- Gebundene Ausgabe: 254 Seiten
- Verlag: W W Norton & Co Inc (21. Oktober 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0393240231
- ISBN-13: 978-0393240238
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15 x 2,3 x 21,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 77.808 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 21. Oktober 2014
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Mehr über den Autor
A book as graphic and morbid as this one could easily suck its readers into a bout of sorrow, but Doughty a trustworthy tour guide through the repulsive and wondrous world of death keeps us laughing. --Rachel Lubitz"
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Caitlin Doughty was born and raised in Hawaii before gaining a degree in Medieval History from the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she owns an alternative funeral home, Undertaking LA. She is the creator of the 'Ask a Mortician' web series, the founder of the death acceptance collective The Order of the Good Dead and co-founder of Death Salon. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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A great antidote against the hypocrisy in our dealings with death.
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The author of this book has been fascinated with the subject of death and dying since she was a young girl and witnessed the death of another young girl who took a fall at a local mall. For years afterwards she was filled with angst and trepidation and described herself as "functionally morbid."
When she went to college she got a degree in medieval history with a focus on death and rituals and afterwards got a job working at a mortuary - the Westwind Cremation & Burial.
This book describes her experiences facing death straight on and how it actually eased her own existential angst and made her better able to appreciate and enjoy her own life. We not only read (detailed) descriptions of what happens to bodies in a crematorium, we also learn about other mortuary practices and what really happens behind the scenes.
The author makes such an important case against our own culture's tendency to avoid death (and aging!) and to try to avoid its very existence. She points out how in the past and how even today - in other cultures - family and neighbors took care of their dead and witnessed dying all the time. She points out how important that is to accepting our own death and by doing so, make it less frightening and esoteric.
Lest I give the impression that this is a depressing book, for me it was not. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments and when I finished the last page I found myself with a little less of my own existential angst.
This book reminded me a lot of science writer Mary Roach and I feel like I'd love to hang out and be friends with both of them. Ms. Doughty has such a pleasant writing style and when you're finished reading, you will not only have been entertained but educated as well. She takes on this sobering and angst-filled subject with an abundance of wit and sensitivity. I hope this book gets the attention and audience it deserves.
In addition to her own story, Doughty skillfully weaves in a history of embalming, American funeral traditions, other cultures' funeral rites and beliefs about death, and how the mortuary industry works, and it's all quite interesting, if sometimes a little difficult to read. If you're squeamish, it might be best to steer clear, as Doughty spares no description in her quest to open the reader's eyes to what really happens to our bodies after we die and how we can best understand and deal with death more honestly and directly than we currently do.
I don't know if I should say I "enjoyed" this book the way I would enjoy a novel, but I certainly appreciated it, especially since I have gone through the deaths of family members and am getting on in years myself, and I feel it's important to explore and be able to talk about our own ends openly, rather than tiptoeing around the subject.
I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the mortuary/funeral industry, medical students (doctors in this country don't deal with death very well), and anyone who, like me, wants to understand more about death and how to plan for it.
I was not ready.
I only read a few chapters and had to put it down. Perhaps its my age (though I'm not that old!) I am facing mortality possibly sooner than I surely thought I would. And reading about what goes on behind closed doors, even though Doughty seems to be a great storyteller, I can't bring myself to finish this.
I'm giving this four stars because I certainly can't fault the author for my own lack of misjudgment, but not 5 stars because perhaps if she had written it in a...less witty (though I totally understand and appreciate her being herself!) and more oh...gah, I don't know, tender? way, I might have been able to swallow my fear and plod on.
As a Vine reviewer, I am obligated to leave a review, and I've never had this situation occur (and I feel dreadful about it!). I probably would have done well to read the first few chapters prior to choosing this, and I think it's a good recommendation for those considering reading Smoke...you might think you're ready to read about death, but once you open that door, you might wish you had kept it closed.
Bravo to Doughty and those who do the jobs they do.
What I enjoyed learning about is the 'death industry'. I've been blessed with only 3 deaths in my many decades but I've come to a point where I'm old enough that more are inevitable. And I feel totally unprepared for those events. This book helped me to understand more about the process. Not just cremation, but the burial industry. Most importantly it exposed me to different traditions and the really how screwed up our currently Anglo approach to dying is. If you are at-all hippie-dippie you'll relate to this part of her story.
If you are sensitive to the least bit of gore... do not read this book. But if you are curious about the history of the 'death industry' and how it functions today, this order SGIYE right away. It totally changed my mind about how I want to end. It's also a fun read.
The author gives a lot of information about different cultures' past and present relationship with death. In fact, I would consider that the main bulk of the book instead of the memoir of someone working at a crematory part. I greatly enjoyed the personal stories, and was unexpectedly laughing out loud by chapter two. The author's sense of humor sees all the descriptions and scenarios above any awkwardness.