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August 15, 2011 / Tracey

Review: Curtains, Adventures of an Undertaker in Training | Tom Jokinen

With a teaser like this:


“If Bill Bryson were to join a funeral home as an apprentice, and if he searched for the meaning of life and death while he was at it, you’d have Curtains.”


I was really looking forward to reading Curtains – Adventures of an Undertaker in Training by author Tom Jokinen. Tom tells it like it is, and writes about the funeral industry and the inner workings of one particular funeral home that he works in.

Tom works as an assistant in all duties performed in the funeral home, from driving the hearse, collecting deceased and assisting in the embalming process to dressing corpses, selling coffins, operating the cremating oven and sifting and sorting the ashes.

In between describing the ins and outs of these processes and giving readers the inside scoop, Jokinen comments on death and grief and the ways in which we do and don’t cope / deal with it. He also writes about the increased preference for cremation in place of burial, and how families and loved ones choose to remember their dear departed.

I found this a curious but sometimes depressing topic and I could only read a little at a time. Curtains satisfied a morbid curiosity I had to find out what happens in a funeral home, however it was a little repetitive towards the end and I began to feel that my curiosity had been satisfied and I wanted to shrug off the morbid topic and move onto a more livelier book.

Nevertheless, an interesting book to dip into, but I didn’t finish it through to the end.

My rating = **

That’s my four bucks!
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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. mummazappa / Aug 16 2011 7:35 am

    I don't think I would read this, I would hate to have images of what happens in a funeral home behind the scenes going through my mind when I'm at a funeral! Interesting, but probably too much information 🙂

  2. TBM / Aug 16 2011 9:24 pm

    It does seem like a downer.

  3. Tracey / Aug 17 2011 6:08 am

    Thanks for your comments. I couldn't resist it, it sounded so interesting and I was hoping it would be lighthearted and manageable, but not to be. Nevermind, we can't fall in love with every book we read. What was the last dud you read?

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