The Dead Beat

The Dead Beat

Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries

Downloadable Audiobook - 2010
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Obituaries are history as it is happening. Whose time am I living in? Was he a success or a failure, lucky or doomed, older than I am or younger? Did she know how to live? Where else can you celebrate the life of the pharmacist who moonlighted as a spy, the genius behind Sea Monkeys, the school lunch lady who spent her evenings as a ballroom hostess? No wonder so many readers skip the news and the sports and go directly to the obituary page. This book is the story of how these stories get told. Enthralled by the fascinating lives that were marching out of this world, Marilyn Johnson tumbled into the obits page to find out what made it so lively. She sought out the best obits in the English language and chased the people who spent their lives writing about the dead.--From publisher description.
Publisher: [New York] : Harper Audio, 2010.
ISBN: 9780062062116
0062062115
Contents: 1. I walk the dead beat
2. A wake of obituarists
3. Name that bit
4. The mighty and the fallen of New York :
The Irish sports pages
The franchise
Portraits of grief
Goodbye!
Attention must be paid
5. Now you know
6. Ordinary Joe
7. The egalitarians
8. Tributes
9. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse :
The obituary capital
Boiled in oil, and other
Terrible fates in the Daily Telegraph
A few words about the code
Following the Guardian into the mist
An Independent bent
Lives of the Times
10. Googling death
11. The obit writer's obit.
Summary: Obituaries are history as it is happening. Whose time am I living in? Was he a success or a failure, lucky or doomed, older than I am or younger? Did she know how to live? Where else can you celebrate the life of the pharmacist who moonlighted as a spy, the genius behind Sea Monkeys, the school lunch lady who spent her evenings as a ballroom hostess? No wonder so many readers skip the news and the sports and go directly to the obituary page. This book is the story of how these stories get told. Enthralled by the fascinating lives that were marching out of this world, Marilyn Johnson tumbled into the obits page to find out what made it so lively. She sought out the best obits in the English language and chased the people who spent their lives writing about the dead.--From publisher description.

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