Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty - a 20-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters, gallows humor, and vivid characters (both living and very dead). Describing how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes), and cared for bodies of all shapes and sizes, Caitlin becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the deceased. Her eye-opening memoir shows how our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead). In the spirit of her popular Web series, "Ask a Mortician", Caitlin’s engaging narrative style makes this otherwise scary topic both approachable and profound.
Caitlin Doughty, the host and creator of the "Ask a Mortician" Web series and the collective Order of the Good Death, is on a mission to change the way we think about death.
©2014 Caitlin Doughty (P)2014 Recorded Books
realities of death
Ms. Doughty is genuine and caring, graphic and honest about a subject that is often presented very clinically or euphemistically, when presented at all.
I prefer memoirs that are read by their authors because tone of voice, even when reading a well-written book, communicates so many nuances of meaning. She told her story well.
I could not get enough of this book. I was so disappointed to reach its end.
Everyone should read this book. Its vital message is presented so well that everyone will enjoy it too.
Despite the subject matter being dark and difficult, Doughty makes it accessible through her humour, candid demeanor, and extensive knowledge of the subject matter.
She is a gifted reader and her wit and humour come out even more vividly hearing her speak her own words.
There are too many to list, but I was consistently moved by following along with Doughty's own emotional journey as she discovers more and more ways that we are disconnected from death, and by extension, disconnected from life itself.
Doughty's passion for the subject matter comes through clearly and effectively. She brilliantly weaves the history death in with her own personal experiences in the contemporary death industry.
Her argument for changing the way we interact with own mortality is a powerful challenge.
I've never read the print version, but I really liked this as audio, it reminded me of listening to stories on NPR. I Listened to it everyday on my way to work, or when I was doing random stuff around the house. It was nice to be able to hear it and be transported away from the task at hand.
It was nice to hear her read it. I'm an avid fan of Ask a Mortician, so it just made sense to not just read it myself but hear it from her point of view. It really sends home that this was her experience and just a random work of fiction.
I never wanted to get out of my car, I'd get to work and sit there until the very last second before I would become tardy.
This was my first purchase on Audible and it really turned me on to listening to audio books on my commute instead of random radio. Check out The Order of the Good Death too, all of Doughty's stuff is awesome!
Thanks, Caitlin, for helping us accept Death. It is scary. And now it's Not so scary anymore.
Love the insider tips, too. Good to feel empowered, and I won't be a victim to the system, because knowledge ;)
Fabulous, fun, death
A real eye opener. The author is brilliant, hilarious, and addresses a taboo subject that has been kept hidden and secret from the public. Catlin provides information that I could not even squeeze out of a relative who was a mortician. Thank you, thank you Catlin
Explanation of what happens when a body arrives at the mortuary, what is done when it is embalmed or cremated. How theses practices effect the dead body, the family, and planet. I now want to give back and be composted or eaten by animals.
It is perfect I would not change it at all
Where can I be composted Catlin?
I really enjoyed listening to this book. I have had it on my reading list for a few years and finally decided it would just be easier to listen to it. Having watched many of Caitlin's videos on YouTube, this book was exactly what I had hoped for. It was interesting. Not at all scary as I wondered if it would be. And the fact the Caitlin is the one that also reads it makes it even better!
Caitlin Doughty's passion for what she does shines through every word of this (sadly) quick read. This book left me feeling braver and more alive. Her descriptions of the death industry are fascinating (albeit, not for the sensitive stomach). One of my new favorite memoirs and nonfiction books.
If you have not heard of her projects Undertaking LA or The Good Death, they are amazing. If browsing her sites leaves you intrigued, this book is a must.
My grandson died last year. I still read this book. I can't explain it but I liked it. The bodies
weren't souls just bodies, just bones. He is in heaven with his spirit. Interesting read. I loved the character. Thanks Ms Doughty
The description of being enbalmed
The first witness cremation
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