Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek and T. J. Mitchell

 "Don’t jaywalk. Wear your seat belt when you drive. Better yet, stay out of the car, and get some exercise. Watch your weight. If you’re a smoker stop right now. If you aren’t, don’t start. Guns put holes in people. Drugs are bad. You know that yellow line on the subway platform? It's there for a reason. Staying alive, as it turns out, is mostly common sense. Working Stiff - Judy Melinek

 Working Stiff is well written and full of interesting statistics. You will learn about how and why death certificates are filled out. How deaths are filled: accident, homicide, suicide, medical misadventure, etc. You will squirm at times over the gruesome details of death or be morbidly curious like me!

The majority of this memoir deals with "typical" deaths in NYC. The last 25% of , Working Stiff, details Milinek, works on victims of 9/11. This was one of the most difficult parts to read, it easily brings you back to that tragic day over and over again especially when you learn about the victims and what they endured.

I only had one issue with this book and it was her view of suicide. She thinks it's selfish and I won't go on a disquisition about  my thoughts on it but I will say this --- Suicide is a desperate act by someone who wants the pain to stop. It is not selfish or cowardly. Suicide is tragic and everyone becomes a victim, including the deceased. 

Grade: A-

If you are feeling suicidal click SUICIDE PREVENTION for help or call  1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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