The Dead Beat

  • by Marilyn Johnson
  • Narrated by Marilyn Johnson
  • 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Marilyn Johnson was enthralled by the remarkable lives that were marching out of this world - so she sought out the best obits in the English language and the people who spent their lives writing about the dead. She surveyed the darkest corners of Internet chat rooms and made a pilgrimage to London to savor the most caustic and literate obits of all. Now she leads us on a compelling journey into the cult and culture behind the obituary page and the unusual lives we don't quite appreciate until they're gone.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Thorough Pleasure

I've subscribed to the Economist for years and stumbled onto their obituaries column and it quickly became a section I would regularily read, a little guiltily though. But for those of us who love reading it makes sense why the obits would be so rewarding: They attempt to communicate something of the expanse of the stary skies of a lived life onto the circumscribed canvass of a few paragraphs. Marilyn Johnson does an admirable job of sharing this interest and her audiobook is peppered with lively examples of traditional biographies filled with the highlights of inspiring triumphs and the abject turpitude of personal failings of notable personages and the everyday greatness of simple and well-lived lives of ordinary people; the various trends in obits over the years; and Johnson's own personal wit and humor in sifting through it all. I found her abook an unqualified delight to listen to!
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- anonymous


I read Marilyn Johnson's Dead Beat when it came out. And now I am enjoying listening to her reading it.

It is FASCINATING subject---and told brilliantly.

Death turns out to be highly comical and always, always has a scary, entertaining story to tell.
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- e.jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-05-2010
  • Publisher: HarperAudio