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

The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch
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's review
Jul 02, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: cultural-studies, memoir, read-in-2009
Read in August, 2009

Summer reading for grown up goths: a memoir by a poet/undertaker.

I enjoyed reading this book; it was a good read. It won't, however, stick with me much.

The writing is well-crafted and savory, but it doesn't take you anywhere. The first fifty pages were the best, and it really could've been a tightly written essay instead of a 200 page book.

That said, there is a really radiant passage in the beginning of the book about American space and life, with this lovely little thought-provoking paragraph:

"Just about the time we were bringing the making of water and the movement of bowels into the house, we were pushing the birthing and marriage and sickness and dying out. And if the family that prayed together stayed together in accordance with the churchy bromide, the one that shits together rarely sticks together."

That's the crux of the book - and though some of the other characters and townspeople that Lynch introduces throughout the book are somewhat compelling, I just didn't feel like through and through there was much here.

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