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Pardon My Hearse: A Colorful Portrait of Where the Funeral and Entertainment Industries Met in Hollywood
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Pardon My Hearse: A Colorful Portrait of Where the Funeral and Entertainment Industries Met in Hollywood

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Even celebrities die—and he was the man who picked up the bodies! Allan Abbott ran the leading hearse, mortuary, and funeral services company in Hollywood and got an unprecedented glimpse of how celebrities really live and die. The Forrest Gump of the funeral industry, Abbott was everywhere celebrities died, from helping to prepare Marilyn Monroe’s body for burial to stand ...more
Kindle Edition, 345 pages
Published June 15th 2015 by Quill Driver Books
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  163 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I don't know how hilarious or laugh-out-loud these stories are intended to be. Some of them felt decidedly context critical (a shared joke over someone wearing a mask to work, for example, feels like it would have been funnier if I knew the people and was present at the time).

It was interesting. I was especially interested in the evolution of the business, and how it seems they sort of fell into it, almost serendipitously. I kept wondering where all of the government road blocks to this endeavor
Scott C Lindstrom
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I Enjoyed This, but...

Actually, I enjoyed it quite a bit. But I started to wondered if the editor had actually read it. More than once, a potentially great anecdote suddenly stops. “Wait! What’s the REST of that story???” Imagine if your favorite comedian suddenly stop telling the punchlines. This needed about 15 more pages to flesh out the stories that weren’t finished. And it could have done without the authors encounter with NOAA. Still, most of us have a voyeuristic curiosity about this indu
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-life
Weirdly interesting!!
I read that book in one seating, on a night I was suffering from insomnia; it didn't help me to fall asleep.
It's a really interesting book, written by someone who fell into the 'death' business by accident.
Hollywood is more of a side story, than the main part of it, so if you want juicy details about dead stars, you won't really find a lot of those. Mr. Abbott was actually described by people in the movie business as respectful.
Some details are a bit disgusting, this is a bo
Patti Sickels
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
While I found the founding of the company and many of the stories interesting and entertaining, it seemed Allan Abbott was often opportunistic in his exploitation of private details to boost his own importance. Betraying humiliating information of others and the overall crassness of his behavior at times was inexcusable. Many stories would take off only to end a paragraph later leaving me to wonder what the point was other than to name drop.
Jana Deubner
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was informative and funny. I would highly recommend to anyone who loves celebrities.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Like your crazy uncle telling his growing up antics at a family reunion.
It is an interesting book if you can get past his corny jokes and one liners that would be funny if you were there!
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in reading this book is because I'm fascinated with the funerary business and practices. The book's claim about Hollywood was only slightly intriguing to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the read but will mention to prospective readers that this book is not a trashy, gossipy book about Hollywood and celebrities; it is a book about the inside workings of a funeral business which happened to be in California and thus crossed paths with the film industry occasionally. The book starts off chrono ...more
Gina  Clabo
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
oh my goodness this book was so amazing..Alan Abbott and he's son Greg has written one of the best Biography book I have read in a long time...Alan and his best friend have worked so hard all of their lives...and have seen everything in death..This was all in California and if you live there you will know all these areas and the buildings and the stories of how they came to be....The stories of Marilyn Monroe's funeral to the movies his limousine and hearse were in... to Hollywood stars he has d ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book, and even more so as an audiobook after I didn't have time to actually read it. Well laid out memoir. It was a little surprising as I had picked it up thinking it was going to be more of a non-fiction piece. There were chapters that seemed out of place and they made more sense as you learn more about Allan's life. There were aspects of his life that would raise and eyebrow but what a wonderful to collect the stories of his life for future generations, including the great detail ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I couldn't decide whether to give this two stars or three. I gave it three because the story of how the author got started was intriguing, and the first half of the book showed some promise. Ultimately I only finished it because I have a hard time NOT finishing a book. The chapter about his May-December second marriage is a good example of missing details and, like other readers here, I found the connections between paragraphs and events to be lacking. He seemed to go from one thought to another ...more
Scott Underwood
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I actually DNF. This was too hard to follow, with paragraphs so disconnected at times, I was left scratching my head. I really got turned of when he talks about he and his wife returning to a driveway to spy on a TV star and spouse as the fought....sad.... Some good stuff, but mostly a gossip tableau centered around death ........not my cup o tea.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Most interesting aspect was how they built and expanded the business but the book itself is very "pieced" together. Expected more of the book to be like the "Marilyn" chapter but it was mainly more or less about the hearse rental business.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: will-never-read
I must admit that I have not actually read more than an excerpt or two from this book - but this author has made truly tasteless and sensationalistic comments in interviews about the nature of his work, and it's thoroughly turned me off of further exploring his book.
gloria segal
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Life and death and all in between

Excellent book, poignant , humorous and insightful. Having lived in L.A. Culver City and Inglewood I could relate even more.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actually a very good, entertaining read with some great historical stories of the rich and famous. From a perspective like no other, this was a great read.
Susan Mendez Araya
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlene Blackwood
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Jun 16, 2015
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May 18, 2016
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Nov 30, 2019
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