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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory
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BUDDY READ: Non-Fiction > Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty - Starting January 5th, 2018

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Abby | 5454 comments Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).



Ashleigh | 3283 comments Chapters 1 and 2 (Shaving Byron and Puppy Surprise)

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Ashleigh | 3283 comments Chapters 3 and 4 (The Thud and Toothpicks in the Jell-o)

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Ashleigh | 3283 comments Chapters 5-7 (Push the Button, Pink Cocktails and Demon Babies)

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Karen Barber | 10144 comments Chapters 1 and 2-can’t see your spoilers Ashleigh (on iPad) but it’s kind of odd. Intriguing, but odd.


Ashleigh | 3283 comments Karen - it's really odd but yeah, so intriguing. I'm loving the dark humour.


Ashleigh | 3283 comments Chapters 8-10 (Direct Disposal, Unnatural Natural and Alas, Poor Yorick)

(view spoiler)


Ashleigh | 3283 comments Chapters 11-14 (Eros and Thantos, Bubblating, Ghusl and Solo Witness)

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Karen Barber | 10144 comments Up to ch9. Feeling like I’m being told more than I really want to consider, but it’s true how sanitised the process has become.


Karen Barber | 10144 comments Ashleigh wrote: "Chapters 5-7 (Push the Button, Pink Cocktails and Demon Babies)

If I'm honest the chapter I've found to be the hardest to read so far has to be the one about baby cremations. It's just upsetting.
..."


Ashleigh wrote: "Chapters 5-7 (Push the Button, Pink Cocktails and Demon Babies)

If I'm honest the chapter I've found to be the hardest to read so far has to be the one about baby cremations. It's just upsetting.
..."


Even how it's one of those things that we know is going to happen, it is a little odd that we pay so little attention to the process. It's so sanitised now, and I was intrigued to read about some of the other methods used.


Karen Barber | 10144 comments Ashleigh wrote: "Chapters 8-10 (Direct Disposal, Unnatural Natural and Alas, Poor Yorick)

I've never ever heard of ordering a cremation online. It just seems a bit impersonal, like you don't care about the person ..."


The whole cremation online thing seems symptomatic of how we treat everything - making it as anonymous as possible.


Karen Barber | 10144 comments Ch9-11. Concerned that I’m so fascinated by this. Does feel like I’m having to detach slightly-can’t imagine doing this...


Ashleigh | 3283 comments Book Finished

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Karen Barber | 10144 comments Ch12-14. Grossed out, but can’t put this down!


Karen Barber | 10144 comments Absorbing read. Odd, very odd, but anything that gets us to consider some of the issue we’re all too happy to ignore is welcome.


message 16: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby | 5454 comments Toothpicks in Jell-O: (view spoiler)


message 17: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby | 5454 comments Demon Babies: (view spoiler)


message 18: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby | 5454 comments Alas, Poor Yorick: (view spoiler)


message 19: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby | 5454 comments Finished: (view spoiler)


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