Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory by Caitlin DoughtySmoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory

byCaitlin Doughty

Paperback | October 27, 2015

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about

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).

Mortician Caitlin Doughty—host and creator of Ask a Mortician and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes—founded The Order of the Good Death. She lives in Los Angeles, where she runs her nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA.
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Title:Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The CrematoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:8.3 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:October 27, 2015Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393351904

ISBN - 13:9780393351903

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Re-thinking Death Despite "uncomfortable" subject matter (i.e., death), this book is witty, engaging, and pensive. This book challenged my perception of death, and left me with a lot to think about.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential Death Reading Doughty is an honest and brilliant voice. She brings intense intimacy and care to subjects we've been taught to avoid speaking about. The death positivity movement is lucky to have her, and so is the genre of memoir.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I have read this book over and over and I absolutely love it. I would highly recommend that you pick it up and give it a go.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting book. This book wouldn't be everyone's first pick off the book shelf but if your open to learning what actually goes on in a crematorium. Pick up this book. It's so interesting to learn ! #plumrewards
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic story and commentary on death! This book is about death but it is written in a gentle and comforting way that draws you in rather than shocks you
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a great look inside. Absolutely loved this book and was able to meet the author and get my book signed. The fascinating history and personal stories will have you hooked.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating While completely fascinated and terrified of all things surrounding death, I found this book to be a fresh take on...dead people. Although not all will, I fully appreciated the humour and found myself laughing out loud. A must read if you are contemplating your final arrangements or, when the time comes, your loved ones.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Helped me think about my own life and final arrangements in a new way. This really gave me a lot to think about in regards to the way we handle death. While I don't dislike the idea of a celebration of life after one passes, the typical funeral with viewing is something I try to avoid because I feel it is so... well... unnatural. I feel that with the spirt gone, a mortal coil is doctored up and then people are looking at it and talking to it...it just rings all wrong. They're not here anymore. And the elaborate casket and flowers...I don't really understand it. These sentiments are echoed in her writing. She does a good job and she is witty, funny and well read. That said, the end lost me a bit as she veered into the territory of being lovelorn and planning a suicide she didn't carry out. It felt like filler after what I had read up until that point. Glad I read it though. I'm only half way through life but this solidified that I'd like a green burial when the time comes. Around a tree sounds nice. Without all the manufactured hullabaloo that is so prevalent. I remind myself that the laws of psychics state that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The body is only the shell of who we are and all the gilded caskets and tchotchkes in the world can't change that.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fresh and Informative A whole new approach to the often uncomfortable topic of death.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gives new life to the topic of death! Caitlin Doughty has written this book so well and skillfully respects the topic of death while similtaniously seeing the humour in it as well. Great read if you want to think about death in more than a traditional north american way.
Date published: 2015-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An enjoyable read I really enjoyed this book. Although I am not sure that I am the typical reader as I have had more experience than most working with dead bodies.
Date published: 2014-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Woman?s Journey through the Death Industry In this wonderfully sincere and touching memoir, the author recounts her life in the world of dead bodies. She gives details on collecting them, preparing them, embalming/cremating them and disposing of them. Along the way, the reader learns of fascinating and often disturbing death rituals in other cultures both past and present. The author pulls no punches about the appearance of the deceased prior to ?preparing? them for a viewing, pointing out that the relatively serene appearances of ?corpses? that we see on TV dramas are a far cry from reality; she gives plenty of details to support this. Although the main bulk of the book is on the author?s professional life, some space is devoted to her personal life as well as on her evolving philosophical attitudes towards death and dying. The prose is friendly, lively, often humorous and witty and quite captivating; I found this book to be an easy, quick, enjoyable read. This book should appeal the most to those who are curious about how our bodies are dealt with after we pass away (and are not afraid to read about the often gory details).
Date published: 2014-09-26

Editorial Reviews

[Doughty’s] sincere, hilarious, and perhaps life-altering memoir is a must-read for anyone who plans on dying. — Katharine Fronk (Booklist, Starred review)Entertaining and thought-provoking. — Julia Jenkins (Shelf Awareness)Demonically funny dispatches. — O MagazineMorbid and illuminating. — Entertainment WeeklyA 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)