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.) (Publishers Weekly, June 8, 2009)
Introduction. Chapter 1: The Cosmic Lexicon (A Glossary of the Hereafter). Chapter 2: Great Moments in Eternity, Part 1 (A Timeline: 2000 B.C.E. to 1563). Chapter 3: Great Moments in Eternity, Part 2 (A Timeline: 1743 to Present Day). Chapter 4: Geography of the Beyond (Where You Might Go). Chapter 5: The Bible on Heaven (A Scriptural Tour of Glory). Chapter 6: The Bible on Hell (A Holy Trek Through the Fiery Pit). Chapter 7: The Afterlists (Cataloging Kingdom Come). Selected Bibliography. The Author.