Book Rating (32)
Narrator Rating (22)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

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Caitlin Doughty

7 Hours 46 Minutes

Recorded Books

September 2014

Audio Book Summary

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. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters, gallows humor, and vivid characters (both living and very dead). Describing how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes), and cared for bodies of all shapes and sizes, Caitlin becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the deceased. Her eye-opening memoir shows how our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead). In the spirit of her popular Web series, 'Ask a Mortician,' Caitlin's engaging narrative style makes this otherwise scary topic both approachable and profound. 'America's (kinda dark) sweetheart' (Huffington Post)Caitlin Doughty, the host and creator of the 'Ask a Mortician' Web series and the collective Order of the Good Death, is on a mission to change the way we think about death.

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  • Dorte L.

    Like Caitlin Doughty, I have been close to death for quite a while. I'm an Oncologist and deal with death on some level daily. I try to get my patients accept their mortality and their close end. At the same time, I am too fascinated by the topic death, because people treat it like something separate from life. Just like Caitlin, I am missing that people confront themselves - while they still are healthy - with the fact, that they gonna die at some point. Other reviewers described the book as refreshing, interesting, and humorous. I agree, but I also think it is more so for somebody who doesn't deal with death on a daily basis. I was probably missing the thought provoking part. I was also missing the closer look at grieving, since the book is more for the left behind family than for the dying. The aim of the book is to shake up the view of death among the readers. I am not sure, that Caitlin achieved it. I feel more wondrous about the American funeral practices.

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  • Jade W.

    This isn’t the type of book I typically listen to but I really enjoyed it. It’s factual without being boring. I found it genuinely really interesting

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  • Shelley A.

    Excellent information introducing death and mortality to the American culture.

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  • Amy M.

    Thought provoking and engaging.

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  • Laura M.

    I love watching Caitlin's "Ask A Mortician" youtube channel which brought me here to purchase her audio books. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and visiting So Cal many times the locational references are smile-inducing and of course her mix of wit, honesty and openess about a subject which freaks most people out and is an instant conversation shutter-downer is delightfully refreshing! ;)

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  • Eric C.

    I love listening to her experiences and I have learnt so much from Caitlin. I appreciate her sense of humour, and I feel she has an inept ability to describe her experiences and form vivid images of her work. Excellent!

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  • samantha t

    this is a great book witty and insightful deserves 5 stars

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  • Chassady Ralston

    An excellent mix of personal experience and history. I love how Caitlin talks as is (I watch her YouTube series) and she didn't disappoint while narrating. So proud of her!

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