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Embalming is Not a Sport Hardcover – 1 Dec 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: 1st Book Library (1 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759613133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759613133
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,119,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Maria Megroff on 26 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
On the whole, I found the story really enthralling, although it tended to be more about the protagonist's time serving the US army in Vietnam, rather than in a funeral home.
Granted, he did describe in fantastic detail the methods of arterial and cavity embalming; along with gruesome descriptions of corpses in various stages of decomposition, and how to tackle them from an embalmer's point of view. Formaldahyde flowed and pages did turn quickly. I had finished the book in no time which is a good sign.
One thing I must mention, though: there are a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatically incorrect sentences. It's all as if the whole book hasn't been proof-read. But I still managed to get over the word "to" being used instead of 'too' and other phrases with whole words missing. I got the gist, really!
If anybody is about to embark on a career in the funeral business, this book could well be their 'pleasure read' as opposed to reference book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A good first draft 24 April 2005
By Rat Chyck - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book could have used a good editor. While the grammatical errors were distracting, and the writing needed a lot of tightening up, it told an entertaining story with some information about embalming and other aspects of funeral service.
The lead character finds his way into funeral service, working for a kindly old funeral director who becomes his mentor. I found this to be the most believable relationship in the book. A beautiful young woman comes to work at the funeral home too, and although she is a graduate of a mortuary college, is afraid to spend the night at the funeral home alone. How handy for the young protagonist-she falls right into his bed. As a licensed embalmer, and a woman, I found this characterization offensive and rudely sexist.
The descriptions of embalmings were coarse and often left out important details, so I would recommend anyone exploring this field as a career option read an actual textbook to get an accurate picture of what embalming involves. For instance, the last embalming in the book, which the protagonist performs on his wife, was a gravity embalming. This method of embalming isn't used much anymore, but the way he describes it would not work-it would be impossible. In addition, it is not routine to perform autopsies after embalming. When it is done, it is because the coroner/medical examiner discovers unusual circumstances about the death that were not evident before the embalming took place.
Finally, while I was never in Viet Nam, I have a friend who served there as a mortician and have heard enough stories about it to find the portrayal of a mortician's service there ridiculous.
I found I only enjoyed reading this book during the parts where the protagonist discussed his emotions, his relationships with other people, and revealed some of his motivations to be a funeral director. The rest is a repetitive chorus of adolescent male fantasies- a sexy woman eager for whatever he desired, liberal alcohol use, and money almost falling out of the sky.
If you're just looking for a fun story, this is okay and a quick read. If you want to learn something about being a funeral director, this is not the book.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Not what I expected 17 Aug. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had high expectations, but was grossly disappointed in this book. First of all, it was a novel rather than the informational reference that the reviews and description led me to anticipate. But much more surprising to me was the extremely poor writing which comprised the entire work and even worsened as the end approached. From the beginning, this book contained numerous grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, misspellings, and even ommitted capitalization on virtually EVERY page. The last name of the main character even was inconsistent throughout the book. I could not believe that it got past editing and into print in this shabby fashion. And the ending was not a cliffhanger, if that was the writer's intention. Instead, it just seemed that he was tired of writing it and so slapped a gruesome, traumatic, and unexplained (or even explored) conclusion on it, to stay in keeping with the title, and moved on. As this was the writer's first attempt at a novel-length story, I truly hope that someone is honest with him about his capabilities and he is steered in another direction.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An interesting book for the student of mortuary science. 26 Dec. 2007
By R.Brian Burkhardt - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting novel, for mortuary students or the funeral director.
Children should not read this book as it is somewhat sexually explicit and appears to reveal funeral directors as alcoholics. Indeed some funeral directors lean towards alcoholism. Three stars because at times the book is
offensive and needs an editor. This is an interesting book if you are a funeral director and waiting for a "call" or thinking of going to mortuary school. The title of the book "Embalming is not a Sport" was curious so I purchased this book. Indeed embalming is not a sport and should never be treated as such.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HORRIBLE 11 Mar. 2005
By Benjamin Seidl - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have been very interested in the field of mortuary science and I thought it would be great to read about someone's experiences with embalming. He wrote more about drinking alcohol than actually embalming. The reader does not get a good view in the life of embalming at all. Besides that, the fact this book was published with so many errors is a joke.

I felt like I was grading a paper. He shouldn't was his time attempting to write bad stories of life experiences. Because as I see it, his life sucks.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Much to be desired 11 Jun. 2006
By - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this would be a informational reference--not a novel. Nevertheless, it is informational and tells the reader a lot about the funeral business. The writing left much to be desired. There are numerous grammatical errors throughout and the whole book could use a major tightening. Still, the writer's talent shows through the flaws and the beginning of the book is compelling. Once I started it, I had to see how it would end.
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