Reviews and media


~The End: The Human Experience of Death is enlightening, in the best possible way, about something that is such a fundamental part of life, most of us choose to avoid dwelling on it. An accomplished science journalist, Bianca Nogrady has covered every base in her investigation of the phenomena of death – philosophy, medicine, science, ethics and culture. Her starting point, in each of these areas, is the assumption that the more we know about death – the more we understand the mechanics of our own obsolescence – the less we have to fear from it.” …”The End teems with voices – of experts, doctors, patients, ethicists, ”death doulas” and family members. There must be 50 stories knitted into the text, giving even the sad stories (for me, these were of children dying) a heartbeat of rich human suffering. Conveyed sensitively, these stories give a kaleidoscopic picture of an experience that most of us encounter as isolated events involving other people. The summary effect of reading these stories is weirdly exhilarating.” – Helen Hayward, The Sydney Morning Herald. Read more here.

~ “The author anticipates all the questions on life’s end including ‘why do we die’? … A treatise for anyone who has contemplated their own mortality — which must be everyone who has ever drawn breath.” – Martin Stevenson, The Launceston Examiner.

~ “Well researched, clearly written, technically precise yet brimming with compassion and no punches pulled… By increasing our understanding, the book helps demystify yet still glorify ‘the end’ that awaits us all.” GPSpeak magazine.

~ “…so far it is a deep and thoughtful examination of death (and life), considered from a range of viewpoints: medical, religious, and personal. I was particularly interested in reading Bianca Nogrady’s ideas about a ‘good’ death. This is well worth reading, and certainly relevant to everyone!” –  Katoomba Library staff. Read more here.

~ “Drawing on interviews with doctors, bioethicists, palliative care physicians and spiritual leaders, The End looks at the big issues of why we have to die, what exactly is death and what is it like to die. It’s a timely read, set against modern medicine’s “treat at all costs” mentality and a society that seems to be increasingly reluctant to face up to the inevitability of death… For doctors and patients alike, this is a thought-provoking read that is sure to prove a conversation-starter about the unavoidable end.” – Megan Howe,  Australian Doctor newspaper.

~ “Through engaging, heartfelt anecdotes, Australian journalist Nogrady (The Sixth Wave) researched what it might be like to die—from those who have experienced it and those who have observed the experience intimately, such as caretakers … She has produced a brave, clear-eyed work and is not afraid to join science with spirituality.” –  Publishers Weekly.

~ “The author, a freelance science journalist takes us on a journey to understand death from every conceivable angle – spiritual, physical, metaphysical.  From chapters on why we die; palliative care; dying at home  to death and belief, this book may be just what we all need to help dispel our fear of death.  Nogrady covers organ donations, palliative care, diagnosing death, where to die and so on.  Fascinating and informative.” – Lyn,  The Reader’s Haven blog.

~ “Given the universal nature of the subject, anyone now alive could benefit from reading this book. But it constitutes a virtual treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom for those of us who are regularly called upon to counsel and comfort the grief-stricken and bereft. We learn why death is not always the worst thing that could happen and why bedside conversations should always be positive.” – Larry Timberlake, Panui, the magazine of the Celebrants Association of New Zealand.

~ “In her book The End: The Human Experience of Death, science journalist Bianca Nogrady writes that it is not uncommon for the dying to cling to life for days through bedside vigils and then slip away the minute their carers step out for a cup of tea. It seems these people choose to leave alone, without fuss, their departure an intensely private act.” – Sarah Macdonald, Sydney Morning Herald. Read more here.


~  Conversations with Richard Fidler, ABC Local Radio, 14 May 2013:

“Bianca is a science journalist who wanted to know much more about what happens when life ends. For decades now doctors have been struggling to come up with a definitive definition of death. Is it when the heart stops? Or the lungs fail? Or when brain activity ends? Bianca has brought the medical research together with personal stories of people who have undergone near-death experiences. Listen or download here.

~  Sydney Morning Herald, Life & Style, 2 May 2013:

“The end. Scary, sad or simply a sublime part of life’s cycle? Everyone has a different sense of what will happen when we die. So mysterious is the journey of death that entire lives have been dedicated to understanding what it is and what happens. It is a subject that science journalist Bianca Nogrady also seeks to explore in her new book The EndRead more.

~  Nightlife with Tony Delroy on ABC Local, 6 May 2013:

Death. For something so common many of us try pretty hard to ignore the fact that it even exists. But, the kind of death many of us are likley to experience is changing. So, how do we make sure that we leave this world in the manner we would like? Joining Tony in the studio is Dr Peter Saul from Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital as well as science jounalist and author of ‘The End – The Human Experience of Death‘ Bianca Nogrady. Listen here or download the podcast here.

~  Open House with Peter Hartcher, May 26, 2013:

The avoidance and denial of death takes many forms. Science Journalist Bianca Nogrady has explored the journey and shares some stories from her book The End. She talks about those who’ve made it back from the brink of death, the medical advances to save lives and explains what defines death. Listen here or download the podcast here.

~ – The Australian Writers’ Centre blog, 8 May 2013:

Bianca Nogrady, who freely confesses she “is yet to meet a piece of research she doesn’t find fascinating”, is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and sites as diverse as Scientific American, The Australian, and the ABC’s health, science and environment websites.

She is also the co-author of The Sixth Wave: How To Succeed In A Resource-Limited World with James Bradfield Moody and has just released her latest book, The End, which examines our understanding of death in an effort to demystify one of our society’s last great taboo subjects. Read more.

~  Body Mind Spirit Chat with Evelyn Calaunan, Blue Mountains FM 89.1, 16 June 2013:

Evelyn interviews Bianca Nogrady about her provocative book entitled “The End“, which sets out to explore our understanding of life’s most mysterious journey – death. Listen here.

~  Listeners in the Mist podcast from Katoomba Library, 10 July 2013:

Bianca talks to Naomi Oliver about life, work and The End, for the Katoomba Library ‘Listeners in the Mist’ podcast. Listen here.

Latest news

At 2013 Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Dr David Celermajer, Dr Peter Saul and The End author Bianca Nogrady dissected, diagnosed and debated death in an attempt to work out where we went wrong with death and how we might be able to fix it. Watch it here.

Death: what are your choices

Death is a lot like birth. Sometimes it's a peaceful, even beautiful event that goes according to plan. Sometimes it's a horrible bloody mess that is utterly beyond all control. Most of the time, it's a bit of both. We have this idea that death is something that just happens to us. It's true, you will, at some point, die, and that is not subject to negotiation with any earthly power. But that doesn't mean that we are powerless in the face of death. Some of us can actually have a lot of say in the kind of death we have. Read more.