Return to Book Page. Marilyn Johnson was enthralled by the remarkable lives that were marching out of this world—so she sought out the best obits in the English language and the people who spent their lives writing about the dead.
She surveyed the darkest corners of Internet chat rooms, and made a pilgrimage to London to savor the most caustic and literate obits of all. Now she leads us on a c Marilyn Johnson was enthralled by the remarkable lives that were marching out of this world—so she sought out the best obits in the English language and the people who spent their lives writing about the dead. Now she leads us on a compelling journey into the cult and culture behind the obituary page and the unusual lives we don't quite appreciate until they're gone.
Paperback , pages. Published January 30th by Harper Perennial first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Dead Beat , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Dec 28, Montzalee Wittmann rated it really liked it. I am a nurse and one of the odd habit nurses have is looking at obituaries, weird, I know. We check to see if we know anyone we helped, especially if working in a nursing home recently or part time.
Odd habit but apparently others have it too. Well this book shows the strange obits out there, the different styles of writing obits from different The Dead Beat: Well this book shows the strange obits out there, the different styles of writing obits from different parts of the world, different styles from various writers of obits, unusual lives of those departed, and strange timing of deaths of multiple people.
Some places in the book was a bit dry but for the most part it was very interesting and Enjoyed the book greatly.
The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries (P.S.) [Marilyn Johnson] on owiluxyfiq.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Editorial Reviews. owiluxyfiq.tk Review. Once upon a time, journalism profs duly instructed The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries (P.S.) - Kindle edition by Marilyn Johnson. Download it once and.
Jul 08, Rachael rated it liked it Shelves: This book came to me by way of providence. I decided one day that I would like to read a book about obituaries. More specifically, Johnson writes about the blossoming cult following obituaries have been attracting for some time now. She gives an overview of the favored obituary writers, the best websites to find international favorite obituaries, the life of an obituary writer and the changing styles and fashi This book came to me by way of providence.
She gives an overview of the favored obituary writers, the best websites to find international favorite obituaries, the life of an obituary writer and the changing styles and fashions of obituary writing. Her actual writing skills are not remarkable, it feels a bit like getting a letter from a friend of your mother's.
There isn't anything about her that makes her particularly qualified to write the book either, aside from her enthusiasm. I enjoyed the book for it's subculture-immerision and for the selections of classic obituaries she shares throughout. Also, I'm fascinated by the widespread commonality of common-people obituaries--the ones about a favorite neighborhood plumber--that are written by skilled writers and published in major newspapers. Johnson loves these and talks about them a lot. A good way to familiarize yourself if you are at all interested in this field.
People who have time or blood on their hands. I picked this book up because I liked the cover.
Johnson tries her hardest to show how great obits are- she speaks incessantly to how they bring people closure, or together, or whatever. It was when she was in the middle of these diatr I picked this book up because I liked the cover. It was when she was in the middle of these diatribes I lost interest in the book. Seriously, these people know how to turn a phrase. Engel loved living in the blink. The excerpts are also heartbreaking. This is from one of the obituaries on someone who died in the September 11th attacks.
Sent the invitations and everything. He has no idea.
Would you put that in the newspaper? Her Daughters encouraged her to do just that. But it was too late. Launching and overseeing so many young lives took her own well-being. Even before her last child was born, she had begun using alcohol to retreat from her burden, and possibly, from depression.
Social drinking became wine every day at 5 P. Intervention was not successful. For better or worse they are about the people. Death is never easy or fun. The interesting thing about this book that is partially uninteresting is that it made me wonder what my obituary might say. Who would write it? Would it be funny? Would it be sappy? Would I be looked back upon fondly? Would people scour at me through their words?
But I will say it did make me think about just a bit about death, and more importantly how one is remembered. View all 3 comments.
Aug 16, Linda rated it really liked it. The cover of the book, incorporating the title is: A journalist, she has sought out obituaries that are works of art; gone to several Great Obituary Writers' International Conferences, the sixth being held in Las Vegas, New Mexico ; met a host of talented obituary writers and gotten their stories; and given me a new appreciation of the genre. Tracing what one well known UK obituary writer, Nigel Fountain calls " These journalists interview friends, neighbors and family or glean tidbits from previously published information.
They feature the person in death embellished in life. As Johnson says, "You don't know how many things you don't know until you start dawdling over the obituary page. Another reference to Sept. Johnson includes, after the Aknowledgements section, where extraordinary obituary writers mentioned in the book are again commemerated, an Appendix, a marvelously complete "notes" section, and a Bibliography. She is thorough and professional.
A sleeper of a newspaper history book and a heroic pursuit of good writers writing good about good people. The task takes contradictory attributes: Obituary writing sounds appealing in the same way that biography writing does: Johnson also makes a case for death being a great equalizer; most lives are equally full of incident and strangeness when you look closely enough. Jun 28, Karen rated it it was ok Shelves: I picked up this book because the blurb on the cover said "An uplifting, joyous, life-affirming read for people who ordinarily steer clear of uplifting, joyous, life-affirming reads.
Marilyn Johnson writes about the structure of obituaries, the various styles of obits and the papers that run them. She introduces us to the obituary writers she admires and the people I picked up this book because the blurb on the cover said "An uplifting, joyous, life-affirming read for people who ordinarily steer clear of uplifting, joyous, life-affirming reads. She introduces us to the obituary writers she admires and the people who influenced them.
Throughout, she provides many examples of obituaries, all fascinating. Her style is lively and witty. She's aware that her subject may seem a little off the wall, but she defends it well, saying that a good obituary distills what is unique about a person, so that some little piece of her will be preserved after she has died. My problem with all of this is that I would have liked the book so much better if it had been a long essay instead.
I lost patience in the chapter near the end where Johnson describes the hours she spends on the Usenet message board alt. I wanted to reach into the book, pull her out of her chair and make her go outside. In other words, she didn't convert me to her obituary obsession--and there's nothing really wrong with that. There was just too much of this book for my taste.
Apr 08, Jennifer rated it liked it Shelves: The world of obituary writing is slightly larger than I suppose I would have imagined it, had I imagined it at all. Johnson brings to light the differences in newspapers, the styles of various writers and their conferences! Most of our obitua The world of obituary writing is slightly larger than I suppose I would have imagined it, had I imagined it at all.
Most of our obituaries are rather boring, written by family members following a simple template. I'm quite encouraged to write my own! Scattered throughout are excerpts from obituaries, which were my favorite parts of the book.
In some cities, obituaries are much more deadpan - sneaky with their jokes - without being too disrespectful. One of my favorites: She was 95 and a size 34B. Feb 22, Alyce Wilson rated it liked it. As someone who enjoys meandering through old cemeteries, gazing at tombstones and wondering about the people who lie below, I was excited at the prospect of an entire book about obituaries.
Author Marilyn Johnson focuses not so much on interesting obituaries themselves but on the craft of the creative obituary writer. A self-proclaimed obituary fan, Johnson shares fascinating insights into the writing process: When I worked for a local newspaper, about a decade ago, As someone who enjoys meandering through old cemeteries, gazing at tombstones and wondering about the people who lie below, I was excited at the prospect of an entire book about obituaries.
When I worked for a local newspaper, about a decade ago, we followed a very different process. Except for a few high-profile local celebrities, which entailed front-page feature stories, most obituaries were dictated to us by the local funeral home directors. But as Johnson relates, the art of creative obituaries has become more prominent in recent years. Johnson interviewed a host of talented obituary writers, and when she relates their stories, the book is engaging. Too much of the book, however, concentrates on Johnson's own stories about seeking out other obituary fans. The end result is an information-packed book that lacks focus.
She should have emulated her favorite obit writers, who distill an entire lifetime into 1, words. Mar 11, Kyla rated it liked it. I am obituary junkie, at least I was until I started getting the NY Times which spends more time on engagements in Sunday Styles than it does the obits of ordinary people. And that's where I split from the author of this book - she prefers the obits of the famous and noted that the English papers and the NY Times run, whereas I like the more sentimental everyday obits often written by family members.
The Vancouver Sun and The Oregonian had excellent versions of these and I used to save my favour I am obituary junkie, at least I was until I started getting the NY Times which spends more time on engagements in Sunday Styles than it does the obits of ordinary people. The Vancouver Sun and The Oregonian had excellent versions of these and I used to save my favourites. But I don't really care too much about the people who wrote the obits on staff or the devoted internet celebrity death watchers. I want the stories of regular people and she doesn't. The most surprising omission in the book is a lack of full examples of some of the best obits out there.
Snippets are quoted but it's kind of like writing a book on German Expressionist art and only showing small sections of the canvas.
More obits, less pondering! Jun 10, Tom McDade rated it it was amazing Shelves: In her obit for the NY Sun, Stephen Miller had crammed her identification with the fascinating particulars of her life: Over the cut-and-paste, she commented: May 23, Daley Downing rated it liked it. This is a pretty interesting, sometimes a bit darkly humorous, at times extremely poignant non-fic read.
It's a selection for a book club I'm in.
Normally I don't choose non-fic, hardly at all. Some of the examples of obits were also fascinating. My biggest complaint about this short book is that too much of it was redundant. By the later chapters, rather than the author continually going back to the same format here's a famous obit j This is a pretty interesting, sometimes a bit darkly humorous, at times extremely poignant non-fic read.
By the later chapters, rather than the author continually going back to the same format here's a famous obit journalist and some of the obits they penned!
This was interesting, and I loved the profiles of the obit writers that Johnson has constructed. It is, admittedly, a little out of date I'm not sure who's using a google group right now as opposed to, say, a subreddit , but it's easy to follow and endlessly entertaining. Campbell Biology by Peter V. Urry and Steven A. Wasserman , Hardcover 8. Fundamentals of Pathology by Husain A. Sattar , Paperback Fundamentals of Pathology - Pathoma: Step 1 Review By Dr.
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