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Suicide has been part of human life since the dawn of time, but has never been so widely and openly discussed as it is today. With the ongoing debate about the rights of the terminally ill to end their own lives, the phenomenon of Internet sites dedicated to advice on how to end your life, and the craze for mass suicides among the Japanese, suicide is rarely out of the news in the 21st century.

Udo Grashoff has discovered 45 suicide notes that help us to better understand why despairing people commit the ultimate taboo. In this fascinating collection those reasons are remarkably universal, from unrequited love, to loss of a spouse, to simple frustration with a domestic situation.

Despite the universality of its subject matter, this book is unique.

Reviews

'Udo Grashoff brings into the light a human response we too readily shroud in that cowardly term "inexplicable"'
Matthew Parris
A remarkable anthology of suicide letters ... signalling a new fascination and openness about a centuries-old taboo
The Times
'Compulsively fascinating'
Alexander Waugh, Daily Telegraph
'An intriguing investigation'
Guardian
'A remarkable book'
The Good Book Guide
'Very moving'
Ann Widdecombe
The letters inspire morbid curiosity
FT Magazine
'A heart-wrenching anthology...offers hope of recognition as well as prevention'
Daily Telegraph, Australia
'Utterly compelling'
Townsville Bulletin
'A grim but fascinating insight into human nature. Macabre of course, but undeniably captivating all the same'
Independent Weekly, Australia
'enlightening and thoughtful'
Canberra Times