Smoke Gets in your Eyes

Smoke Gets in your Eyes

And Other Lessons From the Crematory

eBook - 2014
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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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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.

AL_HANNAHS Nov 16, 2016

Thank you to the author for writing this book. I found it to be very enlightening, personal, and informative. In a society that has moved as far away from the topic of death and dying as it can, I think this is a very important book. Witty, entertaining, and at times very sobering, this is a great read for anyone who wants to know a little more about what goes on behind the scenes at the local mortuary.

Oct 19, 2016

“The fear of death is why we build cathedrals, have children, declare war, and watch cat videos online at three a.m.”

Doughty's writing is so clever and well-informed that both the anthropologist and the inner dark minion sides of my heart are completely appeased. The biting, unforgiving nature of her writing is uniquely charming and informative.

AL_BRIDGET Aug 24, 2016

I love the author's YouTube videos "Ask a Mortician," because she's so personable and interesting. The book is part memoir, part discussion/history of the funeral industry, and I loved all of the information she imparts in such memorable and engaging ways. A great book that can start really valuable conversations about aging, death, and medical care.

Jul 13, 2015

Excellent book! Well written, honest and respectful yet extremely entertaining and informative. Such an important topic to think about and discuss in our society.

lbarkema Jul 08, 2015

This was really interesting, much like the kind-of interest one has in "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" if science and death interest them, which is does me. I also liked how it was more of a study on death culture, and how Americans' views have changed over time and how our "beliefs" are not really rooted in anything substantial whereas many other cultures practice rituals of death that have been their belief for centuries or thousands of years. Definitely recommended for people who are interested in the science part of death, but also interested in a mini philosophical discussion on death practices.

KateHillier Jun 19, 2015

I'm a casual fan of Caitlin Doughty's YouTube channel 'Ask a Mortician', and was surprised and pleased to hear that she was writing a book. Then I got caught up. If you're curious or fascinated (whether morbidly or not) check out the 'Ask a Mortican' YouTube series as well as check this book out. She's up front about her experiences working in the funeral industry, has clearly put a lot of research into this little book, and she certainly has a nice dollop of gallows humour in for good measure. In an age where the population is aging and this conversations are becoming more and more necessary to have a society let alone as a family member, this book may help take the edge off a little bit. I mean, don't get me wrong, Doughty is very clear on her opinions and wishes about death and death culture in Western society but it's refreshing considering this a world that most of us know very little about and are really rather afraid of.

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