Book Review: The Mortician Diaries

The Mortician Diaries

June Nadle

New World Library

212 pages

This is the first book I’ve read since starting my blog that I considered not reviewing.  I guess the problem is that it wasn’t a good book . . . but it wasn’t bad either.  I was ambivalent after finishing it. 

I’ve always been interested in death.  Who isn’t?  It’s something that everyone experiences but it’s a big mystery at the same time.  So I guess in my fascination with death, this book intrigued me.  It’s written by a mortician (obviously) and what I expected was a book of musings and experience.  Instead, it was half guide book about dealing with death and half lackluster stories from Nadle’s experience as a mortician. 

Part of the problem, in my mind, was Nadle’s age.  She just seemed out of date, which was reflected in the text.  She graduated and began working in the 1950s and while you would think the ideas  and stories Nadle related would transcend time, they didn’t stylistically. 

Some of the chapters did include scenarios that were more what I imagined.  The one that sticks out most vividly is when Nadle is called to a home in the 50’s where a young child has died unexpectedly.  He took ill in the morning and was dead by that evening.  His grief stricken mother refused to let go of him physiaclly, despite the fact that he had been dead for hours and the effects of death were beginning to show.  Nadle was called in to coax the baby away from his mother, which she was eventually able to do.  The entire scenario was so distressing and real.  THAT was what I was looking for in this book, but it was so few and far between.

Would I recommend this book?  No, probably not.  It was a pretty quick read and I don’t regret reading it, but I am sure there are better choices other than this book.

Other Reviews:

None that I can find!

I borrowed this book from my local library.

2 Responses

  1. OMG…I was just reading reviews about this book on Amazon, but I decided to pass on it LOL Thanks for your honest review.

  2. On a side note: That cover is just great in my opinion. I love vibrant colors like that. If you are interested in a book on death, I recommend Mary Roach’s Spook; I just love her. 🙂

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