Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “52 McGs.: The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas” as Want to Read:
52 McGs.: The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

52 McGs.: The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Among his devoted fans, his pieces were known simply as McGs. With a "genius for illuminating that sometimes ephemeral apogee in people's lives when they prove capable of generating a brightly burning spark" (Columbia Journalism Review), Robert McG. Thomas Jr. commemorated fascinating, unconventional lives with signature style and wit. The New York Times received countless ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published March 4th 2002 by Scribner (first published October 23rd 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 52 McGs., please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 52 McGs.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 148)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Paul Secor
Perhaps it's because I'm getting older, but the first thing I turn to in the morning when I read The New York Times - with the possible exception of the crossword puzzle - is the obituary page. Unfortunately, no one writing obituaries for The Times today is the equal of Robert McG. Thomas Jr.
Robert McG. Thomas Jr. was a master of writing obituaries, and came to that specialty late in his newspaper career.
Thomas was the master of the hook (I don't know if that's what it's called in the newspape
OK, so this is the first book that I've marked as read that I didn't finish. This is a collection of 52 obituaries written by the New York Times' legendary obit writer, Robert McG. Thomas. I wanted to like this book. When I was a more dedicated newspaper reader, I scanned the obits every day, looking for the ones with unanswered questions hidden in the sparse facts, or the few that let the subject's quirky character flourish. At its best, this book is a survey of 20th Century Americana--tales of ...more
Chanel Earl
This is an excellent book. It made me want to read the New York Times obituary section regularly. I loved how all of the obituaries in this collection were of amazing people, but I had never heard of any of them.

Several of the obituaries made me get a little teary. A few of them made me laugh, but mostly, I was just impressed by all of the interesting lives people have lived.

My only negative comment is that maybe this book could have been 44 McGs. I don't know which obituaries I would have lef
Christopher Roth
Yes, McG. was the master. Including the best opening line for an obituary ever: "Anton Rosenberg, a storied sometime artists and occasional musician who embodied the Greenwich Village hipster ideal of 1950s cool to such a laid-back degree and with such determined detachment that he never amounted to much of anything, died on Feb. 14 at a hospital near his home in Woodstock, N.Y." I happen to be very much into obituaries, but even for those who are not, who just appreciate Americana and great wri ...more
OK...let me pre-empt. My darkside does lead me to the Valley & State section of the paper to read the latest. I don't know why...I just do. I am fascinated and I want to read the good in people. I always look for the hidden meanings ie: determination = stubborness, etc. etc.

Onto the book, these are the best kind of obituaries that go into detail. I wish modern day obits were like this. The book is essentially short stories, but fantastic! I wish I could read more.
so far so good, this is one of those books of collections that you can just dip into... similar to The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries... which is a great deal on Amazon right now, you can get a new copy for 1.85 plus shipping, would make a great gift for someone who likes quirky... I gave one to my Brother in Law... who is a little quirky himself...
I think Thomas pays a service that is often overlooked in our society.. memorial and legacy. Obituaries are often cut and paste activities without any true essence of the person they are summarizing. Their story should be told with the same gusto they had for life. Thomas accomplishes this, and it is why he was widely regarded and read.
Each 'obituary' is actually a short biographical essay - sparkling, dense, and observant - Thomas finds interest and humanity in each subject. After reading about half the book, I recalled the only other book and writings that I could compare to it: A Universal History of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges.
This book is simply 52 obituaries from this legendary New York Times writer. They really are mini-biographies. I loved this book.
Anna is currently reading it
Nov 07, 2015
Madeleine is currently reading it
Nov 28, 2015
Jenn marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2015
Claire Silver
Claire Silver marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2015
Cgburke marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2015
Laura marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2015
Jonathan marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
Jonathan Korns
Jonathan Korns marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2015
James Welch
James Welch marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book