Number of page: 256
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: Biography & Autobiography
“Morbid and illuminating” (Entertainment Weekly)—a young mortician goes behind the scenes of her curious profession. Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-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. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures. Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse
How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van
What exactly does a flaming skull look like
Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
- A Google User
SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES: And Other Lessons from the Crematory A 20-something’s account of her life as a professional mortician.Doughty’s fascination with death began in childhood, but it wasn’t until she got to college that she dropped all pretenses of “normality and began to explore “all aspects of mortality” through her work in medieval history. Intellectual exposure to death and the human rituals associated with it eventually led to a decision to pursue a
- Lisa Smith
Great read! Thank you for making this topic less taboo of a topic to discuss.
- Jay Bean
This book is everything I expected and more! This book give so much detail into the life of a mortician. From her first day on the job on. As someone who is starting mortuary school in a week reading this book has helped me so much. If your curious or starting school like me I’d definitely give this book a chance!
- angela bledsoe
Clear Your Schedule You’re going to need time to read this book in one sitting. It is nearly impossible to put down once you open it. The author is brilliant and hilarious, and answers many questions through her experiences. Buy this book!
- Scott Sorrell
A revelation Such an incredible book. A funny, informative look at such an unexamined subject. It will bring you to tears (in laughter and sadness) and totally change you look at the end. So very well done.
- James Higgerson
Smoke Gets in your Eyes A absolutely great read. A great blend of humor and facts. Thoughtful even on a sensitive subject for some. Keep up the good work Caitlin.
- red Leader
Beautiful This was a fantastic read. I recommended it to the very awesome girls book club
- Steve Zarza
Light in the Darkness Like a bad car accident, I couldn’t look away. This book takes the subject of death and the funeral/crematory industry and offers a peek of what goes on. Whether you are interested in employment or, are looking for a great Halloween read, this book delivers. I’ve always been curious about death and the first chapter or so had the creep factor, but the more I read, I became desensitized, just as society once was. Good book and a good job by the author.
- Michael Amico
Pretty Good It is a good read. The crematory stories are great. It gets preachy at the end. I wonder if the Ebola outbreak, followed by the panic in the States has had a negative effect on the washing your own dead and the natural burial movement?
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