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A Gravedigger’s Tales Ian Shipley This slim volume of anecdotes by a gravedigger has a macabre fascination. The tone is humorous and practical throughout, beginning with its bright zany cover. The gravedigging occupation is apparently beset with many problems: wrong size hole, wrong shaped coffin, drunken diggers, waterlogged ground, misplaced diggings, eccentric client requests being but some of its tribulations. Shipley takes all these in his stride, finding in them ample scope for a good laugh There is much in this unpretentious book to amuse the general reader, but it is no work of literature/ On almost every page we find hackneyed expressions: panic buttons being pressed, adrenaline being pumped and so on. There are also scores of annoying tags, ‘to say the least,’ being a favourite. Tired expressions, such as ‘at the end of the day’ and ‘if I say so myself,’ soon begin to pall. Nevertheless, publisher and author have done an excellent job of proofing and editing. This is a well-produced little book, exploring unfamiliar territory with frankness and humour. Shipley is well worth a read - and for the author a rest after over 3,000 digs in Notts and Lincs.