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
GenreNonfiction, History, Death, Science

Reviews Rest in Pieces

  • Auntie Terror
  • 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.
  • Prince William Public Library System
    An interesting little volume. I'm always skeptical of a source this comprehensive; this is certainly a fascinating springboard. If you enjoy morbid history, this is a title for you. I particularly liked the political figures--like Juan and Eva Peron ("Evita"). Some of these creepy stories happened not too long ago in the grand scheme, which is even creepier.Lots of grave robbing, which is to be expected. People were all about digging up relics of...
  • Andreea
    3.5 This was a lot of fun! History of famous corpses in this book arranged in a way that made most sense. It was a one-sitting kind of read for me. I personally knew about a lot of these so I found that I didn't learn too much, but it's a great book. The rating reflects my personal journey reading these kinds of books (for me) but as an introduction it's much higher rating for sure. I liked the whimsical fun ways the author related that a person'...
  • Noelle
    Teilweise ganz witzig und interessant, allerdings meiner Meinung nach ein Buch, das man häppchenweise lesen sollte. Will man es in einem Rutsch, oder auch nur mehrere Kapitel am Stück lesen, wird es doch ein bisschen eintönig.
  • Carla
    Quick informative read. Some funny and horrifying adventures that these famous corpses have had. Speaks to cultural norms about death. Certainly not in the way that Caitlin Doughty does, but entertaining book.
  • 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...
  • Tova Äng
    Svår att betygsätta. Jag tror jag läste den "fel", det vill säga sträckläste alla kapitlen vilket ledde till att jag blandade ihop detaljer i mitt huvud. Förmodligen bättre att läsa några kapitlen i taget eller bara välja ut de delar som verkligen tilltalar en. Men överlag är det en intressant bok och om något har jag lärt mig att jag ska undvika att dö innan typ 1950.
  • Devi
    Ein großartiges Klobuch für Grufties.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
    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
    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...
  • Krissy
    A pretty quick, but very fun and informational read. I appreciate Lovejoy's wit and sense of humor when dealing with as difficult a subject as death and corpses. If you're curious at all about the final fate of your favorite poets, musicians, and celebrities, Lovejoy's book is a must-read!
  • Hannah
    Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars
  • Beth
  • Liz
    An interesting and fun read for this Halloween season :)
  • Bill reilly
    Bess Lovejoy has a morbid sense of humor and so do I and neither of us believe in heaven or hell. It is onward now with tales from the crypt. She begins with St. Nick; the inspiration for Santa Claus, ho ho ho. Both Bari and Venice claim to possess his corpse, which supposedly has great healing powers. Joan of Arc was barbequed in 1431 and then re-burned to prevent relics from being collected. One of the alleged bones was analyzed in 2007. It was...
  • Alicea
    Yes, I'm somewhat fascinated by death culture. No, I don't think it's unhealthy. Yes, I do recognize it makes many people uncomfortable especially when walking around with a book somewhat shaped like a coffin with the title Rest in Pieces emblazoned across the front. (It might have been unwise to read this on an airplane but I'm a risk taker.) The subtitle of Bess Lovejoy's book is a dead (ha!) giveaway as to the substance of what lies within (on...
  • Ron
    Okay, so you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but what if the cover is a perfect representation of what's inside? This is a pretty little book, with an odd shape that fits comfortably in your hand and a queer little half dust jacket. It was so simple and yet elegant that I was afraid I'd be disappointed by what was inside. Oh was I wrong! Lovejoy tells meticulously sourced stories on death and the handling of famous human remains in a manner ...
  • Paul
    This book is just a ton of fun. Well researched and written with a great sense of humor, this is a book that I did not want to end. I've read other books about the manner of famous deaths or even their burials, but this one goes far beyond - into what happened to all or pieces of the famous person after they were dead, be it from stealing, religious fanaticism, or simply home town pride. Like my other favorite non-fiction writer, Mary Roach, the ...
  • Andreas
    While this book is a fun book full of wit and interesting details both surrounding the famous corpses and their bodies, I feel the author's intent on the book making people less scared of dying isn't very successful. That being said, that's my personal feelings about the book and you may get that from reading it. If nothing else, it's a fin read for fans of those who are in the book.
  • Debra Manskey
    Thoroughly enjoyable look at something that isn't often discussed - but probably should be. If your sense of humor tends like mine, towards the darker end of the scale, you'll probably like this irreverent little book too. Another book I finished ages ago and forgot to update here!
  • Edward Taylor
    Very quick read of this quirky collection of what happened to many celebrated (and despised) authors, politicians, kings, and others after shuffling off their mortal coil. Bess Lovejoy sticks to the facts and gives the reader some of the best and most risque moments in history (Napolean and Rasputin, I am looking at you two...) and is a great read for the morbid and the moribund alike :)
  • John
    Interesting read !! I'm amazed at how many bodies have been buried throughout the years with our their heads, hearts, and penises !!! Also, many have had their remains moved for decades and finally are interred in several places. I guess it's a good book for a Funeral Director !! LOL
  • Theresa Pierce
    Entertaining and educational.Great research, well written. I thoroughly enjoyed each section and each story. I never sold t have thought so many corpses would be fought over or moved so many times.
  • Summer
    This was at once a fascinating, fun, and delightfully macabre read. Lots of great stories about what happened to famous folks after their deaths. So often we think their stories end with their lives, but this book proves us wrong.