Book Review

How Did They Die? Volume 3

Details Writer: Norman Donaldson; Genres: History, Pop Culture

Here's a mourner's feast of more than 200 lively death notices of notables from Pliny the Elder (d. 79 A.D.) to...well, this is How Did They Die? Volume 3, so Norman Donaldson's probably standing vigil to see who'll perish next for volume 4. In this edition, you'll find these monumental morsels: Bing Crosby was laid to rest extra-deep so his wife could be interred over him in the crowded cemetery; Groucho Marx's ashes have been stolen; Woody Guthrie's ashes wouldn't pour out of the container, so son Arlo threw the whole thing into the ocean, and Marc Antony gave Cicero's severed parts to Mrs. Antony, who mutilated the head. With post-mortem messes like these, dying hardly seems an attractive prospect. But the whole, uh, undertaking makes for good bedside reading. B+

Originally posted Aug 12, 1994 Published in issue #235 Aug 12, 1994 Order article reprints

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