Although slightly macabre, Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious is a gruesomely good read. There are the obligatory and well-worn tales of Virginia Woolf and “Papa” Hemingway, but they are given new life (pardon the expression), descriptions of last days that in both cases include prior attempts shortly before their big finales.
A surprise for me was that Sigmund Freud killed himself. Hang on, before you ascribe something “Freudian” to that. The reason he killed himself is that he had oral cancer and had holes in his jaw. His great motivator was stopping the pain and not indicative of mental instability.
The number of self-eliminators who were for certain - or probably were - bipolar is downright spooky. Then there is the group of drug and/or alcohol addicts including rock’s “27” club: Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison and more recently Kurt Cobain.
Death Becomes Them qualifies as a guilty pleasure, a great read for those who can stomach the subject matter.