Title: Cemetery Safari
Author: Claudia Vannucci
Goodreads page: Link
It is useless to pretend nothing: soon or later we are gonna be in a cemetery. What is different is how we want to be remembered.
In a journey through jungles, deserts and metropolis, full with pop culture references and black humor, you are going to learn that cemetery are not only full of graves, but also with tales that deserve to be told.; from mysterious person who offer wine at the grave of a writer, to the ones that honor their ancestor by doing a picnic on their tombs; from grave robbers to famous criminals.
Cemetery Safari is a collection of travels? Or is it an essay on what men are capable of inventing when they die? Both of them, but is more like an old friend that, over a beer, tell you about her trip around the world.
Unfortunately for my international friends, at the moment this book is available only in Italian, but I hope that maybe some publishing house will take interest in it and collaborate with the author.
Really the best phrase of the synopsis (I roughly translated to English the one on the back cover of the book) is “…but is more like an old friend that, over a beer, tell you about her trip around the world.”. This resume perfectly the writing style of Claudia Vannucci. I got to know her at a book signing at a bookshop near where I live, a when reading it was like having her telling all that stories directly to me. This got me a lot into it and made me enjoy it even more.
The book is full of cemetery from all around the world, mostly from the USA and from Europe, but there also a few from Asia and Africa. For each of them she narrate a lit bit of how she visited it and some of funny fun fact about people who got buried there or about the cemetery itself. However she preferred to not talk about Italian Graveyards, or the book would have been too big.
From the ones that she talk about the most interesting one for me is surely Showmen’s Rest, which is a cemetery mostly for circus’ performers with various statues of elephants that decorate the area.
But also all the history facts about E.A. Poe and the Poe Toaster are really interesting and the part where she narrates about them are totally my favorites of the book.
I never thought I would enjoy and have so much fun in reading about graveyards as, in Italy, things like talking and being interested in cemeteries are usually seen as weird, probably due to the religiousness of the Country… or something like that; but this book is a bit different and more then the cemeteries, it talks about the stories you can find in them… and there are a lot of interesting one (go go Parmentier, our Potatoes’ Bishop!).
I think that from now on I will see graveyards and cemetery with different eyes, trying to find the hidden things like the one written in the book.
It’s really a good book and I seriously hope she will write another one soon, maybe about Italian graveyards…