Smoke Gets in your Eyes

Smoke Gets in your Eyes

And Other Lessons From the Crematory

eBook - 2014 | First edition.
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The blogger behind the popular Web series Ask a Mortician describes her experiences working at a crematory, including how she sometimes got ashes on her clothes and how she cared for bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Publisher: New York :, W. W. Norton & Company,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393245950
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 254 pages)
Contents: Shaving Byron
Puppy surprise
The thud
Toothpicks in Jell-O
Push the button
Pink cocktail
Demon babies
Direct disposal
Unnatural natural
Alas, poor Yorick
Eros and Thanatos
Solo witness
The redwoods
Deth skool
Body van
The art of dying
Prodigal daughter.
Summary: The blogger behind the popular Web series Ask a Mortician describes her experiences working at a crematory, including how she sometimes got ashes on her clothes and how she cared for bodies of all shapes and sizes.


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kobrien3 Feb 13, 2018

I originally listened to the audiobook version and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a truly enjoyable memoir filled with interesting facts about working in the crematory and thoughtful discussion about how we as a society deal with death and dying. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a funny and fascinating memoir about an unexpected topic.

Feb 13, 2018

This is "Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain" for a new generation. One of those books that I want to get into the hands of as many friends and family members as possible.

Feb 08, 2018

This book is better than I expected it to be, which was pretty good to begin with. Caitlin gives so much detail, and you are certain of her passion for working with the deceased. I am looking forward to reading more from Caitlin Doughty.

Feb 06, 2018

This book got me thinking about death in a realistic and positive way that has led to many wonderful, important conversations with family and friends. The narrative style is so easy to read that it helps temper some of the more gruesome details of working among the dead.

JessicaGma Jan 22, 2018

I'll admit to being a bit taken aback by the frank memoir at first, which surprised me as I have done dissections of all kinds so I had assumed I wouldn't be bothered, but then it does pull you in and makes you think about death, and society's obsession about youth and staying alive forever. There's something truly wacky about embalming when you think about it. Anyway, it's a really intriguing memoir and Doughty has a great way of breaking down a difficult subject with interesting facts.

vm510 Jan 11, 2018

In Doughty's memoir about working in a crematory in California, she shares stories and forces the reader to debate death and Americans' aversion to it. She details some of the history of the death industry, our use of embalming, and how thinking on burial/cremation has changed over time. She does this in a humorous, entertaining, and thought-provoking way; her voice and narration, especially in the first half of the book, had me smiling and giggling. She doesn't flinch discussing dead bodies, grinding leftover bones, and standing over a body to dress it. Towards the end of the book, I found her less revealing - which is totally fine, but if you do decide to bring up something personal and devote only a couple pages to it, it will have less of an impact on me. Just for the questions it raised while reading it though, I think it's a worthwhile read.

Aug 11, 2017

This author has a great voice--clever, funny and open. Though she's waay different from me, she has a way of writing that anyone can relate to. Fun and fascinating.

Jul 14, 2017

You couldn't get closer to a mortician/creamator than with Doughtry in this amazingly stark, funny, yet soul searchingly realistic trip into that transition of death. It leaves me with questions of my own wishes. The question of cremation, rituals, funerals, embalming, etc. are brought to the forefront and no longer a simple act of tradition-and"at a time like this, there is no limit to creating rituals relevant to our modern lives". No one could have brought to life (ha) such a subject with life and death stories.

Jul 13, 2017

If you or someone you love will die some day, you need to read this book. It's beautifully written, funny, sad, and both personal and informative.

Marlowe Apr 21, 2017

I came across this while browsing available eBooks, and was initially intrigued by the title. It reminded me of something, and upon reading the summary, thought I would give it a try. Doughty's life is certainly interesting. At first, I struggled with the idea a young woman would want to work in a crematory. But as Doughty fills up in on her life, and passions, and personal beliefs, her chosen profession does not seem that weird after all. The cultural and historical information that she provides throughout the work is incredibly interesting, and has changed my views on death and end of life arrangements. I think Doughty offers a balanced view of western practices, and while she certainly has clear opinions, at no point to I think her intent is judgement. Her career has allowed her to see death from so many perspectives, and see how different people react. This is a fast and engaging read, that I encourage others to try.

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