[Download] Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory By Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

By: Caitlin Doughty
Narrated by: Caitlin Doughty
Length: 7 hours
Release date: Jan 1, 2014
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (291 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty – a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre – took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters, gallows humor, and vivid characters (both living and very dead). Describing how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes), and cared for bodies of all shapes and sizes, Caitlin becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the deceased. Her eye-opening memoir shows how our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead). In the spirit of her popular Web series, “Ask a Mortician,” Caitlin’s engaging narrative style makes this otherwise scary topic both approachable and profound.
“America’s (kinda dark) sweetheart” (Huffington Post)Caitlin Doughty, the host and creator of the “Ask a Mortician” Web series and the collective Order of the Good Death, is on a mission to change the way we think about death.
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70 Responses to “[Download] Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory By Caitlin Doughty”

  1. Felix Swartzfager

    Great Black Humor.
    If you could sum up Smoke Gets in Your Eyes in three words, what would they be?

  2. Julie

    Made me an even bigger fan!
    I fell in love with Caitlin’s Youtube series after my sister announced that she would be attending funeral school. I wanted to learn more about my sister’s cool new profession, so I tuned in. My sister recommended this book, and it was the first I ever read on service.
    Caitlin’s voice is soothing, and her quirkiness is evident in both her writing and voice. If you don’t mind things getting graphic, this book is an excellent read for anyone even remotely interested in the funeral industry.

  3. Kristofer Ratcliffe

    Engaging and Enjoyable
    I love her YouTube, Ask A Mortition, which lead me to this book by her. This book is most definitely a good read. It is wonderful to have an inside look at the funeral business, to hear about practices and advice. I highly recommend this book to anyone who love the more morbid things in life or is thinking of getting into the business. Since finding her on YouTube I have been more open and accepting of death, and death in history. Again I really do recommend this book and her YouTube channel.

  4. Janeth Beckfield

    I loved this book! While it might not be for some people, the author wrote this story mainly from her own experiences as an employee at a crematorium. She didn’t mince words. The details of her cases were amazing, and I really liked how she brought other religions and their ceremonies into it. She did a wonderful job narrating it. I really hated to hear it end!!!

  5. Customer

    eye opening
    This book had me hooked from the beginning and Caitlin’s narration was very clean and crisp. I enjoyed this book and was sad when it was over.

  6. McDork

    If you will die someday, read this.
    This is a better way to think about death so read it now while you still have time to make or correct your plans.

  7. Customer

    A Powerful Journey through Mortality
    It was an powerful and moving journey through my own mortality. Doughty’s narration is poignant and poised, yet maintains a freshness throughout her tales of decay and decomposition.

    I bought the book, but listening to her tell her own story was that much more moving than reading it on my own. Highly recommend

  8. Alita Foraker

    great book a must read
    The author is very generous in sharing her experiences. It is interesting and took a turn for the profund. I am recommending this book to everyone!

  9. Sharan Medsker

    The Book Other Funeral Industry Books Want To Be!!
    When I was 12 years old, I lost my first close family member when my maternal grandmother passed away. Over the two or three days of being at the funeral home, us grandkids got bored enough that one of the funeral home directors gave us an in-depth tour of the funeral home.

    The oversized freezer, where the hearses were stored and serviced, even going as far as taking us to the embalming room and walking us through the embalming process in amazing detail.

    Would a parent want their child to learn what their grandmother “went through”? When I told my mom about the tour, she was sorry she missed it! If I didn’t have an interest in funeral homes before, that tour sparked a lifelong interest.

    (Note to younger readers: In the 1980’s, viewings and funerals were not done in one day as the trend is now. You actually spent several days at the funeral home “receiving” mourners. Of course, most of the mourners for a woman in her 60’s were not there to see us grandkids, so we were free to be educated in the dark arts of the funeral industry).

    I have read several books on service that are memoirs of those working in the funeral industry or some aspect of it (morgue workers, coroners, funeral home operators, etc). So many of them fall way short in pulling back any kind of curtain on the industry.

    Well, look no further!! This book covers everything from how many applications it takes just to get a crematory job, to initial jitters. to how to handle it when the body conveyor belt breaks with mourners looking on, to all of the little things you may have never even thought about needing to know about working in the crematorium industry.

    And apart from the industry itself, you learn about what brings people to their end and how to view it when dealing with suicides, floaters pulled from rivers, even dead babies.

    By far the best book on the industry I have read.

  10. Cassi Humphers

    I laughed, I cried and I was very morbidly curious about the life of Caitlin Doughty. My Muslim Husband and I have had grave differences about how I will be put to rest. Now after listening to this book I will definitely be buried in a natural burial, no coffins, no toxins, with my family performing the burial rituals and getting first hand experience with death. Having my body whisked away so that nobody can see me, embalmed with toxic chemicals, put in concrete, or having my bone crushed and being frivolous with a ton of energy doing it. Seems like a waste of resources and contributing to more environmental problems, as well as not letting people deal with mortality and death. This eye opening book deserves an Emmy & Humanitarian Award. I will be the odd one at the cocktail party talking about Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and how much of a necessary book it is for everyone to read.

  11. Marx Hema

    Awesome and informative book
    I all ready watch a lot of Caitlin Doughty’s videos on YouTube and I was interested in this book since I heard about it and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is very informative on the death industry and contains things I never would have thought of and I read a lot about death stuff. I liked her narration of the book and how she retold what people said. I recommend it if you have an interest in the death industry. 5/5

  12. Mesch

    You Will Die
    I finished the audiobook in an evening. Like her videos, once I pressed play I couldn’t press pause. It was fascinating to me, never gory but it is specific in detail. Her dashes of humor make it even more pleasant to read.

    I hope if you’re still reading this review that you will choose to challenge yourself. It’s not really challenging, it opens up a whole new perspective on life and living.

    One day the thought: “What happened to the dead of Titanic?” crosses my mind and I decided to google that though. Caitlin’s video popped up, her long black hair made her look to me like Morticia Addams. I watched that very video and couldn’t stop from watching others until I fell asleep that night.

  13. Toccara B.

    Morbidly Insightful and informative memoir
    I’ve recommended this to friends and have listened to it several times, which is my ultimate standard in Audio books.
    I’m glad the author read her own book, she pulls it off well even though her voice sounds a tiny bit like a woman imitating a man. I think that might be what puts some people off, but the pacing and timing are perfect. Memoirs read by their author always seem more authentic to me.
    Don’t listen to this if you can’t handle candidly graphic,(but somehow lighthearted and respectful), observations about what happens to a person’s body after death.
    If you like this book and the subject matter, her other one ‘From Here To Eternity’ is a great follow up!!

  14. Keven Ganigan

    Loved it! Super interesting and points to be considered by all humans.
    I loved the story, the knowledge and insight to death by someone who has chosen death as their life. Death has interested me for years but since my dad died in 2013 I have been reading and listening to lots of books and stories about how death is handled. What the family goes thru, the friends, but also what the person who died went thru in the weeks leading to death. Face it people, we will all die sometime and most of us aren’t prepared at all and it’s our families who will have to deal with this stuff. Fear of death is so common. It has been bred into most of us but I’m breaking out of that circle. Natural death really is a thing of beauty and peace. Thank you Caitlin for your amazing story. I envy your ambition to go out and do what you love!

  15. Stephanie King

    really interesting
    I learned a lot and she does a great job telling her story but for some reason, I thought it would be funnier… don’t ask me why!

  16. -Lnn

    Media vita in morte sumus
    Wonderful book! Life, death, and philosophy rolled into one. Great narration. We learn Latin too!

  17. Lavona D.

    Very interesting perspective
    Would you listen to Smoke Gets in Your Eyes again? Why?

  18. Tennie Ivon

    The Good Death
    I chose to order this book because of Caitlyn Doughty’s work on her YouTube channel. I enjoy her views on death positive culture and I’ve learned a lot. Doughty’s book runs in a similar vein. She discusses with her readers the changes in how Americans view death and the process of corpse disposal. She de-mystifies the “shroud of black curtains and closed doors” in a funeral home. Doughty is forthright about the death industry. Through her educational actions I feel more comfortable about my own death. I’m even thinking about a death plan. I applaud your efforts and look forward to your next book.

  19. Kazuko Lagerberg

    really makes you think
    I have had friends that worked in the “death industry” as she called it. it is a job I can not do. this book made me think about issues I have not dealt with.
    I enjoy her youtube channel

  20. Connie Hord

    Journey to Death Ritual Enlightenment
    What did you like best about this story?

  21. Delmar Weed

    Everybody needs a Good Death
    I agree with the gastroenterologist Caitlin talked to: I’m glad somebody is talking about this. My mother’s death made me feel awkward, lonely, and listless for a long time. I didn’t realize I was craving some tangible way to mourn her. I felt on the outside of the whole process, too overwhelmed to know the appropriate way to grieve. Caitlin shows us the present and past death industry with quirky optimism, along side her deeper fears and trials. This audiobook has a cadence and intimacy that only the author can imbue. Especially hard to do with one of the most taboo subjects. I highly recommend listening and sharing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

  22. Armando Mattler

    Thank You Caitlin!
    This is a must read for anyone interested in the world of funeral services. I found myself lost and, frankly, mortified after my experience as a Funeral Intern. (embalming/upselling/pushing families). I wanted to change the way Americans looked at death, but couldn’t fathom wasting my time and money on either extreme in the field. (Licensed FD or Death Doula/midwife). Knowing there are others who have had simillar experiences to mine and still prevailed is comforting and exciting. Great job Caitlin, and good luck with Recompose! You’re truly an inspiration.

    The book is so accurate and true to life. Caitlin narrates so well. I appreciate the fact that she tells her own story with such…pizzaz. She pulls back the curtains that hide the world of death in the United States to reveal the depressing and violated condition we allow our loved ones to pass on in. There is no shortage of death humor, which is often found behind closed doors in funeral homes.

    If you want to know what is really happening behind the scenes, this is a book for you. If you don’t want to know what’s really happening behind the scenes, you should still listen. You need to know what’s going to happen to your body and all your family member’s bodies when you die.

  23. Marcos S.

    Great recording by the author!
    Excellent book and a great recording by the author. Check out her website – The Order of the Good Death. Love her mission.

  24. Leopoldo Armstrong

    Love it!
    This book is very fascinating! I can’t wait to read/listen to her other books. I enjoyed the way she reads, had more of a friend telling a story then reading a book vibe.

  25. Dorian Crutison

    Still thinking about this book
    Would you listen to Smoke Gets in Your Eyes again? Why?

  26. Doris Scherz

    Love it!
    I laughed, cried, thought about life and death, and was inspired. I would highly recommend this book.

  27. Grant Matthews

    Thank you so much Caitlyn, I surely enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy your channel…

  28. Freddy Kruppa

    We All Die
    Would you consider the audio edition of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes to be better than the print version?

  29. Ronnie Cadrette

    Love this book! Cannot recommend it enough!
    Half way through I searched to see if she had written anything else, and thankfully she has! Can’t wait to get started on the next! I finished this book a week ago; and am still describing it to workmates, friends and family. A really interesting and inevitable subject that creeps people out when I tell them about it which proves her point more.

  30. Violeta Hebsch

    Puts the Fun in Funeral
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  31. Cary B.

    Holy Shmokes!
    I am the most impressed with this book and I’m so pleased the author narrated it as I have come to trust her in her other endeavors so her voice is quite soothing to me. I 100% reccomend this title if you are interested in honest, matter of fact experiences. Thank you, Caitlin, for sharing your life and feelings with us like this! It is empowering and informative.

  32. Kathe Benedetti

    A very good book
    Very entertaining and informative. Read a little too slow for my taste. Played at 1.5x was much better. Not too gross at all.

  33. Issac Ikeard

    Not an eye opener
    This book was highly recommend by a good friend. It is narrated very well, but I didn’t find it to be intriguing; instead I was always left wondering what the point of this dragged out story was. I’d say pass and find something else.

  34. Heather LeeAnn Evans

    Hello Deathlings! Caitlin puts the fun in funeral
    If you love Caitlin’s YouTube channel, prepare yourself for an even more detailed look into the (morbidly) fascinating life of a crematorium and mortuary devotee. I love books read by their authors, and Caitlin does a great job delivering her unique story directly to your ear holes with the humor and gravitas required for a career in death awareness. By the end you will be ready to get right down to writing out your advanced directive with a smile!

  35. Elbert Saylors

    Worth the read
    I loved that this story was told by the author. I have felt for a while that our society has become too distant from death- that we no longer understand death is as natural as birth. The humor and self- deprecation kept the story moving. Thank you Caitlin.

  36. Jerold Lehnhoff

    Great book. Listened to this every lunch brake at work.
    I honestly learned about this book while watching Vsauce ‘Morbid Curosity’. The phrase “Death is not happening to you, death is happening to us all” sent chills down my spine and stuck in my head.
    The narrator/author did an extremely well job at making her conversions with the other characters sound genuine and real. It’s like death as an object which was is a difficult, scary, disgusting, and awkward topic to hold was given handles. and easier way to wrap it around your mind and manipluate it, think about more openly.
    To put it simply, damn good narration, and a awsome audio book.

  37. Joey Ambers

    Everyone should listen to this book!
    I love this book. I’ve reread it numerous times. Caitlin Doughty has a wonderful personality and it’s awesome how she uses her character to give the reader a new look at death. Personally, listening to her story has made me more comfortable with the thought of death. Knowing what happens to the body after we die was always a scary mystery to me, something to just avoid, but Caitlin’s obviously knowledgeable description of funeral home practice gives a completely scary-free, easy to understand, life lesson. I recommend this book to everyone!

  38. Asha Mckevitt

    Thanks, Caitlin, for helping us accept Death. It is scary. And now it’s Not so scary anymore.
    Love the insider tips, too. Good to feel empowered, and I won’t be a victim to the system, because knowledge 😉

  39. Ron Earenfight

    Definitely enjoyed
    Insightful and personal look behind the scenes at the crematory. The stories of bodies mixed seamlessly with historical perspectives and burial traditions.

  40. Aron Detamble

    must read
    I love this book. it should be required reading. so much unnecessary suffering happens when we try to ignore our inescapable demise.

  41. Tristan Bongard

    A Must Read For All Deathlings Out There
    Caitlin Doughty’s quirky and honest narrative of our modern death culture and society’s perception of death is a must read.

  42. Leisa Arfman

    I loved it, i learned a lot and helped me to accept/view death on a better way definitely death positive

  43. Steve E.

    This was something I couldn’t stop listening to. A very well written book with better narration than most books I have listen to. Give it a shot, it won’t disappoint.

  44. April

    Dspite the smoke, a real eye opener
    This book is a good start to a difficult but necessary conversation that humanity must have.

  45. Cheralee England-johns

    The good death
    I loved this book the stories Caitlin tells about her starts in the “death industry ” are very touching with just the right amount of humor.

  46. Austin

    A delightful dance maccabre
    A much needed edutaining (educating/entertaining) look at the face of human mortality .
    The author/narrator does well at making light such a combersom topic (death and how our society deals/ can not deal with the fact that all things come to an end) while still enrapturing the listener with cold truths and dark details. A recommended read for anyone who has been curious about the death industry.

  47. Heather Haberkamp

    interesting and entertaining
    Good story on an interesting topic. learned a great deal and changedy views on the death industry

  48. Tiera Mchale

    a beautiful book about death
    Catelin tells a wonderful story of how she has come to relate to death while commingnof When and finding a perpous in life. She describes and unvails the United States funeral industry and it’s practice’s effect on the American relationship to death.
    after reading this book I have a lot to contemplate. what do I want done with my body when I die?
    what do I want to do to mark the time thay I have to live? I loved the honesty found in the.pages of this book.

  49. Brant Linhart

    I loved it. Definitely reccomend. I really loved hearing these stories. I will definitely listen again soon.

  50. Dixie Molloy

    Caitlin, you are so wonderful ❤
    Her perspective on death is eye-opening. It inspires appreciation for life itself and makes one more comfortable with mortality.

  51. Eli Wasilewski

    Great book
    Funny, down to earth, and relatable heroine comes of age in this macabre memoir. This book’s topics can be deep, waxing philosophical while examining how and why American culture approaches death from the fringe. I couldn’t stop listening and reflecting. The narrator was good, and the narrative was well structured and memorable.

  52. Magdalen Bennes

    Surprising and Insightful
    Not what I expected—this is a rich, personal journey of the author’s experiences in the funeral industry along with glimpses into her own life.
    I was completely taken with her honesty, compassion and her wonderfully ironic humor. But also, she is a terrific writer as she expresses her experiences in this industry that she fully researched and worked in with love, admiration and sometimes disgust.
    Not only did I learn about this subject in such an entertaining way, but what made this a cut above similar books was her unflinching personal revelations.
    Loved it.

  53. Silvana Mallinson

    thank you
    thank you ! we need more of you in the world good book good job

  54. Ron Bergstrom

    Humorous, touching, revealing, informative!
    The topics of funeral homes, cremation, the life/death experience, how unclaimef bidies are treated, and much more was handled with sensitivity and respect while providing the listener with valuable information, humor, care and the truth. I enjoyed and benefitted from this book richly.

  55. Romaine H.

    Very insightful on human death
    From the author a physical direction on death and what funeral homes do with the dead. She details her experience in this “line of work”. Sometimes funny to think about, but true. I enjoyed the naturalness of the description at which death is looked upon by her perspective.

  56. Zonia Chauffe

    insight and inspiration abound.
    the depth and insight into a world would otherwise seem foreign, Caitlin breaths life into the stories of the dead to tell theirs and hers.

  57. Adeline Sappah

    Beyond informative and beautifully spoken
    Death effects us all but it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. Take control of your memorial and those you love. You have a choice. The author gives her readers power and a key to the door few have seen beyond. Cheers to her!

  58. Michell Levingston

    Informative and beautiful
    I went into this book thinking it would cure all my morbid fascinations about death but ended up coming out the other side relieved and satisfied.
    This book blends humor, gory details and narrative in a gorgeous manner.
    Very glad I picked this to listen to.
    Thank you, Caitlin. Keep doing your important work- you’re wonderful!

  59. Emmy Farin

    Everything I had hoped and more
    Caitlin’s writing and performance were witty, insightful and at times deeply moving. My only complaint is that it wasn’t longer, as it was just the right type of entertainment for my longer commutes.

  60. Woodstock68

    Well Written and Informative
    What did you love best about Smoke Gets in Your Eyes?

  61. Stefany Prevette

    Thank you Caitlin for your tireless commitment to encouraging people to embracing a healthy relationship with Death. Hope we meet some time

  62. Shannon Swierk

    Fantastic and interesting, an inside view
    Caitlin’s narration makes it fun to listen to and makes you think. Great book !

  63. Rosio Flachs

    Very insightful about Death Inc.
    I really enjoy Caitlin Doughty’s Web series and decided to give her audio book a try. It felt honest and was very insightful. I don’t share some of her view points on death/dieing and I would assume almost no view points politically. But she entertains, she knows her trade and she seems to honestly care about something bigger then her (Order of the Good Death).

    I will be purchasing her next book.

  64. Josiah Quilliam

    a great insight to the death industry
    this book contains a lot of information about how some of the death industry works. the book also includes great historical references such as cultural and ritual differences and how the industry became what it is today.

  65. Carolyne P.

    a thorough look from her biased opinion
    and insightful behind the scenes look at the American way of death but mostly from a Christian point of view.
    interesting concept however she ignores the solution to everything she complains about embalming makeup the body being displayed are all eliminated by the Jewish traditions.

  66. c

    Great book!
    I enjoyed everything from the content of the information, to the flow of story. Her humor helps break up the seriousness of the subject, while still keeping the information honorable. Catilin does a great job narrating the book and I look forward to listening to her other book.

  67. Shannon G.

    Beautiful funny tragic and hopeful
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  68. Lauren Hiller

    Everything I wanted and more.
    I loved everything about this book. It added a unique experience with the narrator being the author. This fact made me look the book even more because I could hear her personality throughout the story. I was expecting to get a new perspective on what it is like to work at a crematory, and I not only got that, but also facts about the history and cultural practices of death, dying, and decomposition.

  69. Calystegia

    As real as it gets!
    This was a surreal look into an aspect of life that scares us all.

    It’s a non fiction retelling of this morticians first few years working in a crematory and everything that comes along with it.

    It’s painful, raw, and at times incredibly funny.

  70. Mauricio Helweg

    Outstanding – wise, compassionate and funny
    This is a terrific view of what happens in the funeral industry and more importantly shows the way to a more natural way of treating death.

    I hope the ideas shared in this book will come to pass and the way bodies are treated in the future will be less invasive, artificial and chemically-treated. The frank discussion of “upselling” in the funeral industry is most appreciated too.

    The wonderful bits of cultural history in how dead have been treated previously and elsewhere, and the importance of ritual, show what may be missing in our lives today when someone we know dies and there is a disconnect in the funerals of today.

    There was so much respect for human dignity in this book, and compassion, that the humor was never inappropriate but just right – because finding joy and making ironic observations is what people do.. .

    A life-changing book. Hopefully, too, this book will make changes in the funeral industry of the future. We can do better, and be better.

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