As in his previous collection, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, Lynch muses on contemporary American life with an appealing mix of light and dark. The effect can be striking, especially in his essays on the death of a crafty old gravedigger; the alcoholism he inherited from his father and, devastatingly, watches develop in his son; his divorce and the wicked poem he later writes about his ex-wife. His prose is always lively, though in several essays he relies on the same cultural touchstones--Bill Gates, the Internet, his Catholic-school upbringing and the "wonderful breasts" of the nuns, and (oddly) the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song "Love the One You're With." More unfortunately, he can lapse into familiar generalizations of the "we boomers" or "as an Irish Catholic" variety. Then again, funeral directors must keep an eye on the habits and statistics of generations and groups (as Lynch puts it, "our favorite parlor game is Demographics and Expectancies"), so perhaps a few familiar generalities are excusable--an occupational hazard of the poet-essayist-mortician. In Lynch's case (and there probably isn't another), they seem a fair exchange for his entertaining and often surprisingly humble wisdom. --John Ponyicsanyi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Thomas Lynch is a favorite. He can put words together most agreeably and euphoniously - it's almost like singing. I watch for him to publish.Published 5 months ago by Patricia E. Rockhill
Love Lynch and enjoy his honesty about life. Dying is part of living, a truth that is often forgotten.Published 8 months ago by joseph buckley
you will like this book. Lynch's "poetic" prose is purple. If you like Sherwin Nuland or David Berlinski, you will like this book. If you prefer crisp writing, you will not. Read morePublished on September 5, 2005 by Brian C. Hagerty
I take issue with the above Amazon.com review somewhat. While it's true that throughout the book, Lynch makes repeated comparisons to a variety of topical matters (Y2K, The... Read morePublished on August 3, 2000 by T. Jerome Meltreger