When the casket reached the front of the sanctuary, there was a loud cracking sound as the bottom fell out. And with a thump, down came Father Iggy. From shoot-outs at funerals to dead men screaming and runaway corpses, undertakers have plenty of unusual stories to tell - and a special way of telling them.
In this macabre and moving compilation, funeral directors across the country share their most embarrassing, jaw-dropping, irreverent, and deeply poignant stories about life at death's door. Discover what scares them and what moves them to tears. Learn about rookie mistakes and why death sometimes calls for duct tape. Enjoy tales of the dearly departed spending eternity naked from the waist down and getting bottled and corked--in a wine bottle. And then meet their families - the weepers, the punchers, the stolidly dignified, and the ones who deliver their dead mother in a pickup truck. If there's one thing undertakers know, it's that death drives people crazy. These are the best "bodies of work" from America's darkest profession.
Quite mild, best for the curious, but squeamish.
I bought this book for a little light entertainment after finishing a difficult biography. I like mortuaries and graveyards - used to drive my parents crazy when I was a kid.
“Mortuary Confidential” is very mild stuff, there’s nothing graphic or morbid about it. It’s just a peek into the workaday world of mortuary workers, showing them as ordinary people doing a necessary job that many others find ghoulish. The object is to inform people about the business, humanize the workers and provide a little gentle entertainment.
I think the book is pretty successful to that end, although in a case of being careful what you wish for - a little mystery can be a good thing. Do I really want to hear about carousing morticians? I kept thinking of the order I’ve given my family that should I croak in the town we currently live in, I am NOT to be taken to the local funeral director - a.k.a. - “That jerk down the road.” Still, I suppose that’s the point, people are people and death is part of life..
Like so many contemporary collections, “Mortuary Confidential” starts off on the dull side and saves the better vignettes for later, so stick with it. The writing is plain and unpolished, it took me awhile to figure out that the “Contributed by...” line at the start of each story refers to some ordinary interest of the person telling it. I’m not usually so slow on the uptake, but it really didn’t click for awhile there.
So - the editing could have been better and the writing a little snappier, but all in all it’s a good book of it’s kind, especially if you’re curious about the funerary business but squeamish. It was a bit too mild for me though.