Past Mortems: Life and Death Behind Mortuary Doors
A day in the life of Carla Valentine - curator, pathology technician and 'death professional' - is not your average day. She spent ten years training and working as an Anatomical Pathology Technologist: where the mortuary slab was her desk, and that day's corpses her task list.
Past Mortems tells Carla's stories of those years, as well as investigating the body alongside ou...more
That being said Past Mortems was a quick and fun look at a dark and serious vocation. I'm morbid so bo ...more
Past Mortems tells Carla's stories of those years, as well as investigating the body alongside our attitudes towards death - shedding light on what the living can learn from the dead and the toll the work can take on the living who carry it out. Some real laugh out loud moments througho ...more
The author is gracious and respectful and oh so protective of the profession she loves. From a very young age she knew what she was destined to do; and do it well she did. Her book documents her journey from novice to professional mortician and further to her current role as museum curator. ...more
власне, це найбільша проблема тексту: він значно менше про життя за дверима моргу, ніж про життя карли валентайн. а вона й персонажка не найяскравіша, й історій захопливих не дуже багато має, тому читачам треба вдовольнятися фрагментиками про те, як вона ходила в телевізор і всі її там любили, як вона у присутності шефині назва ...more
This account of her very interesting life in the land of mortuaries and museums, makes Carla Valentine seem like the perfect dinner guest who has some fantastic stories to tell!
This is a very well written debut autobiographical book, and I was fascinated by her desire from a young age to be in this line of work.
A good read.
Mortuaries are strange and demanding places, physically, emotionally and organisatio ...more
It was everything I had hoped for and more! I first saw this book as a recommendation on Goodreads about 7 months or so ago and I’ve been dying to read it ever since (no pun intended!).
Carla Valentine wanted to be a Mortician since she was nine years old and she carried through her dreams and made them into reali ...more
The book is intriguing from the very first page to the last. It allows a window in to both the authors life and pathology.
The experiences written about in the book are completely relatable to most of the audience.
The window into pathology shows what is required to follow through the door into a life of death.
Once again a great book, super hard to put down when reading.
Caitlin Doughty is the most obvious pioneer, at least to me, but here we have another sprightly young woman keen to blow off the proverbial cobwebs from the coffin.
Valentine's passion for post mortems is apparent from the word go as is his her keen understanding of common fears and superstitions surrounding death.
Though certain descriptions of the process made me squeamish (don't get me started o ...more
The book started off well, and I enjoyed learning about some of the more technical aspects of her role. However, I found that the further I read, the more technical and science-based the text became. I opted for this book because I wanted fascinating stories and a ...more
It's interesting , and very easy-to-read. It doesn't take long ...more
Unfortunately, the whole text read more as an autobiography than an informative book about "life & death behind mortuary doors." While the author is clearly incredibly passionate and determined, both qualities I love, I was put off by her disgust of fat ...more
Really well written covering a variety of aspects surrounding death, dying and what happens afterwards.
Carla writes about her post-mortems in such an open, factual yet personal and reassuring manner. I felt like we were both sat in our own little world and she was reading the book to me, this might sound a bit odd ...more
This book was such a fascinating look at the death industry and the work of APTs, and shed light on the differences in death procedures between the U.K. and the U.S. I loved hearing Carla's stories about her work in different mortuaries, and the respectful and thoughtful way she talked about religion and spirituality in the context of death. Some of the chapters felt a bit disjointed and out of order, ...more