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The Glen Rock Book of the Dead
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The Glen Rock Book of the Dead

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  165 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
In her author’s note to the book, Marion Winik writes that in Mexico on the Day of the Dead, “people build altars to their loved ones . . . they go to the cemetery and stay all night, praying, singing, drinking, wailing. They tell the sad stories and the noble ones; they eat cookies shaped like skeletons. They celebrate and mourn at once.”

Striking that balance, The Glen Ro
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Counterpoint (first published November 1st 2008)
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Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of those finds that I think bookstores and conversation are one of the few ways one could decide upon reading it. Its the quick glance inside that gets you and nails you to the wall. I wasn't even looking for this book. That's generally the way it happens when you find a great bookstore, you leave with your arms weighed down and your pocketbook vanquished. Something pushed it into my hands off the 'Rebecca Reccomends' shelf of Greenlight Bookstore in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. I read Wini ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever little book. Clever idea (one short chapter each for each person she's known who's died) and not macabre at all. In fact, it's alive. She's especially good at describing each person very quickly--in 30 or 50 words. In and out. And she picks nice moments to dramatize. I think that beginning creative nonfiction students could learn a lot from this on how to bring characters to life, quickly, on the page. Also, how to write a short, short essay about a person, with a point. Read this in abou ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series of portraits of people Winik has known or who touched her life in some way, and who have died, is beautifully written. She names these people with labels: The Showgirl (her step-grandmother), The Skater (her first husband), The Bad Influence (a friend of her son's), The Driving Instructor (her father), The Big Sister. Thus we are presented with archetypes who are at once marvelously specific, described with crystalline details. There is nothing maudlin about it. There is even a beaut ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the concept of this book--writing short essays about people the author met who had died. The essays were beautifully written. But you couldn't read too many at once or they all started to blend together. You had to read this book slowly, a few essays at a time.
Megan Stolz
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this is such a beautiful book. I love the design inside and out. The concept is also wonderful -- a page and a half or so honoring each of the deaths in Marion Winik's life. The writing is heartfelt with undertones of humor and sadness.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hampton Cade
Recommended to Tiffany by: Jane McCafferty
Shelves: non-fiction
Wonderful book; great for reading slowly or in one go. I use "The Realtor" as an example of masterful exposition in my creative writing classes.
Jamie Hughes
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely work similar to "Spoon River Anthology." Some of the best pieces are about the folks who were only in her life for a short period of time. It was as if the distance gave her greater perspective and allowed her to write beautiful prose. The pieces about her loved ones were too close, like she was trying to make me love them rather than simply letting me see them as they were and making up my own mind.

There are several that will break your heart in two and leave you lingering over the deta
Nancy Stevenson
3.75 stars. The book consists of 2- or 3-page stories, each about someone's death, like a contemporary Spoon River Anthology. Some of these vignettes are perfect gems; others aren't as clear. The book is not involving in a large sense since each little story is separate, but some of them involve different family members that build on each other. I'm glad I read the book, but am also glad it was short.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My initial reaction is to call this book a short, fun, and playful read. But a book filled with obituaries of people Marion Winik has known is not fun or playful, right? She did right by these people and has laid them to rest in these obituaries.
Gerry LaFemina
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Micro essays about dead people that sometimes almost feel like a bus load of prose poems collided into a classroom full of obituaries, this book is a delight in small doses (I want to use some of these in the classroom!), but read straight through they get a bit monotonous, particularly in tone.
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