An engaging story of life and death, An Odd Undertaking features Bill Wood’s memories of his career as an undertaker in London during the 1990s.
From learning the trade, to the challenging work of body removal, to humorous tales about what happens when things don’t go quite as planned, this is a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking read.
Follow Bill in the wake of the Grim Reaper as he meanders through topics as varied as funerals, exhumations and mortuary tales, while respecting the solemnity of death and quelling some of the myths and misunderstandings about undertakers and funerals along the way.
An Odd Undertaking is a book that is as much about life as it is about death; a fascinating read on an unusual topic.
Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 1964, Bill Wood, found himself relocated from the idyllic leafy surroundings of the Cotswolds to the urban hustle and bustle of city life in London. Leaving school at the age of 16, a variety of career paths unfold before leading him into the intriguing world of the funeral business. Bill now lives in Cheltenham.
Chris A (Guest Review) - 19 Nov, 2022
Like many of us, I admit to a morbid curiosity about what happens when we or a loved one passes away, so I was keen to read Bill Wood’s book, ‘An Odd Undertaking’.
This is a highly enjoyable and informative read about the life of an undertaker. The business of how our society cares for its recently deceased is dealt with sensitively and in detail by the author, who writes with genuine empathy, whilst retaining a sparkling sense of humour, which must have been essential in coping with such a demanding career. Although thought provoking and deeply moving, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments within.
The reader also gets to learn about Bill’s path through life that led him to become an undertaker, and the biographical elements throughout the book are also entertaining and humorous.
I found the book difficult to put down, and thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it!
Claire C (Guest Review) - 07 Feb, 2023
If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a funeral directors, i can definitely recommend that you read this book.
The author gives us a small glimpse of his personal life as well as descibing some of his own experiences as a funeral director and has made me realise there is alot more to a life in this career choice than I ever realised!
To some, this can come across as a slightly morbid subject but the author's sense of humour has kept it a light and thoroughly entertaining read and I can honestly say I really enjoyed reading this book and could not put the it down.