... takes neglected obituaries to new heights. Rocca extends the definition of death into extremes that are both logical and comical, and always respectful to the subject ... you can practically hear Rocca’s amusing, slightly nasal voice on the page ... is tinged with poignant moments ... droll, ironic, silly, poignant, and thoughtful all at once. This isn’t a book to read cover to cover, though that’s certainly not a bad route to take. Rather, it is a volume of delights that is best savored by skipping through the chapters at your own pace ... Death comes to everyone and everything. Mobituaries takes delight in that sting.
Down-to-earth and likable, Rocca is always entertaining and often funny ... Rocca’s heart is often on his sleeve ... Much of the great fun here is this book’s smorgasbord style— its wide-ranging scope of subjects combined with Rocca’s folksy storytelling. Mobituaries may seem to focus on death, but the book’s real heart is Rocca’s lively sense of joy and wonder.
Helpfully, the book includes a handy guide to the differences between Thomas Paine and the rapper T-Pain. Mobituaries are not just limited to people—one of the best entries is dedicated to the station wagon. Impeccably researched, this book is packed with facts that are sure to give you a leg up at pub trivia ... Authors Rocca and Greenberg have written a delightful, hilarious romp through history. Put this book in the hands of history buffs or anyone who loves a good laugh.
Rocca is an expert researcher and storyteller. He draws on these skills here. With his dogged reporting and trademark wit, Rocca brings these men and women back to life like no one else can. Mobituaries is an insightful and unconventional account of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us, one that asks us to think about who gets remembered, and why.
Rocca’s trademark humor and satire are present throughout and he also includes personal anecdotes, including a touching closing tribute to his father ... This amusing, concise, and sometimes tender collection of profiles is recommended for readers content with short biographies in a limited narrative format.
As his lengthy Works Consulted testifies, Rocca has done his homework: His sources include not only biographies and histories, but also interviews (where possible) with the people involved. Occasionally, a small error intrudes, but the research is generally sound throughout. Though much of the tributes are funny and wry, others are quite moving ... Political attitudes are sometimes patent, sometimes not ... A spicy blend of humor, irony, wit, facts, fable, and heart.