The Economist Book of Obituaries

Keith Colquhoun, Ann Wroe

The Economist Book of Obituaries

This is a selection of the two hundred best obituaries that have appeared in "The Economist" since the first one was published in 1995.The obituaries that appear in "The Economist" are remarkable because of the unpredictable selection of people to be written about, the surprising lives they lead - but also for the style in which the obituary is written. The selection for this book ranges far and wide, including Jean Bedel Bokassa and Pope Jean Paul II, Pamela Harriman and Harry Oppenheimer, Akio Morita and J K Galbraith, Jean Baudrillard and Syd Barrett, Estee Lauder and Hunter Thomson, Bip (the legendary mime artist Marcel Marceau) and even Alex the African Grey (Science's best known parrot). 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
The Economist Book of Obituaries

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Reference, Biography
Format Hardback
Pages 416
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication October 2008
ISBN 978-1846681073
Publisher Profile
 

This is a selection of the two hundred best obituaries that have appeared in "The Economist" since the first one was published in 1995.The obituaries that appear in "The Economist" are remarkable because of the unpredictable selection of people to be written about, the surprising lives they lead - but also for the style in which the obituary is written. The selection for this book ranges far and wide, including Jean Bedel Bokassa and Pope Jean Paul II, Pamela Harriman and Harry Oppenheimer, Akio Morita and J K Galbraith, Jean Baudrillard and Syd Barrett, Estee Lauder and Hunter Thomson, Bip (the legendary mime artist Marcel Marceau) and even Alex the African Grey (Science's best known parrot).

Reviews

The Spectator

Michael Howard

This collection indeed must make any readers devoutly pray that they may escape the attention of the Economist’s obituarists. Their tribute may begin as does that to the tycoon Tiny Rowland: ‘Hunting around for something not too brutal to say about Tiny Rowland now that he is dead, those who knew him remarked on his charm. The English language is helpful with the evasive word.’ ...Or they may find themselves described with the same devastating understatement as is Kurt Waldheim: ‘a diplomat with a selective memory’. The wit is wicked, in the best sense of that ambiguous word, but it is never cruel, and always bang on; as its victims, after serving their million-odd years in Purgatory, would ruefully have to agree.

26/11/2008

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Time Out

Michael Miller (New York)

The book is far from comprehensive, but this is a symptom of its appeal. As Wroe points out, The Economist doesn’t have an extensive bank of obits ready to print, so she and Colquhoun usually wrote on deadline. This must partly explain why their mini-bios rarely seem overly polished or boringly authoritative, instead bustling with lively anecdotes (firefighter Red Adair requested 4,000 pigs to help him detonate land mines in Kuwait), casual asides (John Peel raised chickens) and kicky pontification.

15/04/2009

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