The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries

The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries

by Marilyn Johnson
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Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Despite the poet, death has dominion¿in the hands of Marilyn Johnson and others of her ilk. The writing of obituaries, once shoved into the hands of novice or down-and-nearly-out journalists, has come into its own in recent years. The fine art of honing the human life and spirit to find its essence has resulted in a new generation of writers and readers. Some of us are so addicted, we begin the day with a cruise through the morning paper not for the comics, sports page or horoscopes but for the obits. In reading of people we wish we might have known, we encounter some of the finest (and fastest) writing available. Johnson introduces us to some of those writers, often with a poetry of words to capture their essences. She tells tales out of school and sets aside the old pattern of chronologies as the means of relating a lifestory. Her characters, living and dead, are people we¿d like to have met. I, for one, would like to meet her and she isn¿t dead! Johnson¿s writing is filled with the rhythms and vibrancy of life. An excellent, if unusual, read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marilyn Johnson has touched on a subject that is with us all on a daily basis, one some of us are secretly fascinated by, others are much more open in their appreciation of, and yet which most of us of us take for granted. That of obituaries. Who writes them, how have they evolved, and why do some of them touch us even though they are written of people we have never known nor even heard of? This book is eye opening and fun. A joy to read and will make one laugh and be touched, often within the same paragraph. A truly quirky celebration of life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marilyn Johnson¿s `The Dead Beat¿ has been an awakening for me. I had always considered myself as someone who read the newspaper from the first to last page. And yet, I have always been amused at those people who would be drawn to `The Irish Sports Section¿. After reading this book, I realized that I had been avoiding the obituaries and denying myself `perverse pleasures¿. Now, the author may recoil at any suggestion that she exhibits cultish behavior in her chosen craft as an obituarist. But, the passion for her profession shines through with a blend of dignity, respect and a healthy sense of humor. `The Dead Beat¿ is a remarkable tribute to her profession. I particularly enjoyed her homage to many of the pioneer obituarists of the egalitarian tributes. She has done her homework and I appreciate the history lesson. The author demonstrates a reverence for her chosen profession and genuine compassion for the deceased and those they leave behind. I value the education on obituary structures and styles and I came away thinking I had just completed a course in Obituaries 101. Above all else, `The Dead Beat¿ was entertaining and enlightening and I have become a new fan of the obituary. I will no longer avoid this rich section of the newspaper and I may just start searching the online obituary resources as detailed in the book. The notes, references and bibliography are useful and thorough for those who want to pursue more.
MontzieW More than 1 year ago
The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries by by Marilyn Johnson is a book I picked up from the library by chance. 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 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 ...well, I was going to say 'full of life' but that would be inappropriate now wouldn't it? Very interesting anyway. Enjoyed the book greatly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made by a big shrub and can fit at least 15 cats
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Here's how to make a book about death fun. From the Poe raven on the front to the death of newspapers to their rebirth on the net, Marilyn Johnson really buries you in her passions. These are real ghosts that are made to come alive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally a book about those dedicated people who allow no person to leave this world unnoticed. Our true history is in the many obituaries of so called 'normal' people and their passing is recorded with wit, integrity and even humor. Thank you, Marilyn Johnson.