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Famous Last Words, Fond Farewells, Deathbed Diatribes, and Exclamations Upon Expiration

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  201 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
A collection of the notable last recorded words of the dying, Famous Last Words is, unexpectedly, bursting with life, hope, wisdom, and often laughter. Here are writers, philosophers, athletes, gangsters, kings, queens, movie stars, and politicians, in all sorts of moods and states of preparedness. Some merely want to say goodbye to loved ones, others want to create a lega ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 5th 2003 by Workman Publishing Company
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Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
This was a great impulse buy! I loved reading about some of the last words that famous people have said. This book has last words from all types of famous people: Presidents and other government officials, actors and actresses, musicians, etc. Some of the famous last words were poignant and some were really funny. The only thing I didn't necessarily like was that the author threw in a couple of eulogies of famous dead people. I wasn't nearly as interested in someone's eulogy as I was in what tha ...more
Simon
Aug 07, 2011 Simon rated it it was ok
Kind of just a read for the heck of it. I was interested if finding quotes and stuff for my blog at first, but I just ended up reading the book to get it over with. So it's not like the book was bad, I just had no desire in it or heart to continue. I did read every word and imagined the person uttering these words as they died, and it was like a historical journey back into the lives of famous people or people who gave something to the world.

It was a final tribute to the unknown mystery of deat
...more
deliriousbeautifulmind
«Para os fãs de John Green, Ray Robinson não é um nome estranho. Em À Procura de Alaska, Miles Halter tem uma obsessão com a forma como as pessoas se despedem da vida e abraçam a morte, ou seja, com as últimas palavras.
Depois de ler À Procura de Alaska, eu própria fiquei ligeiramente obcecada com o conceito e encomendei esta pequena - muito pequena - beleza. Na minha cabeça, imaginei o livro como sendo apenas de citações, no entanto, maravilhei-me com o enquadramento de Ray Robinson. Ele escrev
...more
Sevenponds
May 20, 2014 Sevenponds rated it really liked it
Are a person’s last words important? Do they leave some indelible mark on this world, having been the final vocalizations of a human being before he or she passes into the next one?

I’ll leave that for you to decide. But one thing’s certain: famous last words are quite entertaining.

This cute little book by Ray Robinson (which, by the way, would make a fantastic gift– stocking stuffer!) compiles the dying words of everyone from Pablo Picasso to D.H. Lawrence to Thomas Edison into one volume. The w
...more
Wisty
Dec 05, 2015 Wisty rated it really liked it
A great little book that I bought on a whim. Here's what I've learned: people always have interesting things to say right before they're executed and the Bronte sisters are the saddest family ever. Seriously, Charlotte's page really made me sad- her mom and four sisters all died of tuberculosis (as many people in this book did, unfortunately), and she escaped it only to die of morning sickness while pregnant one year into her happy marriage. Really unfair.
I could've gone for more explanation par
...more
Robert Hepple
Jan 28, 2015 Robert Hepple rated it liked it
A small collection of last words said by, or about various mostly famous people over the years. The author does make the point in his intro that some quotes are clearly apocryphal, but that doesn’t stop it being an amusing light read – you can’t help getting the impression that famous people, on their deathbeds, have an urge to say something really witty before they go. On a more poignant level, an answerphone message left by a 9/11 air passenger can only be seen as very sad, setting it apart fr ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Dec 18, 2014 Cynthia Egbert rated it liked it
I read this one through periodically as it is fun and in a few cases makes me really think and ponder. What would you want your last words to be? My personal favorite is, "Good, a woman who can fart is not dead". The Comtesse de Vercellis said these words to an embarrassed guest in her home and then keeled over. Wow. So glad that her servant was there to catch this utterance and go on to write her biography and immortalize her final statement.
Tangerine
Aug 24, 2014 Tangerine rated it it was amazing
I knew this book was good when I continued picking it up instead of the other books I was reading at the same time. I enjoyed the brief explanations behind the last words as well as the basic facts provided for each person. This book is very readable and probably useful for random trivia too.
Patti
Oct 01, 2014 Patti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
This small book packs a lot of historical trivia into its pages. It offers fascinating snippets of the last moments of Kings, singers, statesman, authors, poets and Queens.
Laura Verret
Jul 14, 2011 Laura Verret rated it liked it
Shelves: library-sale
A collection of last words from famous people as well as some rather funny quipps about famous people.

As an example, here is an obituary about the dishonest Robert Maxwell: "Here lies Robert Maxwell. He lies everywhere else." - Private Eye Magazine

Also ironic are the words of the dying Spanish General, Ramon Maria Narvaez: "I do not have to forgive my enemies. I have had them all shot."
Drucilla
Jan 16, 2012 Drucilla rated it really liked it
Shelves: r
This is a great little book. The way it's set up makes it look clean and easy to read. I like that it gives a short history (paragraph) of the person in question. In some instances, he describes how they die and in others, he doesn't. I wish they would have been uniformed in their information and I wish they had been an index so that you could look up people with ease. But, overall, I enjoyed it.
Christian
Dec 29, 2007 Christian rated it liked it
This is an enjoyable one to browse. Each page, or sometimes two pages, features someone's last words with some acompanying comments for context. Some are humorous ("Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.") but most are poignant, some acutely so (Beethovan raging at God during a thunderstorm: "I shall hear in heaven!")
Chris
Mar 27, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Recommended to Chris by: Sarah
A great collection of quotes that range from inspiring to depressing, from funny to emotional. I won't try to list favorites.
I agree with other reviewers that the book could have been longer. The memorable quotes and brief life sketches made me want to go find a biography to learn more about the man or woman whose last words I had just read.
Andy
Apr 24, 2011 Andy rated it it was ok
Shelves: bathroom-books
Fairly simply a collection of famous last words supplemented with some brief facts around the person involved. There's very little to this tiny little hardback but it's diverting toilet reading if you can find it cheap. Not sure I'd bother buying it at full price though as it's rather brief.
Pamela
Feb 05, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it
The edition is very cute. And I loved the fact that it explains the context of the quotes, which is something that other books on the subject lack.
Sarah
Feb 28, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: grownup
Great fast read with a wide variety of last words, from touching to appalling. Warning: I’ve been dreaming about death since reading this book.
Jacqueline
Jul 02, 2013 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
Best thing I ever read on the .... oh excuse me, I forgot to shut the door....
Bella
Jan 31, 2013 Bella rated it it was amazing
Entertaining to say the least. Most definitely moving. Great read I say.
Noelle
Mar 11, 2010 Noelle rated it it was ok
Absolutely perfect for train reading but sacrificed content for size.
Steve
Sep 29, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it
I like to read it when I'm feeling suicidal.
Jamie F
Dec 17, 2007 Jamie F rated it really liked it
Very interesting... some good quotes...

Kelly
Aug 12, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it
my morbidity knows no bounds
Christine
Morbidly amusing.
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Jul 21, 2016
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Jul 09, 2016
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Jul 04, 2016
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Jun 27, 2016
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Jun 24, 2016
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