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Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician | [Michelle Williams, Keith McCarthy]

Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician

Michelle Williams, an attractive young woman with close family ties and an active social life, describes her first extraordinary year in her unusual new job as a mortuary technician. It’s a year in which, with innate good humour, she encounters death at its most tragic, bizarre, and hilarious. Her tale, neither gruesome nor sad, is enlivened by a range of colourful and eccentric characters, from pathologists and coroners to hospital porters and undertakers, giving us a glimpse of life - and death - that few of us will ever experience.
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Publisher's Summary

Michelle Williams, an attractive young woman with close family ties and an active social life, describes her first extraordinary year in her unusual new job as a mortuary technician. It’s a year in which, with innate good humour, she encounters death at its most tragic, bizarre, and hilarious. Her tale, neither gruesome nor sad, is enlivened by a range of colourful and eccentric characters, from pathologists and coroners to hospital porters and undertakers, giving us a glimpse of life - and death - that few of us will ever experience.

©2010 Michelle Williams (P)2011 Isis Publishing Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (57 )
5 star
 (15)
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 (24)
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Overall
3.8 (54 )
5 star
 (18)
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1 star
 (6)
Story
3.9 (52 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Martin Palm Desert, CA, United States 09-25-12
    Martin Palm Desert, CA, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    143
    3
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Things you never wanted to know about a mortuary"
    What did you love best about Down Among the Dead Men?

    British dialogue


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Shelly was my favorite character, her views and insights to the other characters was great!


    Which character – as performed by Liz Holliss – was your favorite?

    Shelly


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found the story very interesting to learn about what goes on in a mortuary


    Any additional comments?

    It is a good read, not bloody or gory but very informative.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bevely Corvallis, OR, United States 04-24-12
    Bevely Corvallis, OR, United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling"

    The further into the story the more engaged I became. At first I thought the story was just ok. The more I listened the more endearing the accent and British colloquialisms became. I became more enamoured with the narrator- both author's voice and the reader's physical voice won me over. It was an easy, enjoyable, humorous, and educational listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Cole 10-29-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    98
    8
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    "Subtle, sensitive and personal account"

    This is a sensitive account of a grim, but necessary job, told by a technician from her novice first days on the job through many years of service. Excellent narration and pace, with great stories in a small town UK setting. Well done. Great listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
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  • Helen
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    6/19/12
    Overall
    "Mediocre at best"

    I find the author a little too patronising of her colleagues and "clients" if I'm honest. An interesting read/listen, but not well written.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • S. Thomas
    uk
    1/2/13
    Overall
    "Awful"

    The subject matter & title sounded fascinating and I listened to the preview but this book bored me so much I gave up on it before finishing it. I was not interested in the author's home life & did not think it added anything to the story. Added to that I thought it was badly written. I don't like to be harsh but I thought this was an awful, long winded & boring book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MsRanPan
    UK
    12/28/12
    Overall
    "Cool job, shame about the over share"

    When focusing on the actual job this is fascinating and interesting read - 5* The author is a little odd, her ideas on relationships and the male/female role are bizarre and the way she states them as if this is everyone feels suggests a small world, a little patronising too others at times too which I hate to experience in any way which brought this down to 3*. But it is tolerable and the job is so interesting its worth reading up beware the let down of all the strange personal stuff she should have just kept to herself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gaynor
    oxford, United Kingdom
    10/11/12
    Overall
    "Terrible"

    This book could have been brilliant, as its a fascinating subject but instead it is cluttered with endless useless, boring details of the author's life. Very dull, please don't bother

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • vanessa
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    10/1/12
    Overall
    "dull as ditchwater"

    This potentially interesting book is rendered lifeless by both the writing and the narration. It is badly written, the style is flat, atonal and humourless. The author states that she is 30 years old when she takes the mortuary job, but the narrator sounds much older and this does not work at all. This book is also patronising in its tone. I know it's a book about working in a mortuary, but this book seriously needs some life injecting into it. Definitely not recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andrea
    Bolton, United Kingdom
    9/16/12
    Overall
    "Fascinating, poignant and informative"

    A great insight into the little-known world of the mortuary technician and all that it entails. This book describes in detail the gory side of life in a mortuary, but also the human side. I enjoyed it as it was a written from a female perspective in a male-dominated world without being over sensitive. It says it like it is! Very thought-provoking and sad at times, but by no means a depressing book in my humble opinion. It answered the curiousity I have had about autopsies and what goes on after death.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Arthur
    Gympie, Australia
    8/9/12
    Overall
    "Strange But Excellent Read"

    My curiosity got the better of me when I purchased this book, and I'm so glad it did. What a fantastic and strangely inspirational read. I thoroughly reccomend this book.
    Arthur. Australia

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • angela
    dundee, United Kingdom
    7/16/12
    Overall
    "Well Read, would Recommend"

    This audio was very informative and very well read by a Brit, most enjoyable, humerous and quite sad in parts but then so is life, and death!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Polly Pon
    2/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    I have so enjoyed this book. Written with honesty and integrity. Michelle did not sensationalise her story just told it how it is. I have been closely associated with death during my career so was very interested in what happens afterwards. It was so good to hear as much respect is given after as we gave before and told in such an honest way.
    The addition of Michelle's family life also added interest and showed that she is a normal person doing a remarkable job.
    Michelle may not be Agatha Christie or Jeffrey Archer but she can tell a fascinating truthful story.
    I shall recommend this book to friends

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • anne
    Bedford, United Kingdom
    2/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    This was a fascinating book, very well read! Although the the subject matter will definitely not be to everyone's taste ! The writer describes in a simple straightforward way the day to day life in a mortuary. The characters are well described and I felt as though I almost knew them , amongst the smiles and gasps the respect with which they do their job came across loud and clear. I especially liked the part about the examination. Feelings I relate to so well as an adult taking exams after years out of school. Will definitely buy more of her books and listen to this narrator again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

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