Rest In Pieces Review

Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses - Bess Lovejoy

A corpse is always a problem - both for the living and for the dead.


Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses, was one of those books that I just stumbled across one day while book shopping online.  At the time I found it I remember it being sold out, so I marked it on Goodreads should I ever stumble across is again.  Once or twice I'm pretty sure it even appeared as giveaway on GR after I added it.  That was probably 2 years ago seeing the book was published in 2013.  Since then it sort fell off my radar, popping up as a rec on Amazon, but only ever when I was short on funds.  Enter the new library in the new town I just moved into, sitting right there on the shelf, waiting to be added to a haul.


This book was a fun read, it was very morbid, but fun at the same time.  Bess Lovejoy put a lot of time into her research and it shows throughout the entire book.  She used a lot of people famous throughout history, but I never once felt like I was getting a history lesson.  In fact it was a look into each of these people's lives that I hadn't seen.  While I knew who they were, what they did, and for some even how they died.  I didn't know what happened after their death.


Like, I had no idea people tried to steal Lincoln's body on more than one occasion.  I also didn't know that Elvis's father was accused of setting up a grave robbery to be able bury his son and wife in Graceland.  


The book moved pretty quickly and is broken up into section: Saints and Sinners, Science and Medicine, Crime and Punishment, etc.  Each section talks about different people who fit into those categories.  This made the book flow a little better in my opinion.  It made the book have a solid structure instead of each chapter about someone else, which could have made the book to heavy and long winded.  Something that Rest in Pieces is not.  Each chapter is pretty short and focuses on what happened after death of these people throughout history.


I only have two complaints when it came to Rest in Pieces, and they are small ones that were easy to overlook.  First is sort of the size and shape of the book.  At first I was intrigued by the fact it was long and rectangular.  Only, after a while reading it got a little awkward to hold, so I kept putting it down after a few chapters and doing something else.  The other, well, it's not really much of Bess Lovejoy's fault in the end.  A lot of the chapters are repetitive in what was done to some of these people's bodies, but the voice and tone that Lovejoy used was what kept me coming back every single time.


If I enjoyed it so much, why 3 stars?  Well, it was a great read and I learned a lot not just about some of these people, but the weird things we do to people after they pass.  However, I probably won't every pick this book up again.  It's not something I'll ever feel the need to re-read.  However, I do throw down some facts about Elvis because of this book now (only because we have a cupcake at work named after him).


Would I recommend it?  Oh of course!  To anyone into the macabre side of life and death.  Rest in Pieces, is full of fascinating facts about people we grow up learning about in school.


All and all, I really enjoyed my time with the book.  It was fun, and really weird.  There were a lot of times I would read pieces out loud to roommate because the needed to be shared.  I also wish I wouldn't have sneezed and spilled coffee all over it because it's a library book and want other people to be able to enjoy it.  But, what can you do when you read a book with a sinus infection.