As someone with a keen curiosity about Near Death Experiences, I found this book to be something of a disappointment.
On the plus side, Fox collects and examines a wide assortment of near-death narratives from a variety of sources, including the standard books on NDEs (near-death experiences) by folks like Raymond Moody and Kenneth Ring. In addition, Fox draws upon the files of the Religious Experience Research Centre housed at the University of Wales; these accounts provide a further means with which to identify the key elements of the particular type of religious experience known as an NDE, in contrast and comparison with the other types of religious-experience collected in the RERC files. For those who are new to this literature, Fox's book provides a helpful overview; he is to be commended for the thoroughness of his research.
I was less impressed, however, with Fox's attempts at walking readers through the complex maze of current academic conversation regarding NDEs. To his credit, Fox approaches each academic paradigm with a genuine spirit of openness; nevertheless, this reader was left with the impression that Fox was simply unwilling to engage these various academic paradigms with critical rigor, let alone acknowledge that they can't all be of equal validity. Those shortcomings would be less of an irritant, were Fox himself not so inclined to lecture theologians and philosophers over their reluctance to become more engaged in the whole area of NDE research. Indeed, Fox's book unwittingly provides powerful justification for their reluctance! Despite their considerable fascination, theologians and philosophers alike are wise to approach NDEs with considerable caution since they provide--Fox's assertions to the contrary notwithstanding--a thin foundation on which to build either a theological or a philosophical edifice.
On the whole, this is a volume I would recommend only to those deeply interested not only in Near Death Experiences, but in the multi-dimensional academic conversation that has grown up around NDEs over the past 25 years.