Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

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

4.18 (53,026 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

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).
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 147 x 218 x 25mm | 325g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations, frontispiece
  • 0393240231
  • 9780393240238
  • 56,761

Review quote

"Doughty reels you in with wonderful anecdotes about her work. Intermixed with the humor is a love of life that will make you reconsider how our culture treats the dead." -- San Francisco Chronicle "A book as graphic and morbid as this one could easily suck its readers into a bout of sorrow, but Doughty-a trustworthy tour guide through the repulsive and wondrous world of death-keeps us laughing." -- Rachel Lubitz - Washington Post "Morbid and illuminating." -- Entertainment Weekly "Demonically funny dispatches." -- O Magazine "Entertaining and thought-provoking." -- Julia Jenkins - Shelf Awareness "Caitlin Doughty is best known for her YouTube series Ask a Mortician, and she brings the same charisma and drollery to her essay collection Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Think Sloane Crosley meets Six Feet Under." -- Kevin Nguyen - Grantland "[Doughty's] sincere, hilarious, and perhaps life-altering memoir is a must-read for anyone who plans on dying." -- Katharine Fronk - Booklist, Starred review
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About Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, From Here to Eternity, and Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? She is the creator of the web series Ask a Mortician, and the founder of The Order of the Good Death. She lives in Los Angeles, California, where she owns a funeral home.
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Rating details

53,026 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 44% (23,240)
4 37% (19,828)
3 14% (7,350)
2 3% (1,697)
1 2% (911)
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