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Book review: The Coffin Confessor

Title: The Coffin Confessor: Some last wishes don't go quietly to the grave

Author: Bill Edgar

Publisher: Penguin Books, London

Publication date: 2021

Genre: Memoir

Reviewer: Jill Fulcher

Coffin Confessor
The Coffin Confessor: Some last wishes don't go quietly to the grave. Bill Edgar

The first chapter of this book dragged me in, hook, line, and sinker.

At most funerals you hear how wonderful the deceased was, but everyone has secrets.

Just imagine being able to say what you want at your own funeral.

The title of the book is exactly what Bill does. He speaks for the dead.

It is an autobiography that is confronting, heartbreaking and at times, amusing.

Bill has had to endure more than most people. He is the son of a famous gangster, a homeless street kid, a brawler, a maximum-security prisoner at Boggo Road jail, a family man, a security guard, a private detective, an advocate for people in debt crisis, a childhood sexual abuse victim and an activist against the institutions that allow the abuse to happen.

By going through these experiences, Bill has been able to comprehend that everyone has secrets and there are some we do or don’t want to take to the grave.

Bill has helped clients tell their families their deep dark secrets – like the client who wanted to let his family know of his bisexuality and his love for a close male friend.

There are times when the clients have something they don’t wish their families to see as it would be extremely upsetting, so Bill steps in and destroys what the client is trying to hide – for instance, the client who wanted his private sex dungeon destroyed before his family packed up his home.

Bill has been fortunate to have the love of his life, Lara, beside him.

Lara believed in him well before he believed in himself.

He doesn’t make excuses for the mistakes he has made in his life, but he does learn from them.

If you can handle a few F bombs, it is a fabulous read.

I am amazed how one person can face so much hardship and yet, can keep going, improving themselves and the world around them.

The book is confronting, amusing, heartbreaking and thoroughly interesting.

I would recommend Coffin Confessor and it is available from Bundaberg Regional Libraries.

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