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Cool Dead People: Obituaries of Real Folks We Wish We'd Met a Little Sooner Paperback – April 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jane O'Boyle is a former publishing executive and the author of Catnip for the Soul; Wrong!; and Free Drinks for Ladies with Nuts (the latter two are available from Plume). She lives in South Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452282292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452282292
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,307,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By midwest buyer on May 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is at times touching, funny, creepy, and all the time just plain wonderful. It's so nice to read about real people who lead extraordinary lives that few of us ever know about. I've read this author's other books--and liked them a lot!!--but this one is a nice change of pace. It really renewed my faith in the fact that each one of us really does make a difference--Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in "It's A Wonderful Life" has been transformed into something all of us can appreciate and recognize. Thank you so very much for this gem!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bellabell on May 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're not an obit fancier, this book might be of some interest. Very short and simply written, it could make useful browsing in a doctor's or dentist's waiting room, or on the nightstand in your guest room. It might also be a small gift for certain middle school readers, who may well have been the intended audience, judging from this line in the introduction: "The next time you meet an elderly lady or gentleman. . . look in their eyes for the cool person who is still very much alive."

(Who assumes we aren't, by the way?)

If you ARE an obituary buff (and there seem to be a great host of us now), this book is probably not for you. First of all, it's not a collection of original obituaries at all, but brief thumbnail sketches rewritten, one would assume, from previously published obituaries. (The book contains no attributions or dates of publication, no newspaper sources, etc.) These are very general summaries, whereas what most readers relish are the specific details of a well-written obit, the telling particulars that illuminate, perhaps in the flash of a single phrase, the life being celebrated.

Speaking of illumination, the author, Jane O'Boyle, unintentionally reveals an interesting personal quirk of her own. In at least four different obits, she calls our attention to the short height of her subject, though in no case is this fact relevant:

We are told, for example, that Stuey Ungar, a poker champ, is "only five foot five."

That "Abramowicz, who was only five feet tall, was the head librarian. . . . "

Informed that " 'I didn't like to stay home,' said Mrs. B. . . , who was only four feet ten inches tall."

Assured that "although only four feet tall, del Rey was a giant among New York City book publishers. . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is simple fun. It's a quick read, but it's full of people who have led full, interesting lives. Many of the obituaries are examples of people overcoming circumstance or just doing amazing things. Some were sad, some sweet, but all are intriguing and made me wonder what I will have accomplished at the end of my life.
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By Mary Rood on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not like this book. ALTHOUGH I did "meet" some interesting deceased people it gave nothing on how they died or what became of the people they inflenced. It would have been GREAT with a bit more research from the author.
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