'I have not often,' says Dr Nuland, 'seen much dignity in the process by which we die.' Seeking (cruelly?) to break down the comforting stereotype of a dignified and spiritual demise, Nuland has effectively written a guide book to death, walking all the pop ular routes: stroke, heart failure, cancer, HIV, suicide, fatal wounding, senility. He takes no prisoners. Near-death experience? Simply biochemistry. Denial? Inescapable for most. Modern medicine? Too obsessed with high-tech solutions. Doctors? Badly behaved when their patients die. An absolutely fascinating book.