Rest in Pieces


In the long run, we’re all dead. But for some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs, and nether regions have embarked on voyages that crisscross the globe and stretch the imagination.

Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy—which they drank. From Mozart to Hitler, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses, and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward death.

“There is something here to dismay everyone.” —Times Literary Supplement

“A tasty, sharp, wonderfully unusual book. I enjoyed it like a jar of perfect dill pickles: when the mood strikes, nothing else will satisfy.”—Mary Roach, author of Gulp and Stiff

“If really, we’re all sitting in the undertaker’s waiting-room, then Rest in Pieces is the perfect easy read, preparation for the moment when the nurse steps out of the shadows and quietly calls your name.”—Simon Winchester, author of Skulls and The Professor and the Madman 

“Deliciously morbid and delightfully macabre, Rest in Pieces is required reading for those of us who intend, one day, to die.”—Ben Schott, author of Schott’s Original Miscellany 

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 © Art by Mark Stutzman