I am curious as to how this book was researched. The epitaphs were certainly not completely (if even partially) collected by the author's own wanderings through graveyards, first of all since they cover such a variety of locations (though mostly in Great Britain and the U.S.) and second of all because many of the locations are listed as "unknown." There is a bibliography of 21 books (and one web site!) that are all on the same topic--I would never have thought there were so many other books of this sort--so I would have to guess that this book is almost completely derived from other books. Which is OK, except that I have to wonder why it was necessary to have another such book, or what this one accomplished that the other 21 didn't.
Some of the epitaphs were so long that I had to wonder how large the headstone was, or how small the font. Some of them were quite humorous, but not all of them; some of them just made me sad. One mentioned the weight of the deceased, which was notable at 635 pounds. There were a few that were quite audacious, and even a couple that doubled as advertisements, if you can believe it. (One, of course, for marble-cutting services; one for the pub that the gravestone owner's son continued to run).
I suppose I would be remiss if I did not leave you with a few samples.
From Ruidoso, New Mexico (try to stifle your groan):
For not rising
Then there's the depressingly forlorn Gussie in Ocanto, Wisconsin:
Here lies the body of a girl who died
Nobody mourned, nobody cried
How she lived and how she fared
Nobody knew and nobody cared
and a head-scratcher from Snow Camp, North Carolina:
Here lies a virgin
with her babe
resting in her arms.
That one is listed as Anonymous, but surely her name was Mary. (Look! I can make corny jokes too! Though perhaps mine aren't quite as indelible.)
And perhaps my favorite, though "unverified," from Thurmont, Maryland:
Here lies an athiest
All dressed up
And no place to go
So that was a quick, fun, and different way to spend fifty cents. Now I'll see if I can get rid of it on paperbackswap.