Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews

Perhaps you know Mo Rocca from his frequent verbal appearances on NPR's Wait  Wait... Don't Tell Me! Perhaps you've seen him as a correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning. And maybe you've discovered his podcast, Mobituaries, which supplies some of the material for this book of the same name. We all admire a well-written obituary. Well, Mo realized many people deserving of a big sendoff just didn't receive it.  And not just people - places, objects, and entities sometimes don’t get the farewell they ought.  In Mobituaries, he restores some justice to the universe, and exposes us to fascinating facts and trivia we never knew.

Some well-known personalities in their day make it into Mobituaries--Sammy Davis, Jr., Fanny Brice, Marlene Dietrich--but not necessarily for what you would think.  Sammy's Mo-bit elicits the battles he faced against racism and anti-Semitism, always with conviction and grace. Fanny Brice (who you may know best as the subject portrayed by Barbra Streisand in  Funny Girl) sends Mo on a riff of related Mo-bits of famous people overshadowed by those who played them in movies. (T. E. Lawrence can't hold a candle to Peter O'Toole.)  And Marlene? She makes a couple of appearances -- one as a celebrity subsumed by Madeline Kahn's Blazing Saddles role; the other as the German-turned-American citizen who seriously thought of a plan by which she might assassinate Hitler. 

But it's Mo's explorations of non-humans that open the doors to history we never consider. His farewell to the American station wagon is also a fond remembrance of mid-20th-century Americana and family trips (and amazement at how some of us survived road trips in pre-seat belt days). Honoring the short-lived days of post-Civil War Reconstruction leads to poignant memorials for many African-American legislators who briefly shone. Mythological creatures such as the unicorn and dragon are mourned, as we learn just how sure experts were of their existence, until they weren't.  And his chapter on the funeral held for the dead oak trees of Auburn University, poisoned by a U of Alabama fan, explores what drives sports fans. 

So crack open Mobituaries at any chapter and be entertained and educated.

— Rosemary

Product Details
ISBN: 9781432873882
ISBN-10: 1432873881
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: March 25th, 2020
Pages: 665
Language: English