Saturday, April 07, 2007

What I'm Reading -- Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

Fiction, Adult -- In this novel, Brockmeier slowly reveals that a virus is sweeping the earth and killing its inhabitants. Part of the story follows Laura, who is on an expedition in Antarctica and begins to realize that there may be a problem back in civilization. The rest of the story is told by those who are dead, but have not moved on yet. The dead live fairly normal lives, but realize they have passed on from Earth and the theory is that as long as they are remembered by someone on earth they remain in this existence. When no one living has memories of those in this in between state, the dead move to whatever is next. This is an absolutely fascinating novel that keeps a tense yet thoughtful vibe throughout. He is a master at revealing things slowly, but giving a reader just enough to keep interest, which reminded me of M.T. Anderson’s The Pox Party. The struggles of Laura to survive and the investigations of the dead as they try to figure out what is going on as their “city” begins to change is as interesting as a novel gets.

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