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
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Death, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews The Removers

  • Rebecca
    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...
  • 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....
  • 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.
  • Rebecca McPhedran
    Andrew Meredith seems to be reliving a part of his past. A time when his father lost his job, and he, his mother and sister lost their foundation. Throughout the book Meredith flashes backwards on his time as a child coming to grips with his fathers actions, and their consequences on his relationships. He then moves forward, to his time as an adult, employed as a remover of dead bodies, and his work in a crematorium. All very interesting stuff, b...
  • 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,...
  • 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 ...
  • Jay C
    Somewhat ghastly subject matter at times (MC works for a crematorium) but a solid narration by an imperfect character trying to figure out what comprises one’s transition into “adulthood”, whatever THAT is.
  • Jennifer
    Gritty and warm at the same time - loved it! Hope he writes another book.
  • Siao
    Not particularly outstanding, but...meh. Haven't had much luck with picking great reads lately.
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • C
    A beautiful lyric memoir about what it means to have a body, both in life & death.
  • Tamara The Reader
    This book was excellent. I loved how the author so masterfully wove back and forth between his currently life and his young self. I enjoy reading memoirs written by men. Typically it takes a lot for a man to be vulnerable, to share his foibles with the world but it's always so refreshing when they do.This book is about a young man living in Philadelphia who worked, along with his dad removing the remains of the deceased. The life of his family wa...
  • Lynda
    Just OK. I really wanted more about his job, and the removal of dead bodies, and the reactions of the family members he came into contact with, and doing that kind of work with his dad, and how that colored their relationship. (I didn't like any of the other co-workers that he interacted with, or his experiences working at the crematorium.) The autobiographical parts, I thought, were really dull, I didn't really care about either of his parents o...
  • SandyL
    What can I say about this book? First of all, it felt like a story that someone cut up into pieces and then pieced back together in no particular order. The story jumped around from different time periods and was very disjointed. Basically, the author is recounting his childhood and young adulthood along with the job he falls into as a body remover and cremator. I guess if you want to feel better about your own life and f*ck-ups, then this book m...
  • Deborah
    Insightful and honest. Reading this book is like watching the author grow up. His being young & male did not keep this sixty-something female from learning and growing with him. His story reminds me of my twenty-something grandson who is taking a rather long and circuitous route to adulthood. I have recommended that he read this book. I hope he does. The last paragraph on page 171 sums it all up in my opinion. If everyone who is carrying around o...
  • Calli Fugate
    Powerful quick read. The author is devastatingly depressed but actually uses that word, “depressed”, only one time in the entire 177 pages. He’s still a sensitive man, despite being outwardly desensitized to some of the most morbid circumstances a human can visualize. Reading pages 108 and 151 got me. Got me good. My dad has a pacemaker, and these two pages refer to what happens to one after the owner passes away, and it was jarring to say ...
  • 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.
  • Kristen
    I'd give this book about 2.5 stars. And it legit has taken me a very long time to get around to. I think I loved the idea of this book more than the book itself. And I wanted a little more than what I was left with.
  • Tara
    not a favorite
  • Bibliobabe
    Interesting memoir about his experience in the funeral industry. Coming of age, introspection, family drama, all the required elements a good memoir needs.
  • Stephanie Cordano
    The ending I felt was unfinished. It didn't really specify where he was with his depression, where his sister ended up, how things ended with his father and him. It was a sad and morbid book.