Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud

Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud

Title:Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781476739335
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:272 pages

Is it still possible to fake your own death in the twenty-first century? With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. So off she sets on a darkly comic foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear--but your suspicious insurance company might hire a private detective to dig up your coffin...only to find it filled with rocks.

Greenwood tracks down a British man who staged a kayaking accident and then returned to live in his own house while all his neighbors thought he was dead. She takes a call from Michael Jackson (no, he's not dead--or so her new acquaintances would have her believe), stalks message boards for people contemplating pseudocide, and gathers intel on black market morgues in the Philippines, where she may or may not obtain some fraudulent goodies of her own. Along the way, she learns that love is a much less common motive than money, and that making your death look like a drowning virtually guarantees that you'll be caught. (Disappearing while hiking, however, is a way great to go.)

Playing Dead is a charmingly bizarre investigation in the vein of Jon Ronson and Mary Roach into our all-too-human desire to escape from the lives we lead, and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives--and their families--to start again.


    Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud Reviews

  • Esil

    I thought I would like Playing Dead more than I did. Really, how could a book about people faking their own deaths not be interesting? Surely, most people fantasize every now and then about disappeari...

  • Diane

    Fun idea for a book, but I had to abandon this due to poor writing. ...

  • Rebecca

    This was great fun. Thinking of the six-figure education debt weighing on her shoulders, Greenwood surveys various cases of people who faked their own death or simply tried to disappear. Death fraud/‚...

  • Jennifer

    pseudocidepseu¬∑do¬∑cide (soo‚Ä≤dŇć-sńęd‚Ä≤) n.The act of faking one's suicide or death.I've thought about disappearing before. It was just a little flutter of a thought that lasted a few seconds befo...

  • J.

    Basically a compendium of anecdotes and shaggy dog stories relating to faking your own death. The sheer inventiveness of the participants is often so intriguing and so beguiling that the reader can't ...

  • Greg

    Reading this book first made me think of this... cease to resist given my goodbyeand then this one.... bag full of oily rags, fifty cent lighter, dreams of retirement in Cancun burning ever brighter, ...

  • abby

    Can someone really fake their death in 2016? In the era of the internet, Google Earth, and surveillance cameras? In Playing Dead, Elizabeth Greenwood tackles that very question. With a mix of humor an...

  • Jennifer

    Stupid stupid stupid (both the book and me for reading it). I can't believe I wasted my first book of the new year on this piece of garbage. An intriguing book description that failed to deliver in so...

  • Meg

    Brb sending the audiobook to Ryan Lochte....

  • SerialReader

    Strangled by debts? Cops are after you? or is it your ex-wife stalking and demanding for more money? Either be one or the other, here's your way out: faking your death could be the solution to your pr...