All the Living and the Dead - Hayley Campbell - 2022
From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life's Work
By: Hayley Campbell
Narrated by: Hayley Campbell
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
Release date: 08-16-22
Categories: Nonfiction, Politics & Social Sciences, Anthropology
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Format: mp3 64/48 stereo
This audiobook is read by the author.
A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people—morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners—who work in it and what led them there.
We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we’re so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look?
Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear.
Through Campbell’s incisive and candid interviews with these people who see death every day, she asks: Why would someone choose this kind of life? Does it change you as a person? And are we missing something vital by letting death remain hidden? A dazzling work of cultural criticism, All the Living and the Dead weaves together reportage with memoir, history, and philosophy, to offer listeners a fascinating look into the psychology of Western death.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press.
From Mary Roach’s Stiff (one of my first ever downloads) to Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, my interest in mortality comes to life in my Audible library. In practice, however, I respond to death particularly poorly, which often makes me wonder—Do fellow fans of macabre listens feel as ironically squeamish about corpses as I do? Featuring interviews with executioners, embalmers, grave diggers, and more, Hayley Campbell’s latest release takes a hands-on approach to dissecting the colliding traditions that make death both a cultural obsession and taboo. All the Living and the Dead raises electrifying questions that will surely plague my mind for months to come. — Hailey H.
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