Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Brief History of the Dead

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier was originally published in 2006. My paperback copy is 253 pages.

Synopsis from the back cover:

The City is inhabited by those who have departed Earth but are still remembered by the living. They will reside in this afterlife until they are completely forgotten. But the City is shrinking, and the residents clearing out. Some of the holdouts, like Luka Sims, who produces the City’s only newspaper, are wondering what exactly is going on. Others, like Coleman Kinzler, believe it is the beginning of the end. Meanwhile, Laura Byrd is trapped in an Antarctic research station, her supplies are running low, her radio finds only static, and the power is failing. With little choice, Laura sets out across the ice to look for help, but time is running out. Kevin Brockmeier alternates these two story lines to create a lyrical and haunting story about love, loss and the power of memory.
I enjoyed this book and felt Brockmeier did and excellent job capturing the essence of what the reader needed to know about each character. His writing style is clear, clean, and precise. This was a thought provoking book, but an easy one to follow and read. Even though I'm not sure if I totally liked the ending, I highly recommend The Brief History of the Dead. Rating: 4

Quotes (Due to Brockmeier's concise writing, I can't include too many quotes without giving too much of the story away.)

"The stories people told about the crossing were as varied and elaborate as their ten billion lives so much more particular than those other stories, the ones they told about their deaths." pg. 4

"Occasionally one of the dead, someone who had just completed the crossing, would mistake the city for heaven. It was a misunderstanding that never persisted for long. what kind of heaven had the blasting sounds of garbage trucks in the morning and chewing gum on the pavement, and the smell of fish rotting by the river? What kind of hell, for that matter, had bakeries and dogwood trees and perfect blue days that made the hairs on the back of your neck rise on end?" pg. 7

"[T]hey all said the same thing: the numbers of the dead were shrinking. There were empty rooms in empty buildings that had been churning with bodies just a few weeks before." pg. 14

1 comment:

samantha.1020 said...

This sounds interesting!!