Rest in Pieces by Bess Lovejoy

Rest in Pieces

IN THE LONG RUN, WE’RE ALL DEAD. But for some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure.The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs, and nether regions have embarked on voyages that crisscross the globe and stretch the imagination.Counterfeiters trie...

Details Rest in Pieces

TitleRest in Pieces
Release DateMar 12th, 2013
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Number of pages329 pages
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Death, Science, Historical

Reviews Rest in Pieces

  • Laurie
    Most people know about the resurrectionists, the grave robbers who provided bodies for medical students in the 19th century, but a lot of other things have happened to corpses. They have been stolen to use as religious relics, held for ransom, used as exhibits, moved from place to place- not always in complete form, shot into space (at least that one was the wish of the deceased), destroyed to prevent it being used as a political symbol, and pres...
  • David Sumner
    What a fun read. Fascinating and hilarious all at once. An interesting look at some of the strangest human behavior to persist through the ages.
  • Nicola Mansfield
    This book briefly, but on several occasions, insults Catholics & the Orthodox but I will address that at the end. As I browsed though the table of contents I was quite surprised at how well read I've become on this rather macabre topic as I noticed expected names. I then proceeded to look for some specific names to see if they were included and found everyone so I was quite pleased with the read ahead of me. At first I was a little disappointed t...
  • Linda
    A really fun read. I wasn't sure I'd like it at first; I can't remember why but it seemed to be something about the details or lack thereof. As I continued thought, I enjoyed it more and more. The funniest story is about the ashes for D.H. Lawrence. Seems his wife decided that his ashes should be taken to Taos, NM where they had a ranch. She had built a small shrine to his honor and wanted the ashes there. They had to come from England through a ...
  • Paul Pessolano
    “Rest in Pieces” by Bess Lovejoy, published by Simon and Schuster.Category – HistoryThis book could be considered History, maybe macabre, and possibly maybe even funny. I guess it is what you want to make of it.Bess Lovejoy has put together about 50 stories of people famous and infamous that have died and left a “legacy” about their remains. She has broken it down into sections ranging from Politics to Unsolved Mysteries.The stories ran...
  • Autumn
    I absolutely adored this book. It was a very intriguing read, and I cannot believe some of the things people have done with others' remains in the name of love, hate, or just owning some cool memento to brag about. It also is kind of sad that in all of these different stories, very few of them got their dying wishes. Some of the ones that did had to wait years, others had the exact opposite imposed upon their remains. This is a must read for anyo...
  • Kadi Raal
    Raamatusse on koondatud kuulsate koolnute eriskummalised juhtumid (tõelevastavus kontrollitud), mõni kurb, mõni lõbus. Näiteks Hunter S. Thompsoni viimane, suursugune soov, maadeuurija segadus Kolumbuse säilmete asukoha üle jne. Huvitav on ka autori väide, et läbi nende lugude saame aimu ka kadunukusese kaasajast. Nii lihtsale asjale ma varem polnudki mõelnud, seega nüüd maailmapilt jälle natukese avardus. Lisaks on Lovejoy kirjutami...
  • Colleen Laffin
    This book is about what happened to the bodies of famous people after they died Overall, I enjoyed this book. My favorite thing about it was reading how attitudes toward dead bodies and body parts changed over time. In less than two hundred years it went from being acceptable to stick Oliver Cromwell's head on a spike above Parliament for all to see, to being unacceptable to display his skull at a museum. I recommend this book if you don't have m...
  • Hannah
    Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars
  • Beth
  • Liz Ross Jones
    An interesting and fun read for this Halloween season :)
  • Starbubbles
    I think I am ready to write a review for this. Have you ever picked up a good, with all sorts of good intentions and expectations, and then like 4 pages you can barely remember them, if at all? This book was much like that. I remember mine because I had to explain it to everyone that happened to walk past my desk, then in defense for while I would think of forcing this on my unsuspecting buddy for our first ever "buddy-read."So, what was I expect...
  • Ellen
    Sometimes the strangest books catch my eye and this one seemed ghouslihly enticing. Author Lovejoy has done extensive research on some very famous corpses and their final resting place, or in some cases, resting places. She readily admits that some of the information in the book is most likely mythical but whether it can be proven or not the short chapters dealing with the famous and infamous are interesting. Many a body was buried without its sk...
  • Christie
    First sentence: "A corpse is always a problem--both for the living and for the dead."In this book, Bess Lovejoy answers the question "but what happened after they died?" Here you will find where famous body parts ended up; everything from Einstein's brain to Napoleon's, ahem, nether regions. You will also learn about bodies held for ransom (or attempted snatchings). There are stories of leaders and dictators being preserved for posterity. Unusual...
  • David Caldwell
    I won a copy on Goodreads Firstreads.In this collection, the author set two rules for who could be included.They had to be famous during their life.Something weird had to have happened to their remains.The entries range form Saint Nicholas to Hunter S. Thompson.There are tales of remains being turned into religious Relics.Famous skulls were often stolen for the pseudo-science of phrenology that was popular during Victorian times.Other cases invol...
  • Larry Tornari
    “Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy” book is a great read. It kept me glued to the book and I never wanted to put in down. In fact I was disappointed when it ended. The one good thing is that Bess, notes where she received her facts from in an extensive source section that allows readers to check on the “stories” if they wish so that they can learn more about the famous corpses. Basically the books tells a...
  • Meg Harper
    This book was recommended through, I believe, a podcast about famous dead people and the hosts used this and a couple other sources for their research. I became intrigued so I sought it out and while it's not the best decision I have ever made, it definitely gave me a few chuckles. I also learned a little more about what happens after death that for some reason I never knew or blocked and I have read a few books on that. It thankfully was an end ...
  • Loren
    Unlike the usual "how they died" encyclopedias, "Rest in Pieces" is an encyclopedia of "what happened to them after they died." Lovejoy's criteria for inclusion in the book: the people had to be famous and they couldn't rest peacefully in an undisturbed grave for eternity.That's not to say this doesn't include the stories you expect: Vladimir Lenin's permanent snooze in his mausoleum in Red Square, Evita Peron's postmortem kidnapping, the road tr...
  • Joanie Sompayrac
    It should be noted up front that I have always had a bit of a fascination with death. I cannot explain it, but I am often drawn to books that tell me what what happens to bodies after we die or how famous people screw up their wills and estates. That said, this was a fascinating little book, but at times it ran a bit long. Admittedly, there were some chapters that held more interest for me than others -- Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, Beethoven, Hitler...
  • Jonathan
    "A corpse is always a problem — both for the living and for the dead." Macabre, witty, and extremely well documented; Lovejoy gave me something that I have been missing for a long time... an enjoyable read from start to finish. Some of these stories will be well known to those of us who have a fascination with the strange (who among us didn't grow up looking for a girl like Mary Shelley who will keep our heart as a memento after we die?), but a...
  • Joy
    This is a book you can read a little at a time and still enjoy. It's a sometimes amusing, sometimes gruesome, often strange, and completely fascinating look at how famous corpses have been revered and desecrated throughout history.The book is neatly divided into different categories, like "Saints and Sinners," and "Love and Devotion," and provides an curious collection of people, from the political arena to the artistic and scientific. I would th...
  • David V.
    Received as an ARC from the publisher. Finished in just a few days. Wonderfully macabre. Stories about famous people and what happened to their corpses. Most of the stories are just 3-4 pages long. Many of the stories surprised me about the bodies becoming "pieces parts" and being buried in more than one location. Some were sad--Thomas Paine and John Paul Jones. Great figures in history with less than glorious burials. Some were almost comical--A...
  • Chelsey Quack
    Overall, this book is interesting and pretty strong. The research seems all there and, considering each chapter is only a short introduction to each corpse, the information included seems well rounded and concise without being dry or leaving a lot of questions. A great starting off point if this is something you're interested in but haven't read a lot of before. On the other hand, I took it down a whole star rating because the book doesn't resona...
  • Tashia
    First, I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and am not being pressured and/or paid to give a positive review. Now for what I think. Technically, you have to be one of those people who are into and/or give a crap about famous people and what happens to them after they die. I just find it bizarre that someone actually wrote a book about famous dead corpses. I just don't get it and really did not read the entire book as it is not something I am p...
  • Kate
    This book does exactly what the title says; it tells stories of famous people whose corpses have interesting or curious fates. I found it fascinating. Apparently phrenologists had a habit of taking skulls, particularly belonging to those of famous people (for instance, Haydn's friend bribed a gravedigger so that he could have and display Haydn's skull). My favorite story was that of Abraham Lincoln. After Lincoln's death, some would be grave robb...
  • Veronica
    Overall, the best things about this book are I now have: 1) an advantage whilst watching "Jeopardy", 2) amusing trivia to entertain people parties, and 3) the knowledge that a woman once claimed to have seen Elvis (post-death) in Kalamazoo, MI eating a Whopper at BK.That said, I loved this book! It was so interesting. Even though the subject matter could be taken as rather macabre, it was not, and I found it hard to put down. Each chapter is devo...
  • Sean Nelson
    This is probably one of the most interesting and wicked books I have ever read. I won this in the goodreads giveaway and it has been the talk of my family. We all loved reading it. The artwork is gothic and beautiful and I love the size and shape of the book. The texture of the cover is also really original and everything comes together to present this awesome little treasure that talks about what has become of some very famous Corpses. This is a...
  • Mary
    Did you know that there were plans to kidnap Lincoln's corpse for ransom? What happened to Einstein's brain? Who would keep a famous person's preserved heart, eyes...or penis? The answers to these and other questions can be found in Bess Lovejoy's Rest in Pieces.Rest in Pieces is an entertaining, if superficial, look at the looting, relocating, and fetishizing of various famous corpses. At its best, it gives us a bit of insight into the need that...