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This book started out brilliantly with a wonderfully unique premise The writing is e x c e l l e n t, but somehow the story loses its momentum at the end and speaking of endings, I found this one to be very unsatisfying However, I enjoyed this book enough to try something else by Kevin Brockmeier. I dearly wanted to love this book The first chapter establishing a vast city of the recently dead, an afterlife for everyone still remembered by the living is amazing and beautiful The second chapter flies off in another direction entirely, and plants us firmly in the ice and snow of antarctica From there the novel alternates each odd numbered chapter explores the city of the dead from a new character s perspective, while the even numbered chapters follow the adventures of the woman in Ant I dearly wanted to love this book The first chapter establishing a vast city of the recently dead, an afterlife for everyone still remembered by the living is amazing and beautiful The second chapter flies off in another direction entirely, and plants us firmly in the ice and snow of antarctica From there the novel alternates each odd numbered chapter explores the city of the dead from a new character s perspective, while the even numbered chapters follow the adventures of the woman in Antarctica, Laura Byrd, who seems to be the last living person in the world If this structure sounds like too difficult a balancing act to maintain, that s because it is Brockmeier holds things together in the first half, but before too long he s grasping to fill out the length of the novel The stories of the city remain interesting, if hard to believe, for a while People there listen to music and eat food that comes fromwell, from nowhere, apparently And back in the real world, Laura Byrd journeys from one station to the next, across a vast wasteland of ice and snow Her scenes are so painfully and poetically protracted that one could easily skip three and four pages at a time without missing anythng but descriptions of frostbitten extremities and an unvaried landscape The prose is beautiful in the first half and rounds back into top form in the final quarter of the book, which may sustain some readers engagement By the anticlimactic ending, though, this novel feels like two excellent short stories stretched far beyond their breaking points, and The Brief History of the Dead ultimately fails to be brief enough I m still not sure what to think about this book exactly I bought the book because I found the theme and story line extremely intriguing It makes you think about life after death , about a virus situation spreading over the world beyond control, about relationships and memories How can someone think of a story line like this Wow It s in between fantasy and real life, this one So I started reading, and the beginning was intriguing and promising, but somehow the story didn t catch I m still not sure what to think about this book exactly I bought the book because I found the theme and story line extremely intriguing It makes you think about life after death , about a virus situation spreading over the world beyond control, about relationships and memories How can someone think of a story line like this Wow It s in between fantasy and real life, this one So I started reading, and the beginning was intriguing and promising, but somehow the story didn t catch me really I did like the concept of the two separate storylines and how they seem to intertwine the further you come into the book, and there are some good moments in the book, very well written and food for thought, but at times I also found the story slow and dragging The theme however, again, brilliantly found Afterword, all these years this book has been in the back of my head, the theme being so weird and out of the box that is a solid 3 stars now i always wanteven when i enjoy a book especially when i enjoy a book i love the concept of this book, and while its true there are some implausibilities here, and while it gets a little thin in places, it is easy to overlook because it is such a delight to read yes, a delight.i am tacking on a littleto this sad and short excuse for a review because i was thinking about this book today, after i finished reading on the beach if anyone needs a dissertation topic or just has th i always wanteven when i enjoy a book especially when i enjoy a book i love the concept of this book, and while its true there are some implausibilities here, and while it gets a little thin in places, it is easy to overlook because it is such a delight to read yes, a delight.i am tacking on a littleto this sad and short excuse for a review because i was thinking about this book today, after i finished reading on the beach if anyone needs a dissertation topic or just has the free time to write something for fun, you could do worse than to explore the placement of coca cola in post apocalyptic fiction i think it would be fun feel free to use this book, the road, on the beach, and many others what does this say about the permanence of american commercialism to whom do we assign responsibility is its inclusion meant to evoke wistful nostalgia or cynical consumerism discuss There should be a particular damp shelf in book hell for science fiction books that start off with an interesting premise and then go absolutely NOWHERE I mean, nowhere I m used to sci fi that starts off well, then is okay in the middle, then fizzles out This one fizzled right away I mean, who cares what the city of the still remembered is like if nothing happens there Who cares about all the dull crossing stories, and really, WHO CARES about the idiot street preacher as the last human on e There should be a particular damp shelf in book hell for science fiction books that start off with an interesting premise and then go absolutely NOWHERE I mean, nowhere I m used to sci fi that starts off well, then is okay in the middle, then fizzles out This one fizzled right away I mean, who cares what the city of the still remembered is like if nothing happens there Who cares about all the dull crossing stories, and really, WHO CARES about the idiot street preacher as the last human on earth is risking death on the ice in Antarctica This is not a book, it s an idea Here s the story how I came by the best book I read in 2007 So I m standing at King s Cross station, waiting for a friend of mine to arrive by train Oh, look, there s a Waterstones They are having a 3 for the price of 2 sale, and there are two books that I wanted to buy anyway Now, let s find a third one This one looks pretty, and it isn t too heavy, gotta fly back tomorrow buys books Great, my friend s train is an hour late Let s read a book That third one isn t too long reads reads r Here s the story how I came by the best book I read in 2007 So I m standing at King s Cross station, waiting for a friend of mine to arrive by train Oh, look, there s a Waterstones They are having a 3 for the price of 2 sale, and there are two books that I wanted to buy anyway Now, let s find a third one This one looks pretty, and it isn t too heavy, gotta fly back tomorrow buys books Great, my friend s train is an hour late Let s read a book That third one isn t too long reads reads reads Friend arrives continues reading has to leave book shortly because people tell me social lifeimportant than books finishes book on plane ride back home I never said it was a very interesting story Here s the story of the book which isinteresting A city where people go after they die Suddenly the population grows unexpectedly, but then people start leaving At the same time, Laura is fighting for her life in the Antarctic.You may have come across some of the ideas before, but never in this way Brockmeier is never predictable, and even though you know how this story has to end, the consequence with which he tells it right until the inevitable ending was so powerful that it left me disoriented and shocked BEST book I read in 2007 without doubt.Here s what the papers say about it Brockmeier s confident voice, obervational brilliance and playful humour dazzle to the end Highly impressive Brockmeier is a lyrical yet subtle writerA powerful read I call your praise and raise you by a thousand Could have been briefer. I really wanted to enjoy The Brief History of the Dead, but unfortunately it just didn t do anything for me The novel attracted me with its intriguing premise, but ultimately proved to simply be far too long and too dull.The premise makes this story The Brief History of the Dead features the concept of a city to which the recently dead travel after they pass away They can stay in the city, but only as long as someone who remembers them is still alive after which they disappear, never to be I really wanted to enjoy The Brief History of the Dead, but unfortunately it just didn t do anything for me The novel attracted me with its intriguing premise, but ultimately proved to simply be far too long and too dull.The premise makes this story The Brief History of the Dead features the concept of a city to which the recently dead travel after they pass away They can stay in the city, but only as long as someone who remembers them is still alive after which they disappear, never to be seen again by other puzzled souls And inhabitants of the city are disappearing at an alarmingly fast rate back on earth a mysterious plague is wiping out the rest of humanity Laura Byrd, a lone scientist on a research mission in the Antarctic, begins to suspect that she might be the last living person on earth as she journeys from station to station, clinging desperately to life, she slowly loses herself in memories of people she used to know in the city of the dead, these few souls depend on her survival for their own.Kevin Brockmeier can write very well, and really set the mood for his scenes of particular interest are his atmospheric descriptions of ice and cold through which Laura has to travel but with this book he just can t bring himself to tell an interesting and captivating story the entire book feels like a good idea which was stretched out way too thin, and for way too long Funnily enough, it probably was the case The Brief History of the Dead was originally published in New Yorker as a short story in 2003, and the novel just feels like an unnecessary expansion on that idea Many novels found their beginning in short stories and novellas, but The Brief History of the Deadis one of these books which should have stuck to the short form for their own book In longer form, the novel ultimately fails to engage and captivate the reader I could not get involved in any of the characters and their stories, and ultimately just did not care about any of them Though I did get a chuckle with the idea of view spoiler the world ending because of Coca Cola hide spoiler , but I really don t think that makes the book worth reading Rating 3.9 of fiveThe Publisher Says 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 newspa Rating 3.9 of fiveThe Publisher Says 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 Review I am simply appalled that my cynical shell has been breached by a man who has an MFA from the Iowa Writer s Workshop, and who has been published in McSweeney s, Crazyhorse, and suchlike Writerly Venues.Appalled But then there s this Anyone who has ever experienced love knows that you can have too much or too little You can have love that parches, love that defeats You can have love measured out in the wrong proportions It s like your sunlight and water the wrong kind of love is just as likely to stifle hope as it is to nourish it.That, laddies and gentlewomen, needed saying and needed Brockmeier to say it It s just that true, and just that beautifully crafted.I hate that.I make merciless fun of, and throw lots of rotten eggs at, the Writerly Writers like Eggers and Franzen and Foster Wallace for their pretty sentences going nowhere new or even all that interesting Their self congratulatory cadres, nay myrmidons, attack anyone who dares say, yeah, so of the myrmidons ikons Why can t Brockmeier have inspired such a slavish, culty following, so that I may point and say, but him He s a good one He s a Writerly Writer with something interesting to say Life is unfair.But anyway The story is a good one, of dislocation in time and space with all that implies for identityhow do we survive as ourselves even knowing that we aren t in any space ever known to us so we re already of to a pleasing start The Writerly Writing is an enhancement of the basic story, because the sentences being self consciously pretty and profound make a point about the afterlife It s a well used technique in this instance, and doesn t feel show offy as normally it could or even would.The ending Well, now, all things have flaws The important question is, is it a raku pottery crazing type flaw, or an inclusion in the diamond type flaw This will greatly depend on one s point of view of the afterlife I m on the fence with this book s endingand I come down on the raku pottery side only because I like the rest of the book so much A different mood, and this would be a three star review with a sad, impatient growl about the sentimentality of the ending.Lucky Brockmeier I had Thin Mints before I wrote this review `Download Book ☜ The Brief History Of The Dead ↶ The City is inhabited by the recently departed, who reside there only as long as they remain in the memories of the living Among the current residents of this afterlife are Luka Sims, who prints the only newspaper in the City, with news from the other side Coleman Kinzler, a vagrant who speaks the cautionary words of God and Marion and Phillip Byrd, who find themselves falling in love again after decades of marriage On Earth, Laura Byrd is trapped by extreme weather in an Antarctic research station She s alone and unable to contact the outside world her radio is down and the power is failing She s running out of supplies as quickly as she s running out of time