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Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (1996)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (1996) author: Thomas Lynch

This book has a great hook. "Every Year I bury a couple hundred of my townspeople". And he does. This book is an autobiography/series of essays from Thomas Lynch, who is not only a respected poet but a funeral director, which I think gives him a unique perspective on death and dying. He relates deaths that are personal, such as his great Aunt and his father, to dealing with cleaning up after local personalities and even messy suicides.

Although some of the instances he recalls are sad he does have a good sense of humor. I like the idea he has of combining cemeteries and golf courses.

Does he have an "insider's view" of death? you'll have to decide. One thing he does do is put things succinctly and makes you think about the inevitable. Yes, this book is non-fiction but it does deal with "real life" horror, in a matter of speaking.

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