From Publishers Weekly
Collected and edited by former advertising executive Copeland (Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time
), these 50 eulogies range from the merely functional (Alfred Kinsey's secretary's perfunctory commemoration) to the truly moving and inspirational (Father Michael Duffy's eulogy for New York's fallen fire department chaplain Father Mychal Judge). But most of the time Copeland strains to find words that resonate and uplift. In too many cases they simply fail to do so or, worse, seem exploitative. Dan Aykroyd's flip words about his drug-addicted comedy partner John Belushi—"What we are talking about here is a good man and a bad boy
"—make light of the devastation Belushi's behavior wreaked on those around him. On the other hand, eulogies delivered for four victims of 9/11 are heartfelt and serious. They bear witness to sacrifice and honor. Their inclusion, in contrast to the exceedingly lightweight nature of other excerpts, feels manipulative. Copeland follows each eulogy with a brief, sometimes a bit eccentric chronological sketch (on Freud: "Attending Sigmund's birth, a peasant woman predicts his greatness"). In some cases these facts are more interesting than the platitudes that precede them. B&w photos. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
" How do you make good, in words, on the life of another human being? The real challenge of the task is evident on every page....A fascinating collection of memorial remarks about 64 well-known figures." -- "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution"