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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

author: Caitlin Doughty (2015)
date read: 13 February 2019
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is a pretty graphic book – reader beware, if descriptions of decomposing bodies and death rituals make you queasy, you might want to skip this.

But in a way, that’s at the heart of the book – Western culture tries to hide death, to cover it up and keep it being a pristine curtain. We’re scared to talk about what happens to people after they die. This book shows a bit of what happens in an (American) crematorium, with snippets of other death rituals from around the world.

I was recommended this book after I really enjoyed the funeral rites in Record of a Spaceborn Few, and it follows neatly. It was perhaps unwise to read it in just two sittings (some of that imagery is quite unsettling), but overall I found it interesting and easy to read.

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