Read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty Online

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughtya twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabretook a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her lifes 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 didnt 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)....

Title : Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393351903
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 pages
Url Type : Home » Smoke » Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Reviews

  • Book Riot Community

    A little bit morbid, a little bit gross, a whole lot empowering. That’s basically the only way I can describe this book. Caitlin Doughty has been obsessed with death her whole life, so it’s only natural she goes to work at a crematory. In her tales, she busts a lot of myths about the death industry, like, no, crematories don’t dump the day’s worth of bodies in and scoop out bits of ash for the families’ urns afterward. At least, reputable ones don’t. She ends on a philosophical look at life and ...more

  • Jessica

    I’ve had more first-hand experience with death than just about anyone else I know in my age group. By the time I hit thirty, I’d lost three grandparents (five, if you let me count my high-school boyfriend’s grandparents; they lived with his family), a mother, two high-school friends, a former roommate, an uncle, a dozen great aunts and uncles, three dogs, and a small army of cats. I briefly considered becoming a grief therapist before realizing I was just too misanthropic to pursue graduate stud ...more

  • Anna

    “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review was also posted at Carole's Random Life

    This was the best little book that I didn't even know that I wanted to read. I have to say that I would have probably never picked this book up for myself. I didn't even know that this book existed until it showed up at my house a couple of weeks ago. My initial impression of the book when I received was lackluster at best. I thought it was an advance copy of a book at first because the cover looks just so unfinished. Nothing about this book scr
    ...more

  • Carol

    I've always been interested in the rituals surrounding death. W.W. Norton & Company grabbed my attention with this synopsis of Caitlyn Doughty's Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

    "A young mortician goes behind the scenes, unafraid of the gruesome (and fascinating) details of her curious profession."

    If you've ever wondered why anyone would become a mortician, work in a crematory or choose to help the living in the process of death, then this is the book for you. Ri
    ...more

  • Evan

    I had been an avid reader of Doughty's "Ask a Mortician" series on Jezebel when one of my students told me she wanted to be a mortician. "I've got just the person to read," I had replied, sending her to Jez. Then, via the Twitter feed, I learned that a book was forthcoming. To be honest (with myself, since no one else reads my reviews), I had some misgivings about reading this book, but I'm glad I did. The first time I read the phrase "death denial" in an "Ask..." blog post, I was basically conv ...more

  • B. Rule

    This is a quick read and a relatively light, frothy take on a dark subject. Doughty adopts the authorial persona of "cheerful goth" which largely works for her approach, combining anecdotal accounts of her time in the death industry with repeated polemics to bring death back into our daily awareness through proximity to bodies and decay, a la her "Order of the Good Death." There are some weird tonal shifts that I think may be evidence of clumsy editing (e.g., a single chapter digression about he ...more

  • Diane

    I saw this title on a few Best Of lists for the year, but I thought it was just OK.

    Caitlin Doughty worked at a crematory in the San Francisco area. She said she had been both fascinated by and terrified of death since she was a little girl, when she witnessed a child's fatal fall in a shopping mall. This book is a combination of her stories about cremating bodies, her research into the history of death practices around the world, and tales of woe about her love life and attending mortuary school
    ...more