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The Brief History of the Dead

af Kevin Brockmeier

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
2,5401765,743 (3.62)1 / 214
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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» Se også 214 omtaler

Engelsk (174)  Catalansk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (176)
Viser 1-5 af 176 (næste | vis alle)
Enjoyed this one quite a lot and I'm looking forward to reading more Brockmeier.

I thought the concept was fantastic and I found it to be a page turner even though I can't say a whole lot actually happens in book.

Wasn't thrilled with the ending because it got so muddled but I think that was intentional. ( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
3.5 ( )
  sweetimpact | Jan 18, 2024 |
Interesting. Like all time warping, or afterlife thought experiments, it doesn’t work if you try to think it out, but it is an interesting tale of the end of people after a pandemic. Unsure why the protagonist has to journey out of Antarctica. That seemed a bit much. But I guess she has to die to bring about the end of the in between life and death place where everyone (only people) went while they were still remembered by the living. Ultimately unconvincing.
  BookyMaven | Dec 6, 2023 |
Horrible
. Read 105 pages and had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on. I'd didn't care at all about any of the characters in the book. No idea why this book got such a high rating? ( )
  BenM2023 | Nov 22, 2023 |
More of a thought-experiment than a novel, without much of a narrative journey to it. As a short book, it's probably interesting enough to spend a little time on. ( )
  JayBostwick | Jul 11, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 176 (næste | vis alle)
What if those enjoying the afterlife require for their continuing existence being remembered by Earthlings? ... Since the afterlife, as depicted here, is never believable (the denizens show little stress about their temporary status), the stakes of Laura’s sledding aren’t what Brockmeier hopes. ... In this speculative fiction, perhaps the most interesting element to wonder about is how Brockmeier will get away with blaming Coca-Cola for causing the pandemic. After a charming first chapter that imagines highly individual “crossings” to the other side, a novelistic virus called “The Flicks” debilitates the rest.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerKirkus Reviews (May 20, 2010)
 
Brockmeier's epigraph and the publisher's blurb spell out, pretty much, the connection between the doomed quest of Laura Byrd in the even-numbered chapters, and the denizens of the anomalous city in the odd-numbered ones. Such is his sensitivity and skill that Brockmeier contrives a mystery that is nonetheless subtle, absorbing, and ultimately satisfying. As befits a writer whose stated influences include Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping alongside JG Ballard and Italo Calvino, The Brief History is both formal and heartfelt, an elegiac fabulation on the fragile, ignorant beauty of human life.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerThe Guardian, Colin Greenland (Apr 7, 2006)
 
Between earth and whatever lies beyond, the inhabitants of a benevolent purgatory known simply as The City have realised that death can be a wonderful restorative. ... Just as they had originally believed that The City owed its existence to the memories of the living, so now the citizens are increasingly convinced that Laura herself sustains it. ...The prose spreads a patina of whimsy over even the most urgent emotions: the characters are sometimes hearts that think rather than people who feel. But for all its foibles, The Brief History of the Dead must be accounted a prodigy of imagination, insight and overwhelming tenderness.
 
Nobody in the novel is remotely interesting, even in their responses to their extraordinary predicaments. And the plot, although rich in dramatic possibility, limps along through various tedious digressions and flashbacks, failing to stimulate any real imaginative or intellectual excitement. The bold premise at the heart of "The Brief History of the Dead" could have offered the best sorts of complex pleasures, narrative and metaphysical, that science fiction has to offer. Instead it merely flounders, a waste of a perfectly good idea.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerThe New York Times, Patrick McGrath (pay site) (Mar 5, 2006)
 
...the brilliant question fueling the book is: What happens to the land of the dead-but-not-forgotten when the land of the living is destroyed? ... This conceit is also the book's primary weakness. The first half of The Brief History of the Dead is compelling and fascinating, full of interesting characters, lyrically restrained prose, and amusing bits of satire. The structure Brockmeier has created, though, limits him, making the second half of the novel a clever puzzle but not much more ... The weaknesses of the second half cut the wires suspending a logical reader's disbelief and let it drop to the ground and sprout questions about the way this afterlife is configured.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerSF Site, Matthew Cheney (Mar 1, 2006)
 
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Many African societies divide humans into three categories: those still alive on earth, the sasha, and the zamani. The recently departed whose time on earth overlapped with people still here are the sasha, the living-dead. They are not wholly dead for they still live in the memories of the living who can call them to mind, create their likeness in art, and bring them to life in anecdote. When the last person to know an ancestor dies, that ancestor leaves the sasha for the zamani, the dead. As generalized ancestors, the zamani are not forgotten but revered. Many ... can be recalled by name. But they are not the living dead. There is a difference.

-- James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me
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There was a flaw at the heart of their discussion, the blind man realized. They were mistaking the spirit for the soul. Many people tended to use the words casually, interchangeably, as though there was no difference at all between them, but the spirit and the soul were not the same thing. The body was the material component of a person. The soul was the nonmaterial component. The spirit was simply the connecting line.
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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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