The Forbidden Zone

Michael Lesy, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $16.95 (250p) ISBN 978-0-374-15756-2
Lesy's theme is Americans' denial of, and fascination with, death. Slaughterhouse workers who kill animals supposedly devoid of a soul, hospice professionals who advocate ""the good death,'' gun-toting cops with the cold attitude of hunters, morticians who display corpses as if they were merely asleepall reflect our society's institutionalization of the denial of death. The Forbidden Zone is a series of encounters with the dead and dying. Lesy visits convicts on death row, talks with homicide detectives, caretakers of AIDS patients and a mercenary killer. He takes part in killing an animal at a packing house and also interviews an Orthodox rabbi who supervises ritual slaughter. But this freewheeling report by the author of Wisconsin Death Trip and Visible Light fails to penetrate to the meaning of the deaths, the pain and suffering it coolly examines. In the end, this semilurid account becomes one more symptom of our inability to connect with death. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 250 pages - 978-0-385-26034-3
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