreword Reviews  After her brother died unexpectedly and her mother moved into a dementia-care facility, spiritual travel writer and Episcopal deacon Lori Erickson felt called to a new quest: to face death head on, with the eye of a tourist and the heart of a pastor. Blending memoir, spirituality, and travel, Near the Exit examines how cultures confront and have confronted death, from Egypt's Valley of the Kings and Mayan temples, to a Colorado cremation pyre and Day of the Dead celebrations, to Maori settlements and tourist-destination graveyards. Erickson reflects on mortality--the ways we avoid it, the ways we cope with it, and the ways life is made more precious by accepting it--in places as far away as New Zealand and as close as the nursing home up the street. Throughout her personal journey and her travels, Erickson helps us to see that one of the most life-affirming things we can do is to invite death along for the ride.

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