Linda's Reviews > The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch
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's review
Aug 08, 10

While searching for another book I came across this title and immediately remembered it with reverence. So, I checked it out at the library and re-visited the pages. What a book! Every word is a jewel; every page is a treasure. Well, maybe not the part about golf, which I hate, but oh well. Thomas Lynch is an undertaker. He is also a poet so he chooses his words with care. I love/loved his take on death and his careful detailing of the rituals of death combined with his deeply religious, or for those who will shudder at that word, spiritual connection to "the end." He also has a chapter about divorce which was a comfort to me at first reading and which has strengthened in importance as I read it again. That chapter ends with his poem about being married for thirty years. That too felt comfy. After I re-read a bit I looked up some reviews and learned that Alan Ball the creator of the TV series SIX FEET UNDER used this book to set the tone of his show. I have bought copies of this book for myself and then given them away to people who have never gotten back to me about what they thought. I will probably buy another copy and keep it near my bedside for awhile. It will also go onto a list I am compiling of books I want read to me when I am ill and dieing and no one knows what to do with me. Reading this book is soooo satisfying.

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