Reviewer Chris Phillips: Chris is a veteran editor for friends
and family as well as most of his employment positions. He often
finds himself reading a book and correcting problems he discovers,
even after their works have been published by well-known
publishers. Chris enjoys writing to authors, when
possible, and discussing problems he has seen in the reading of their
work. And as he states, “there is always the chance for great
intelligent conversation whenever creative minds get together.”
A very humorous look at a sometimes touchy subject
Kalfel wrote and illustrated So You’re Cremated. He presents a very humorous look at a sometimes touchy subject; what to do when planning the reader’s funeral. From the title, it is obvious that Kalfel only discusses cremation in depth. The other methods of dealing with the remains of the dead are merely mentioned. The options of dealing with the ashes are thoroughly discussed.
With a delicate hand, Kalfel takes the reader through the process and expands on the theme of where to dispose or scatter or bury remains. With “You’ve Got Options,” Kalfel explains what is available and details how to make each method work to the reader’s satisfaction. Although to many this is a gruesome subject Kalfel handles it with enough humor to make it palatable.
The book is laid out logically with the 100 ways numbered for convenience. Interspersed with Kalfel’s illustrations the difficult subject matter is manageable. Throughout, 4 elements provide a poignant or light side to this discussion as well. In one of the “Did You Know” boxes the reader learns “Hunter Thompson (the free-wheeling intoxicant-fueled journalist) and Graham Chapman (of Monty Python fame) were scattered in fireworks displays.” “Quotable Quotes” break the reader away although most are not related to the discussion. “Final Gasps” are samples from deceased persons’ tombstones or memorials. Finally, he illustrates several tombstones with pithy epithets.
All in all the construction of the book and the use of the illustrations make for interesting reading while keeping the content relevant and useful. There is extensive supporting material starting with a Preface and continuing through two appendices with pages of useful and relevant information.
Kalfel ends the book quite well in the section “Okay, Just Forget About It” as option 105. The reader can find out for themselves what that option is.
This should be read by anyone that is looking for a few good chuckles and a lot of information. It may not convince anyone to be cremated, but it will help everyone to understand that it is viable and could be quite an ending for a life that needs just that last hurrah.