The Removers by Andrew Meredith

The Removers

A dark, poignant, and emotionally brave coming-of-age memoir: the story of a young man who, by handling the dead, makes peace with the living.For almost twenty years I mistook my father's downfall as my own. But it wasn't. It was not my sister's either, nor my mother's.A literature professor at La Salle University, Andrew Meredith's father was fired after unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct. It's a transgression Andrew cannot forgive, fo...

Details The Removers

TitleThe Removers
Release DateJul 15th, 2014
Number of pages192 pages
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Death, Biography Memoir

Reviews The Removers

  • Rebecca Foster
    In a lively debut memoir, the author recalls first joining his father as a corpse remover and later working at a crematory. The Philadelphia setting and wry voice remind me of the work of Kevin Morris (White Man’s Problems) or Matthew Quick (The Good Luck of Right Now). Meredith’s was a very matter-of-fact response to life-and-death dramas; although he gives all the gory details (of moving a 500-pound woman, of cracking skulls and scooping ou...
  • Emily Goenner
    I really wanted more stories about removing bodies, which was my interest in picking up this book. Its a fine memoir about a young man's "coming of age," finding himself and working through issues with his father, but that topic doesn't interest me much and I didn't connect with it at all. So, a good book for the right person, which I wasn't.
  • Rita Ciresi
    One of the best accounts I've ever read about growing up in a working-class neighborhood and fearing you will never escape. It also is a very realistic and moving account of the author's deep depression. Andrew Meredith began removing bodies at an early age--as an assistant to his father--and as one of his friends points out, the job was bound to mess him up. This exploration of the author's childhood and his inability to escape his father's plig...
  • Carol
    I really expected to like this book. I've been on a kick of reading books where the mother dies, books about the death industry, etc. etc. I found the main character a little too unlikable, and not necessarily reverent about death. I understand that corpses can be messy, unusual, etc. but a little respect please? (I am glad he finished his degree and is writing, however). I'd give this one a miss...
  • Jessica
    This Memoir is was amazingly interesting and really easy to relate too. A lot of people have unhappy parents and dark secrets, but family is family. I have always found myself thinking about what it would be like working with death everyday like they do in this book and that kept me reading, but I found myself wanting to know his story. Full Review on my blog. Thanks NetGalley.
  • Karyl
    Be forewarned: If you are expecting this book to be a memoir about working in the death/funeral industry, please put it back on the shelf. I'd recommend instead The Undertaker's Daughter by Kate Mayfield, a memoir detailing Mayfield's childhood growing up in a funeral home in a small town. The Removers is much more a coming of age story. Andrew's family had been happy throughout much of his childhood, his father as a professor at a local college,...
  • Douglas Lord
    A memoir by a dude whose work is to remove the bodies of people who die at home might sound bleak, and at times this is darkly psychological. Alternately, it’s also funny and jaw-gapingly absurd. What’s not to like? After teenage Meredith’s parents’ marriage breaks up, the couple remains together in a loveless, dormant household; the paternal affect on Meredith is tremendous. “I would have followed him anywhere,” he writes. “He was ...
  • Melinda
    Visit My Book Self for more reviews & giveawaysInteresting read, taking me by surprise, certainly wasn't what I was expecting. This was a coming of age story, exploring the bruises left behind of a dysfunctional family. The funeral industry was part of the narrative but not a large portion, enough to provide a glimpse into body removal, cremation.Meredith has a way with words, his writing is poetically mesmerizing. He's very open and candid into ...
  • Tracy
    Like others have written in their reviews, The Removers is the story of a young man who works in the funeral and crematory service but it is also a coming of age story. When the father is fired from his job, the entire family falls apart. I loved the author's sharp wit and reading about the his experiences in the funeral industry. I had a hard time sticking with the book in the first half. The story kind of drags on as Andrew continues to flub up...
  • Patty Falconer
    People often describe books they like as "page turners" because the plot is so interesting that they are compelled to keep reading to find out what happens next. Obviously, this page turning happens in a forward progression. When I really like a book, my page turning goes backwards. The language and writing in The Removers was so rich and poetic for me that I wanted to go back and read passages again - sometimes to clarify and sometimes to savor....
  • Nancy
    This is a memoir about how the consequences of one decision can affect the lives of many. When Andrew Meredith was a teenager, his father was fired from his job teaching for vague, mysterious reasons. Andrew's parents remain together in a loveless void of a marriage and his father ultimately finds a new job removing bodies of the dead from their homes or hospitals and transporting them to the funeral home. Andrew ultimately follows his father's p...
  • Melanie
    I wanted to give this book one to two stars; but I realized that was only due to my disappointment in it not being what I wanted it to be.I have been anticipating the release of this book and couldn't wait to read all about the morbid, sordid details of the body removal industry. Alas, this memoir is way less about that and more a coming of age story of a young man from a dysfunctional family. In that, it was ok; no need to punish the book for no...
  • Barbara
    I had hoped to like this book - I really didn't though. I was curious about learning of an occupation that I had never thought about. Instead it was a memoir of a very unhappy young man. A small portion of the book was about the actual "removing" and some of that was a bit too graphic. A part was about the time the author spent working in a crematorium. The descriptions of his work there will make the hair on your arms stand up. There are many po...
  • Renea
    This book took me over a year to read, which is due in part to me not having a commute to work anymore and therefore wasn't reading much at all and also because I just couldn't seem to stay invested. I really love memoirs and I love books relating to the death industry. I also live in Philadelphia so I had high hopes for this book. And it wasn't that I didn't enjoy it or that I hated it, it just didn't grip me.
  • Diane
    The Removers is somewhat of an unusual memoir. In part a coming of age story, but also a story about making peace with ones past. For those author peace is found by working with the dead and their surviving family members. Andrew Meredith was just 14-years old when he learned that his family was in trouble. His father, a professor at LaSalle University in Philadelphia was fired from his job for sexual harassment, although Andrew and his sister on...
  • Celeste
    A beautiful lyric memoir about what it means to have a body, both in life & death.
  • Kathy Cowie
    Here is the problem with reading a book on my kindle. When I have a nice, old-fashioned book, I can put it on my shelf and think about it for a while before I read it. I can rearrange my to-read pile, and glance at a blurb or two without actually diving in, and I don’t feel like I’m cheating on the book I am reading at the time. By the time I pick the book up to read it, I am comfortably familiar with it. While I am reading, I can tuck in my ...
  • Ryan Dejonghe
    Come on, I wanted more dead bodies! Yes, I know I’m a sicko, but the description made THE REMOVERS sound fifty percent love-you-dad and fifty percent eww-that’s-gross. What I got was about ninety percent hug-fest and ten percent blood-bombs. The writing is good. For instance, visualize as you read this, “At the rec center baseball diamond across the street, screams of “Go!” follow an aluminum plink. At the corner, tulips in yellow, red,...
  • Joyce
    Utterly and devastatingly readable.Summary (goodreads): A dark, poignant, and emotionally brave coming-of-age memoir: the story of a young man who, by handling the dead, makes peace with the living.For almost twenty years I mistook my father’s downfall as my own. But it wasn’t. It was not my sister’s either, nor my mother’s.A literature professor at La Salle University, Andrew Meredith’s father was fired after unspecified allegations of...
  • Alexander Rigby
    If anything, this book firmly reinstated that I still definitely do not want to be cremated when I die. The most memorable part of this short memoir for me was when the author described in full gruesome detail how a body melts inside of a crematory oven. Needless to say, it's pretty gut-wrenching.My great-grandfather owned a funeral home, so I've always been interested in reading about other accounts of them. Six Feet Under is one of my favorite ...
  • Susanna
    This is a tough one to review. Some of the writing is extraordinary, so I really appreciated that, as well as a unique structure that is a little bit unconventional without being difficult to follow. Unlike some readers, I did not really crave more detail about the "death industry" (I found parts of it disturbing and stomach-turning). And yet to my taste, the story jumps around a little too much -- as when the narrator writes, essentially, "oh ye...
  • Jessica
    If you pick this up because of the funeral industry/crematorium angle you will probably be disappointed. It is definitely not the focus of this short memoir although it does feature in the author's life. I have some difficulty deciding what the focus IS although if I were pressed I'd go with everyone's favorite standby - father/son relationships. If The Removers were fiction, I'd say it was a nostalgic coming-of-age tale set during the 80s/90s in...
  • Connie Fischer
    Growing up in a town where nothing much seemed to change, Andrew has plans to go to college but those plans have been put on the back burner. When his father, who was a professor at a local college, is fired for some sexual misconduct, things at home seem to go downhill. His parents stop speaking and sleeping together and the atmosphere at home becomes depressing.To supplement his income, his father has a job as a body remover. This includes pick...
  • Amie
    This is a deeply thought-provoking, well-written Memoir about a young man's childhood and family. Torn apart by his father's dismissal from La Salle University in 1990 and his family's overwhelming silence, Andrew finds himself lost in depression. His solace is his music and his unbreakable bond with his father. I felt like Andrew yearned to be close to both of his parents, but he was not sure how to break through the remnants of a broken marriag...
  • Alicea
    I practically sped through The Removers by Andrew Meredith. As I had suspected (and you probably did too based on the synopsis), this is a memoir fraught with melancholy. After his world was turned on its head at the age of 14, Andrew was adrift without purpose...that is until he found that he was quite good at the business of death. (I made that sound like he was an expert assassin but in reality he was ensconced in the world of corpse removal a...
  • Vinod Peris
    Andrew has bravely written a memoir that is both engaging and honest. One that highlights, but does not dwell on, the dysfunction that pervades many an American family. At the surface this looks like a book that is about the funeral business. But very quickly you will realize that it is a lot deeper and darker than that. After Andrew’s father loses his teaching job, his mother and father barely speak to each other. His father gets a job in the ...
  • David Ward
    The Removers: A Memoir by Andrew Meredith (Scribner 2014) (Biography). The endnotes state that this is a book about forgiving family members; the notes state that this happened while the author was working as the “remover” for funeral homes. The remover is the guy who goes and picks up dead bodies and transports them to the funeral homes or mortuaries for the necessary preparation and processing prior to burial or cremation. That's fine; I ap...
  • Cheryl
    A fascinating look at a broken family and broken lives in a broken part of the city of Philadelphia -- and despite all that, it wasn't really depressing. Even the discussion of death and the graphic discussion of the cremation process wasn't off-putting, I think because of the philosophical "intellectual curiosity" tone the author had throughout the book. I can see why, if this is his approach to his entire life (as he implies in the book) it has...
  • Peggy
    This was a good book. I just about read it right through in one sitting. The story skipped back and forth a little to when he was young and before the firing and after the firing, but it didn't distract. I had a hard time putting the book down to go to bed. I was compelled to finish and see how things turned out for Andrew and his family.Pretty graphic descriptions of dead bodies, especially the one that had lain for a week before anyone checked ...
  • Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling
    My View:A candid and at times brutally honest view of life and death and a child’s struggle to not be like his parents.Meredith writes with ease and a lack of self-consciousness that is refreshing and engaging; that he is able to analysis and describe his formative years with such honesty and naturalness is a pleasure to read. Thoughts and actions flow easily onto the page. Meredith survives the breakdown of his parents’ marriage, the discove...