Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

First sentence:

"When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had traveled across a desert of living sand."


From Kevin Brockmeier, one of this generation's most inventive young writers, comes a striking new novel about death, life, and the mysterious place in between.

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 storylines to create a lyrical and haunting story about love, loss and the power of memory.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this bittersweet book about memory, family, friends, life and death and how just knowing people - even from a distance - makes a difference. I also liked the alternating chapters between the events in the City and Laura Byrd's struggles in Antarctica.

Date read: 10/13/2007
Book #: 92
Rating: 3* = good
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 1400095956
ISBN-13: 978-1400095957
Publisher: Vintage
Year: 2007
# of Pages: 272
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing Page

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

Thank you for the great review! I have this one in my TBR collection and hope to get to it some day. I first heard about it this summer and have been curious ever since.