Smoke Gets in your Eyes

Smoke Gets in your Eyes

And Other Lessons From the Crematory

Book - 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: 9780393240238
Branch Call Number: B DOUGHTY
Characteristics: x, 254 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

What *really* happens after you die. Tastefully and humorously written (thank goodness!).

Caution: if you're squeamish, don't read this while eating. I learned that the hard way.

ArapahoeHannahS 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 grea... Read More »

ArapahoeBridget 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 re... Read More »

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LPL_KimberlyL May 12, 2018

This is the morbid, macabre book I've always been looking for! Caitlin Doughty is full of empathy and humor, which makes reading a book about cremation an enlightening and positive experience rather than a nightmare horror show. This book has made me dramatically rethink death, dying, and the funeral industry and it was truly a life-changing read.

Mar 07, 2018

One of the best books I have read in a long time, and I read a lot of books! This book is fascinating, highly entertaining, meaningful, and also hilarious in parts. It is about death and the death industry. If the subject turns you off, then you really need to read this book, and I'm not saying that to preach. Parts of the book may horrify you, but I really think you'll feel better able to deal with the issue of death after reading this book. You'll also probably save a hell of a lot of money the next time a loved one dies, after you read about the funeral industry and specifically about embalming.

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.

OPL_ErinD 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.

OPL_AutumnH 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.

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