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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
Plenty of books obsessed with scandal and buzz words in the vein of Weekly World News have been written on the subject of celebrity death. The idea of a book that approaches this suggest with respect, intelligence, and a little book of good old-fashioned dark humor is a rare thing indeed. Which makes The Portable Obituary all the better. This is an enormously...
Published on November 20, 2007 by Gabriel Ricard

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death is for chumps
An entertaining and interesting read but the "famous" people chosen for inclusion in this book seem kind of arbitrary. There are many glaring omissions although, to be fair, how one could cover the deaths of all famous people throughout history in one volume is beyond me. Moreover, this isn't a very good book if you're keen to read some sensationalist accounts of lurid...
Published on March 27, 2008 by spitgrrl


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, November 20, 2007
This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
Plenty of books obsessed with scandal and buzz words in the vein of Weekly World News have been written on the subject of celebrity death. The idea of a book that approaches this suggest with respect, intelligence, and a little book of good old-fashioned dark humor is a rare thing indeed. Which makes The Portable Obituary all the better. This is an enormously entertaining, insightful, and fascinating read. Essential for anyone who wants a book that actually knows what it's talking about.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portable Obituary- Largo Has Another Hit!, November 20, 2007
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This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
The "Portable Orbituary" is well written and easy to read. The book feeds our insatiable appetite for information on the famous, rich and powerful. Just as "Final Exits", Largo's previous book, is difficult to put down, his latest effort, "The Portable Obituary" will keep you page turning from start to finish.
Largo's latest book would make a great Christmas present for the celebrity junkies on your list.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & Entertaining, October 24, 2007
This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
This book has an interesting and varied collection of obituaries that read more like mini-biographies, but always include the answer to the most important question--to me anyway--how did they die. The odd and the common ways numerous rich and famous people, from movie stars to inventors, to historic legends met their end were fascinating, and even though I planned to read one, I kept flipping to the next. I appreciated how nothing was sensationalized, and rather serious though entertaining with a sometimes ironic touch of absurdity to many entries. I read a lot of books like this--but this one is refreshingly original.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death is for chumps, March 27, 2008
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spitgrrl (libraryland, indiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
An entertaining and interesting read but the "famous" people chosen for inclusion in this book seem kind of arbitrary. There are many glaring omissions although, to be fair, how one could cover the deaths of all famous people throughout history in one volume is beyond me. Moreover, this isn't a very good book if you're keen to read some sensationalist accounts of lurid celebrity demises. In all honesty, most entries in this book are of people who died pretty typical deaths. However, this is full of enough biographical information and interesting facts to make it an enjoyable and irreverently morbid read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last Reads, March 27, 2011
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Spudman (Pasadena, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
Apparently death fascinates Michael Largo because in addition to "The Portable Obituary" he's written "Final Exits".
Using his extensive collection of obituaries, reports, certificates, and documents the author hoped to write a definitive source of how famous people died. His is an entertaining and informative book, one that can be read in short spurts or hours because it's easy to find a stopping point.

For me though it's not a destination for one seeking the outrageous, the sensational, or the morbid. Most of the deaths are ordinary, and I was struck by the fact that so many of the deceased were my age or younger at the time of death. The short biographical sketches can be fascinating though and might motivate the reader to pursue longer works. For example, I am now motivated to learn more about the inventor, Nikola Tesla.

Want some good conversation starters? This could be your book then. The author's take on the Elvis' death is one I'd never heard, and the tidbit about Milton Berle's sexual prowess is an eye raiser.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book -- Big problem, July 19, 2008
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This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
The Portable Obituary (Michael Largo, 2007). The jacket of this book reads, "A luridly compelling and hilariously macabre look at how the famous took their final bows--from Socrates to Anna Nicole." That statement is misleading, probably intentionally, to entice people to buy the book. Actually, the reports are straightforward and respectful, and each includes an interesting mini-biography. My only objection--and it's a big one--is that there is no index! True, the sections are labeled alphabetically; however, many entries are grouped in sections where they don't belong. For example, Don Knotts appears in the "G" section as part of the report on Eva Gabor; Mussolini is filed under "H" in a little group titled "Dead Dictators." And, how could I ever have found Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline under "N" unless I just happened to stumble over them? I did see Karen Carpenter as I was reading, but when I finished the book and tried to find her again, I could not. The book needs an index!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dubious facts, August 26, 2013
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This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
Not sure how much stock I would put into the facts in this book (or lack thereof). I enjoyed the book, but it's definitely a book to read on the toilet. Not really something you want to be seen with in the break room.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good bathroom reading!, May 20, 2013
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This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
The criticism about inaccuracies here and there throughout the pages is a valid one - e.g. British musician Marc Bolan was not driving the car in the accident that took his life - his girlfriend was, and Marc in fact never even learned to drive. So don't take all the info here as 100% accurate. Regardless of that major fault, The Portable Obituary is an entertaining read, encompassing a wide variety of well knowns, past and present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Informative Guide to How the Rich & Famous Died!, May 2, 2013
This review is from: The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died (Paperback)
Michael Largo's THE PORTABLE OBITUARY, published by Harper in 2007, offers up comprehensive blurbs on HOW THE FAMOUS, RICH AND POWERFUL died. While it can't claim to be exhaustive, it is fascinating in its own right.

Alphabetically arranged, Largo's book serves up the straight skinny on how death claimed such luminaries as Homer, Babe Ruth, Helen Keller, Daniel Fahrenheit, Boris Pasternak, Woody Guthrie, Alfred Hitchcock, William I, Genghis Khan, Marie Curie, Jim Thorpe, Pope Joan, Solomon and Cy Young along with less well-known individuals such as David Strickland, John Pemberton, Philo Farnsworth, Elizabeth Blackwell and Victor Killian. Largo also includes some group bios such as 'Musician Suicides,' 'Popes,' 'Tightrope Walkers' and so on. Some entries are a single paragraph in length; others take up a whole page. Many are illustrated with a photograph, illustration, etc.

Though some might find THE PORTABLE OBITUARY too macabre, I thought it was an informative, unique and respectful guide to the deaths of various notables. Recommended.

*****
5,850 Helpful Votes!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, December 20, 2012
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I really enjoyed this book. Found it very detailed and full of never known information. I was staying at a hotel and accidently left it there. Never was seen again. Very sad because I was not finished.
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The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died
The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died by Michael Largo (Paperback - September 4, 2007)
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