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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Neccessary and Unique Book
I came to this book via the website of the same name, and got it this pm. I sat down just to look quickly through it and got up over two hours later, having read the lot. It's an even better job than you'd hope from the highly informative and entertaining website. The book will really help you if someone has just died, but it's even more valuable if you read it well...
Published on 24 May 2010 by cerrig

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars D.I.Y funeral must have.
Jolly useful And a definite must have on the bookshelf.
Every death cafe needs a copy.
Published 8 months ago by Larraine Mitchell


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Neccessary and Unique Book, 24 May 2010
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This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
I came to this book via the website of the same name, and got it this pm. I sat down just to look quickly through it and got up over two hours later, having read the lot. It's an even better job than you'd hope from the highly informative and entertaining website. The book will really help you if someone has just died, but it's even more valuable if you read it well before someone close to you dies. And therein lies an element of its value: it is part of a changing attitude towards death, as well as being a crisply-written, eminently practical guide to funerals if you are about plan one. I'm a funeral celebrant, and it will further shape and guide my practice. It is quite remarkably fair-minded and well-balanced, in a field fraught with prejudices, strong feelings, and fierce commercial self-interest. It also has flashes of the wit and originality you'd expect from the website.
But: take heed! when the author warns you that a specific part of the book is not for the squeamish. He means it, although it's lightly stated. That's not just the sort of squeamish as in when you're watching a movie. If you have just lost someone close to you and if you don't have an unusually bracing and robust attitude towards dead bodies, then the bits labelled "not for the squeamish" are, I'd say, to be avoided.
That's one big reason why we should read this book before we have to! It's hard to be objective about such things when you're reeling from a sudden bereavement. But getting to grips with them in advance might help with bereavement, when the time comes.
The book is also full of very useful practical information, leads and links. And it is surprisingly reassuring.
A really excellent job, for which we should feel grateful. Not everyone in the death business will like it - which is an excellent sign - and I'd say you could use the book itself like a canary down a coal mine: if a funeral director, priest or celebrant takes exception to what the book says, get out quick, he's only interested in your wallet, not your feelings. (Well, liike a reverse canary then, i.e. the canaries died whereas... Oh, I'm sure you get the point!)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Funeral Guide, 1 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
This book is wonderfully insightful into the secret world of the funeral profession.

It enables people to get answers to the questions that they have and also the book breaks through some of the emotive language used by the funeral industry.

It sets out in a very clear methodical way things that you may need or want to know when preparing a funeral...........be that your own funeral, supporting another or just out of pure interest.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to lift the coffin lid and learn more of what goes on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Told like it should be told, 14 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
Not just informative but questions the status quo of our views and feelings of the 'traditional'.

Thought provoking, amusing but factual and with a very comfortable writing style, Charles tells it like it is; like it should be told; why pretend death is anything than what it is? Yorkshire men call a spade, a spade(no pun intended)....he actually writes 'dead' and 'died' and not 'resting' or 'passed'.

The GFG tells of what to expect, what has to done and how you can mitigate the trauma after someone dies; it stresses the importance of a relevant, contemporary funeral to all of us still living. The living will forever regret a funeral that doesn't reflect and repect the life that was lived.

It's your life and it's your death; we are shown the way and the choices we have.

Be guided by what you find here, your idea of death may never be the same again; you might even be moved to prepare for your own!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightening Delivery, 31 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
I ordered this book mid morning on Saturday and it arrived first thing Monday morning - I was totally amazed! This is very reassuring if you have a funeral to plan and feel that you don't have much time to research all your options, you do! It's an easy read and in fact very hard to put down! Great advice given to ensure that you have all the facts at your fingertips to make the right decisions for your loved one's final goodbye.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 Jun. 2010
By 
Nick Gandon (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
Having received my copy of the GFG, and eagerly scanned the pages with more than just mild trepidation; having now read same cover to cover for the third time .... may I sincerely congratulate the author on the most balanced, intuative, and compelling book that I have read in the last 10 years. It really is a true insight into the current world of funerals. Brilliant.

Nick Gandon - (undertaker with a sense of humour since I was 16)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally un-put-down-able, 29 Jun. 2010
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
The Good Funeral Guide: Everything You Need to Know - Everything You Need to Do

Being an avid follower of Charles Cowling's excellent and informative website and blog, I had high hopes from this book. I was not disappointed - it is the first book I have read that positively encourages the reader to think about death and funerals. It challenges the commercialism of the funeral profession, but more importantly, it tells you honestly about your options and how to create a funeral which is both emotionally uplifting and rewarding. Thoroughly recommended to anyone, including Funeral Directors who want to move with the times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A copy of this book should be in every family, 18 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
I purchased this book recently with a view to dipping in and out as required but found it facinating and read it cover to cover in one sitting. For someone like myself who had only ever attended funerals at the local crematorium it is extremely illuminating and very helpful. Armed with the knowledge and contacts garnered from this book I have now organised my own green funeral using a pre arranged personal plan.
I would recommend it to anyone.I think the most benefit can be gained by reading before a family bereavement occurs so you are fully aware of all your options before emotions start to cloud judgement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 15 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
As an American married and settled in Britain I found funeral customs here baffling, and I found it very difficult to learn about them becasue it's a much more taboo subject here than in the States. (My husband, for instance has never had, and never will have, a conversation with his parents about their wishes for after they die. Argh!) I bought this book to educate myself, on the grounds that when my in-laws do eventually die, it will fall to us to arrange things, and would not have had the first clue as to where to begin, what the laws were, what our options were, etc.

I'm also a Military Wife, and God forbid the worst should happen, I don't want to have to arrange my husband's funeral and navigate all the confusion while grieving (nor do I want to turn my grief and my wallet over to an undertaker and say "Here, you sort this" thus giving up all control.)

Knowlege is power, forewarned is forearmed, and all that. This is a HUGELY practical book that will outline legal requirements in the event of a death and present your options for burial/creamation/etc and memorial services in a simple, clear, and sensitive manner, as well as providing contact info on where you can gain additional information on specific questions.

It is NOT morose, morbid, creepy, or grim. On the contrary, this book is enlightening and empowering. I highly reccommend reading it when no one is dead or dying, so you can take it all in, make note, ask questions of yourself and your loved ones while it's all still hypothetical and in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Uplifting, Empowering, 24 Aug. 2012
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
I am not dying, no-one in my family is dying but for quite awhile I have been tentatively thinking about what will happen when the inevitable occurs. I knew that I wasn't comfortable with the 'one size fits all' scenario of traditional funeral director and local crematorium, but didn't realise what choices are really out there. Now I do! This book was a pleasure to read. The information is clearly presented, thoughtful and wide ranging. I feel quite inspired to continue researching and finding out more. Within families we should talk more about our ideas and feelings about death, because whatever else happens to us, death at some point definitely will. I believe every family should read this book when they don't need it, absorb as much or as little information as they want and then put it away until the need is more urgent. There's an awful lot to take in and trying to put everything into place at the end is asking a lot. There's a lot to be said for being prepared - it's not morbid, peculiar, or depressing, it's sensible, caring and wise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really good book, 19 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Good Funeral Guide (Paperback)
All the information you need, easy to read, easy to follow and space to jot down notes. I thought it may be overwhelming to read but I was very wrong... This actually bodes well for good bedtime reading -not something you'd expect from a funeral book!
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The Good Funeral Guide
The Good Funeral Guide by Charles Cowling (Paperback - 20 May 2010)
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