June 27, 1983 12:00 PM

by Jean Arbeiter and Linda D. Cirino

Subtitled “A Guide to the Resting Places of Famous Americans,” this book of trivia has a sort of ghoulish appeal. That’s largely because Arbeiter and Cirino, both free-lancers from New Jersey, embellish their list of grave locations with some intriguing incidental information. They relate, for instance, that the great Thoroughbred Man o’ War, now buried at Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky., was the first horse (the first celebrity horse, anyway) ever to be embalmed. Taps was played at his funeral. WC. Fields, who once said the hardest job in the world was being an undertaker in his hometown of Philadelphia because “a mortician can hardly tell if he’s burying a dead person or a live one,” is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. When Charles Revson, founder of Revlon cosmetics, was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y., his ex-wife Lyn showed up at the funeral wearing all the clothes she knew he hated most. Gangster Al Capone, described shortly before his death in 1947 as “nutty as a fruitcake,” was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, III. after tourists trampled his original grave at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Chicago, III., where his headstone remains. On the tombstone of novelist Willa Cather in Jaffrey, N.H. is this line from her book My Antonia: “That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.” (Evans, paper, $7.95)

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