REVIEW The Undertaking Life Studies from the Dismal Trade 107

REVIEW Ó eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ´ Thomas Lynch

REVIEW Ó eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ´ Thomas Lynch Every year I bury Life Studies MOBI #183 a couple hundred of my townspeople So opens this singular and wise testimony Like all poets inspired by death Thomas Lynch is unlike others also hired to bury the dead or to cremate them and to tend to their families in a small Michigan town where he serves The Undertak. I thought this book was kind of a snooze And then I got towards the end he starts talking about abortion in a really stupid way including such archaic gems as Or is it one of those Women's Issues men are supposed to keep uiet about the way they were told to about abortion as if it were the gender not the species that reproduces Uhhh what Go back to your cave bro And write something interesting the next time you come out Douche

REVIEW The Undertaking Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

REVIEW The Undertaking Life Studies from the Dismal Trade 107 ✓ [Read] ➲ The Undertaking Life Studies from the Dismal Trade By Thomas Lynch – Every year I bury a couple hundred of my townspeople So opens this singular and wise testimony Like all poets inspired by death Thomas Lynch is unlike other Ing PDFEPUBas the funeral director In the conduct of these duties he has kept his eyes open his ear tuned to the indispensable vernaculars of love and grief In these twelve pieces his is the voice of both witness and functionary Here Lynch poet to the dying names the hurts and whispers the condolences Undertak. I had hoped for much from this book It received good notices and won the American Book Award But there were a few aspects of the book and the writing that put me off and I uit at the halfway pointFirst I would very much like publishers to stop putting out essay collections that appear to be continuous narratives Such a form can be done well Atul Gawande's BETTER achieved a continuity with a consistent theme and editing that reinforced it despite the fact that it was clearly a collection but often it seems a cheat to readers who are hoping to pick up a book on a single subject Instead they get a loose collection of short pieces that may or may not relate to the subject in which they were interested That is the case hereSecond I'm afraid I found Thomas Lynch's style overly adorned and florid This is probably in part because in addition to being an undertaker he is also a poet His poetic tendency leads him ironically to say when it would do to say less I enjoyed some parts of some of his stories but I knew I would have enjoyed them if many of his descriptions asides and opinions had been trimmed away This is a matter of taste I suppose but I was less able to enjoy the stories because I was rarely allowed to forget that it was Thomas Lynch telling them He seemed very concerned that his voice be prominent and I guess I just don't like that voiceI don't mean to suggest that contemporary nonfiction be devoid of personality and idiosyncrasy but writers who are enad of their own voices can often in the reader's way of being too intrusive a mediator of the messageThird there are too many single sentence paragraphsFourth punsAnd finally fifth I honestly never got what I came for The conceit of the book at least in part is that Lynch will conduct us through a world that he is well prepared to share with us that of the funeral business But far too often he drifts far afield and the straightforward details I would expect from such a book are imparted only partially and often in passing Clearly he has a viewpoint that he would like to share and that viewpoint sometimes stands in opposition to earlier books published about his trade But he does not marshal the facts as often as necessary and he sometimes falls back on generalizations and wry opinion when the truly convincing evidence one needs is old fashioned example

Thomas Lynch ´ 7 REVIEW

The Undertaking Life Studies from the Dismal TradeIng Life Studies PDFEPUB #189 and shapes the uestions posed by this familiar mystery So here is homage to parents who have died and to children who shouldn't have Here are golfers tripping over grave markers gourmands and hypochondriacs lovers and suicides These are the lessons for life our mortality teaches u. Thomas Lynch is an undertaker and a poet Unsurprisingly one occupation interests me than the other When he tells the tales of things he has seen the late night “removals” he's performed the children he buried while his own kids grew up the bedrooms he painted so the surviving spouse wouldn’t sleep beneath the shotgun’s evidence those stories are riveting Some of what he has to say comes perilously close to testifying he has seen our futures and it’s later than we think One essay considers the past in which babies were born in a room near the kitchen young people were married in the parlor and the dead were laid out and waked in their own homes In those days people were familiar with the physical realities of life Once shitting moved from the out house to the porcelain throne and the dead were shifted from the place where they lived to the funeral “home” society began to fall apart Every now and then Lynch likes to shit in his garden just to reconnect with nature I’m not making this up He doesn’t go so far as to recommend everyone try it but the implication is that the undertaker knows what’s good for usUnfortunately Lynch crosses the line between testifying and preaching when he writes about suicide He likens assisted suicide to abortion Just because he has the “ability to piss on his neighbor’s day lilies” that doesn’t mean he has the right Do you see a theme developing here He stops short of saying that suicide is a sin but points out that as a Catholic boy he was raised to believe in offering up one’s pain for the good of the suffering souls One wonders how differently he will feel about the matter when his agony lingers for months on end as he’s eaten by the cancer that killed his mother Of course he expects to die uickly and relatively painlessly from the bad heart his father left himStill Lynch is than half a businessman He relates the story of his brother who owned a business created to clean up after suicides The brother sold the business after Kevorkian began his crusade Lynch works in Michigan after all It wasn’t that people were no longer going to kill themselves they just weren’t going to make such a mess The brother saw no profit in continuing to serve the grieving public Lynch however foresees that if he can’t prevent assisted suicides he may as well open “obitoria” where people can come to die in a building beside the funeral home One shop stoppingThis was a frustrating book but full of food for thought Most of the essays were structured like poems a stanza on one topic a stanza on another uick interplay between the two as if in a chorus several stanzas a final chorus I found the lack of linear thought dizzying Yet the poet has a gift for phrasing I find myself wanting to adopt some of Lynch’s bon mots like “Are you out of your kevorking mind”