The Obituarist

Rated 5.00/5 based on 6 reviews
The Obituarist - Dead people are the safest story around. They can’t answer back. But if you follow in death’s footsteps, it can be dangerous to get too close. An obituary writer seizes his chance when war heroes start dying. Brace yourself for handlebar moustaches, stiff drinks, greed, treachery and, of course, death. But with a twist.
“Mordant, funny, dark, teasing and ironic.” More

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About Paul A. Waters

Paul Waters grew up in Belfast and lived and worked in Dublin, Poland, the United States, Cardiff, South Africa and various of England.
He’s cooked, driven a taxi, taught, counted money, made TV and radio programmes and enjoyed gallivanting around much of the world.
He's now a journalist and broadcaster - and a writer.
You can contact him via or at this email address

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Review by: Michael J Lawrence on Aug. 22, 2012 :
Got absolutely no work done that afternoon as I opened the first page and the story just kept me engaged until I finished it. Tally ho chaps, bandits at twelve o'clock. A ripping yarn!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
Review by: chris west on June 13, 2012 :
Clever,absorbing and witty. Paul writes with deft lightness (and darkness), delivering a fascinating easy read. He brings back to life the Biggles type RAF heroes of World War 2, qickly developing the characters and the values they lived for and died by. The plot develops and weaves into present day press obsession (topical) and a splendid, surprise finish. Paul is an obviously accomplished writer, so let's see more soon.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
Review by: CMangat on June 11, 2012 : (no rating)
Compelling and subtly disarming - the author takes stock characters from a wide range and imbibes them with a new life of their own...

...Characters stalk these (e)pages with a real glint in their eyes, and occasionally you get the feeling they're convincing enough to be looking straight into yours.

Looking forward to others in the same mode & mood!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Su Verheoven on June 6, 2012 :
Really enjoyable ride! A page turner from the outset!

Beautifully insightful characterisation, delivered with a good helping of dry wit and with just the right amount of information for the book to play like a sumptuous film in your head!

Paul does justice to our wonderful World War II heroes, capturing perfectly the upstanding nature of their morals, together with their playful, youthful comradery. The Obituarist is a delicious juxtaposition of the pinnacle of our war heroes' lives, perfectly 'twisted' with today's unscrupulous media-crazed society.

There are some fabulous observations of human behaviour and thought processes, which are simply sublime and rather thought-provoking in their description.

This is not just a well written story which kicks along at a hell of a pace but also a clever multilayered observation of human behaviour, with a backdrop from two eras and what happens with the passing of time. The Obituarist certainly leaves you with something to think about.

Yes please, I'm looking forward to my next Paul Waters read!
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Review by: BlackInk on May 26, 2012 :
Old soldiers never die? You've got to read this!

Swiftly spiralling plot, deftly humorous style, with wry sidelong glances at contemporary media (and, of course by implication, we who consume it!)...

Paul A. Waters's The Obituartist will keep you reading and smiling to yourself from the first line to the last.
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
Review by: James Cawley on May 16, 2012 : (no rating)
Witty and wry, more of a short story, The Obituarist is the perfect railway journey or beach book. I read it pretty much in one sitting, amused by the parody and the plot alike. More please.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Pól Ó Duibhir on May 14, 2012 :
Alec said he could get me one from the morgue. It wasn't a hundred per cent kosher but nobody would ever know.

That was my first and only time to make use of the morgue. Alec Reid was a writer and a lecturer in Trinity College, Dublin, and he was offering to get me Jeremiah Dempsey's obituary from the morgue in the Irish Times .

Jerry was, however, still very much alive. In fact, I was to be one of a number of teenagers who would interview him on Telefís Éireann's programme "The Person in Question". Jerry had been General Manager of Aer Lingus (the national airline) for the previous thirty years.

Newspapers always kept a running obit on people in the limelight so they could be published at very short notice and I was getting surreptitious sight of Jerry Dempsey's as part of my interviewer's brief. Exciting times.

So I was more than interested to see what Paul Water's Obituarist would get up to. And I wasn't disappointed.

The book is written in a light vein and a little in the style of Boy's Own. It includes a line up of WWII RAF characters ranging from stiff upper lip to ginger pubic hair.

The reader follows the story through the character of the Obituarist himself as successive obituaries paint in the colourful characteristics of the members of wartime TripleX mission as they each lose their last dogfight with the grim reaper. And all the while the Obituarist is growing in stature.

There is, however, a lurking element of Greek tragedy in this drama, right up to the dramatic final obituary.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Helen on May 13, 2012 :
Beautifully written. A tale both light and dark with an excellent twist.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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