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

By Marilyn Johnson



Marilyn Johnson was enthralled by the remarkable lives that were marching out of this world--so she sought out the best obits in the English language and the people who spent their lives writing about the dead. She surveyed the darkest corners of Internet chat rooms, and made a pilgrimage to London to savor the most caustic and literate obits of all. Now she leads us on a compelling journey into the cult and culture behind the obituary page and the unusual lives we don't quite appreciate until they're gone.

Product Details

Price: $14.99
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Published Date: February 01, 2007
Pages: 252
Dimensions: 5.1 X 0.81 X 7.96 inches | 0.6 pounds
ISBN: 9780060758769
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Marilyn Johnson is a former editor and writer for Life, Esquire, and Outside magazines, and lives with her husband, Rob Fleder, in New York's Hudson Valley.


"[Marilyn Johnson]'s written a warm, funny, appreciative book that, ironically enough, should live forever. But get it now."--Roy Blount, Jr., author of Feet On The Street: Rambles Around New Orleans
"A beautifully written, funny, and fascinating tour through the unexpectedly lively world of obituaries."--Lisa Grunwald, author of Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present
"A charming, lyrical book about the men and women who write obituaries... sly, droll, and completely winning."--David Halberstam
"A joyful book about obituaries? Absolutely! Marilyn Johnson pulls it off with death-defying grace, insight, charm, and wit."--Lee Eisenberg, author of The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life