A Tomb With a View: The Stories and Glories of Graveyards: Scottish Non-fiction Book of the Year 2021

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A Tomb With a View: The Stories and Glories of Graveyards: Scottish Non-fiction Book of the Year 2021

A Tomb With a View: The Stories and Glories of Graveyards: Scottish Non-fiction Book of the Year 2021

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Once you’re away from the main gates, they’re generally quiet and peaceful, with nothing to be heard but birdsong and the wind in the trees. It was first known as Prospect Cemetery and the tragic tale of Shane MacThomáis who once told the stories of the people within its walls and took his own life on a tree in the grounds. There's lots of interesting history and characters, making this a deeply human and thought-provoking book. A secular place, with slate stones for markers, it is a place of calm and beauty where the bodies of those gone are put into the earth to become part of it.

We have been walking in cemeteries here and abroad for many years – they provide an immediate condensation of their local histories and cultures and a usually deserted place to walk in an urban setting. I have been to the ossuary mentioned in the Czech Republic; so, I found the section on ossuaries and charnel houses to be quite fascinating.James Joyce and Charles Dickens would've loved it - a book that reveals much gravity in the humour and many stories in the graveyard. Throughout reading this I wondered what the purpose of this book was, beyond stressing graveyards are ‘fun’. You will not easily pass by the forgotten graves of unbaptised children in Ireland; graves which had to be dug by their parents because the church would have nothing to do with them. This book therefore read like a stream of consciousness, in which the author described his experiences at different graveyards however he remembered them, and throwing in some fun facts for good measure. And if UK practices don’t change than after a while the whole country will virtually be a graveyard.

While I have experienced discos and even karaoke-nights at conferences before, dancing at a cemetery was a first and it will be a memory I will always cherish. This could so easily have been a cold and gloomy book, but the secret to its warmth lies in Ross’ writing.Whilst a potentially fascinating insight, I didn't enjoy this book as much as expected as I found Ross' writing style to be rather dry and monotonous. I love Peter Ross's writing - he always treats his subjects with kindness and curiosity, and in A Tomb With a View, he demonstrates that he extends that curtesy to the dead as well as the living.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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