In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius #2020

In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius Charles Wilkins In the Land of Long Fingernails A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius In the summer of Charlie Wilkins was a young man in search of a job Turned down by a dozen potential employers including Shubang Used Tire and Dick s Nifty Car Wash Wilkins landed an unlikely jo

  • Title: In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius
  • Author: Charles Wilkins
  • ISBN: 9781602397095
  • Page: 316
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius Charles Wilkins In the summer of 1969, Charlie Wilkins was a young man in search of a job Turned down by a dozen potential employers including Shubang Used Tire and Dick s Nifty Car Wash Wilkins landed an unlikely job at a vast corporate cemetery as a bone waxer, handling bird houses urns , and earning an invaluable education about life as a caregiver in death.From reckless disinterIn the summer of 1969, Charlie Wilkins was a young man in search of a job Turned down by a dozen potential employers including Shubang Used Tire and Dick s Nifty Car Wash Wilkins landed an unlikely job at a vast corporate cemetery as a bone waxer, handling bird houses urns , and earning an invaluable education about life as a caregiver in death.From reckless disinterments, to a mid summer gravediggers strike, to the illegal shifting of bones from untended graves, In the Land of Long Fingernails is a coming of age story among extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances It offers up a Barnum esque cavalcade of slay carpenters, dirt nappers, mavericks and misfits, shifty plot salesmen, and drug addled gravediggers, yet it also shows us their uncertainty and superstitions, and their relentless gallows humor amid the inevitable reminders of what it is, finally, to be human.In the funny and dark spirit of Thomas Lynch s best selling The Undertaking, Mary Roach s hit Stiff, and Six Feet Under, In the Land of Long Fingernails is a testament not just to unexpected friendship but also to late sixties culture, and to the art and power of storytelling.
    In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius Charles Wilkins

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      316 Charles Wilkins
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      Published :2019-02-25T20:02:08+00:00

    One thought on “In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius”

    1. I had originally put this title on a TBR list for my hubby, as he loves this sort of thing We ve both read a couple of interesting books about death and the funeral industry, so this was a no brainer When I finally got it for him the book, not a funeral , he flew through it and told me lots of little tidbits, enough that my interest was piqued I finally finished it this morning, no small feat thanks to a busy work schedule, in laws in for the Thanksgiving holiday, and general weariness of late w [...]

    2. A very funny, in a twisted way, book This might be a good time to confess I have a fascination with cemeteries and cemetery stories which somehow is involved with my genealogical hauntings This is the story of the author s summer job in a Toronto cemetery when he was 19, in the summer of love 1969 If you think death is serious, you ll hate it If you are one of those people who finds humour in the absurd, you ll love it The cast of characters the drunken Scot who manages the cemetery, the one arm [...]

    3. really of a 4.5.i loved everything about this book it was an interesting character study, a bit of toronto history and best of all, an honest portrayal of the cemetery business it didn t try to make macabre of the subject matter nor go for spooks and frights, but just straightforward literary non fiction i deducted half a star because i found that it did lag in parts but really, what book doesn t and because i found the situation with luccio and his sister never really resolved nor explained i [...]

    4. In the summer of 1969, Charles Wilkins, then a university student, took a five month summer job as a gravedigger in a Toronto cemetery, otherwise aptly termed the land of long fingernails If the title doesn t break you up, the sarcasm of Luccio, one of the collection of misfits who works at the cemetery while waiting to land a job at Imperial Oil where he can use his master s degree, surely will have you in stitches Referring to a rococo little bone crypt, with its crenellated eaves and shiny br [...]

    5. Perhaps it says a lot that the blurb on the back of this book was by Mary Roach, whose book, Stiff is one of my favorite nonfiction books I listened to an interview with Wilkins on NPR one afternoon and realized that this book sounded fascinating, so I knew I had to read it for myself even before knowing of Ms Roach s recommendation I wasn t disappointed With humor, and an appreciation of morbid curiosity, his book truly highlights the realities of working in a cemetery Granted, his experience w [...]

    6. This slim memoir of five months of employment in a suburban graveyard in Toronto in 1969 is a real treat It feeds all of your senses and has a great cast of motley characters, who couldn t be improved if their story were fictional It also represents a coming of age moment for the author and narrator and his new friendship with the incredible and irrepressible Luccio is both memorable and ultimately bittersweet something of a bromance By turns, horrifying and hilarious, Wilkins makes sure that an [...]

    7. I am drawn to quirky memoirs of folks in unusual places during unusual times, doing unusual things This one hits the mark in those catagories I read an advance of Her Fearful Symmetries recently, and was drawn to a real experience of working in a graveyard Wilkins graveyard isn t full of spooks and haunts, unless you re describing the maudlin group who tend it Some of his characterizations are very powerful and a bit sad, and his writing is energetic and fresh I don t think this book changed me, [...]

    8. Charles Wilkins memoir In the Land of Long Fingernails is an intriguing and dare I say lively glimpse into the world of cemeteries and what goes on behind the scenes in enacting the final chapter of people s lives Wilkins looks at not just the processes involved and where those processes can go awry, comically or tragically, but he also casts an eye, that of his adult self filtering his youthful perceptions, on the individuals who carry out those processes, which most people do not want to know [...]

    9. I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining look behind the curtain of an industry none of us really know that much about The author, Charles Wilkins, worked as a general labourer at one of Toronto s bigger graveyards during the summer of 1969.I had the good fortune to hear the author speak at a Writers Community of Durham Region breakfast last year and bought a couple of his books based on how well he entertained me for forty five minutes.But I didn t expect this book to be as good as it was It s gr [...]

    10. This book ended up on my to read list for two reasons first it was one of the Globe and Mail s top 100 books for 2008, and second it was a nominee for the 2009 Stephen Leacock Award Despite the kudos, I found it a disappointment It is the summer of 1969 and 19 year old Charles takes a summer job at a large cemetery in Toronto Here he digs graves, helps maintain the grounds and prepares the burial sites for funerals There are some funny and not so funny moments described here, including stories a [...]

    11. A tasty memoir of the sixties culture and a young mans coming of age in a toronto cemetary as a gravedigger one summer before college Not quite as free as some of his American counterparts, he seems to stretch a bit when trying to have the same dark edge of folks like Thompson, or Bukowski Still an enjoyable read none the less As a reader I was not as put off by the drug or sex culture of the times he didn t really aim to shock with this I suppose as the day to day operations of a cemetary run b [...]

    12. As a former grave digger myself I had to check this book out and it hits pretty close to home, despite taking place the year I was born There s books on the subject from the funeral home and over views of the larger industry but this is the first one I ve read from the groundsman s point of view It s got the ring of truth to it I could tell stories that would fit right in with this book despite taking place being in another country and 35 years later.

    13. This was my second reading of In the Land of Long Fingernails, the memoir of a gravedigger in the late 1960s Once upon a time I looked into getting a job in the office at Forest Home Cemetery, but the only openings they had were grounds crew and I decided that really wasn t meill reading this book set me to thinking about what it would have been like It s gruesome and quirky with funny parts and sad parts Worth a look if you want something offbeat.

    14. If you ever had a summer job, late into high school, you will be able to relate to this coming of age story The wacky setting made me laugh the hardest I ve laughed in years, due in part to my own experiences as a graveyard worker The book moves smartly from comedy to soul searching, and finishes on an intense bittersweet note that has not left me I read this book twice in short order, and it s time for another trip through.

    15. I always struggle a bit with Charlie s vocabulary But that aside, I thought this was a great read His fave book of mine is still Walk to New York, but this is definitely the close second Want to know what it s like to work in a graveyard back in the 60s This is your book

    16. There isn t much of a story here, and I never felt as if I knew the main character author which might be deliberate on the author s part but still an engaging read Wilkins writing style drew me in and his gift for writing engaging characters convinced me to keep reading.

    17. The subtitle on this book is A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius Andat s pretty much what it is a kid with a summer job at a cemetery, and the bizarre characters who work there A fun, quick read.

    18. Interesting anecdotes on life as a graveyard worker in east Toronto in the late 60 s I ll kid myself and believe things have changed since then

    19. Wilkins writing style is so engaging, and I especially enjoyed reading about one of my favourite cities Toronto through the eyes of A Gravedigger in the Age of Aquarius An excellent read

    20. Interesting read, it does give an insider view of working in a cemetery though it is a bit of a personal memoir than informative.

    21. I had no idea what to expect when I opened this book, and now I m glad for that Many exceptional books get their energy from a unique and interesting setting nuclear submarines The Hunt for Red October , a desert planet Dune , and now a municipal graveyard in Toronto Beautiful writing, memorable characters, and a fast, compact storyline.

    22. This is the memoir of a teenager working as a gravedigger at a giant cemetery in Canada one summer I find insider knowledge about the burial business fascinating, and the book did give me some However, I didn t love it as a memoir Wilkins isn t a bad writer, but apparently the inner thoughts of a nineteen year old boy are not terribly interesting to me.

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