'Remember me when I'm gone' just took on a whole new meaning ...Laura Byrd is in trouble. Three weeks ago she and her friends found themselves alone in one of the coldest, most remote places on earth. Her friends set out in search of help, and now Laura realises that they are not coming back. So she gathers her remaining supplies and sets out on ...
'Remember me when I'm gone' just took on a whole new meaning ...Laura Byrd is in trouble. Three weeks ago she and her friends found themselves alone in one of the coldest, most remote places on earth. Her friends set out in search of help, and now Laura realises that they are not coming back. So she gathers her remaining supplies and sets out on an extraordinary journey. Meanwhile in another city, more and more people arrive every day. Each has a different story to tell, but their accounts have one thing in common - it was their final journey. For this is the city of the dead. And the link between this city and Laura's journey lies at the heart of this remarkable novel. The Brief History of the Dead tells a magical story about our lives - about our place in the world, our connections with each other, and what happens to us all after our deaths. It is a story of spellbinding power and imagination, which resonates long after the final page.
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When I first picked up "The Brief History of the Dead" I had my doubts about whether or not I would like the book. The plot had potential, but could have very easily been turned into a tacky and unpleasant read on life after death. I decided I would give the book a chance, and I am so glad that I did. The title didn't lie, the book was indeed brief, requiring only a few hours to finish. In the novel, there is the world of the living and the world of the dead, simply known as "the City". Before arriving in the City, the dead must complete "the crossing", which is different for every person and beautifully described by Brockmeier. When the dead come to the city they attain jobs, and live much the same as they had on earth. The City is always expanding and changing to accommodate the residents, but the dead do not stay in the City indefinitely. As long as they endured in the memory of living people, they would remain in the City. The story focuses mainly on the characters of Luka Sims, who produces a newspaper for the dead, and Laura Byrd, one of the living. There is also insight into the thoughts and lives of many of the other dead. When the dead begin to mysteriously disappear as quickly as they arrive, Luka begins to investigate and soon discovers something devastating and tragic. The book alternates between the City and the living world, and everything and everyone ties together in small yet significant ways. The reader begins to see connections between things, and it really makes for a great and fascinating read. Not only is the plot intriguing, but the writing is really diverse, changing from beautifully descriptive writing to raw dialogue that fits each character and location and mood. The subject may be touchy for some, especially since different religions or people have various beliefs on life after death, but I think part of what makes this book so great is that it manages to entertain and inspire without offending or making any actual religious affiliation, even though there are mentions of heaven and hell. It isn't hard to find the words and ideas beautiful and moving. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for an unforgettable and interesting work of fiction!
Publishers Weekly, 2005-12-19 A deadly virus has spread rapidly across Earth, effectively cutting off wildlife specialist Laura Byrd at her crippled Antarctica research station from the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the planet's dead populate "the city," located on a surreal Earth-like alternate plane, but their afterlives depend on the memories of the living, such as Laura, back on home turf. Forced to cross the frozen tundra, Laura free-associates to keep herself alert; her random memories work to sustain a plethora of people in the city, including her best friend from childhood, a blind man she'd met in the street, her former journalism professor and her parents. Brockmeier (The Truth About Celia) follows all of them with sympathy, from their initial, bewildered arrival in the city to their attempts to construct new lives. He meditates throughout on memory's power and resilience, and gives vivid shape to the city, a place where a giraffe's spots might detach and hover about a street conversation among denizens. He simultaneously keeps the stakes of Laura's struggle high: as she fights for survival, her parents find a second chance for love-but only if Laura can keep them afloat. Other subplots are equally convincing and reflect on relationships in a beautiful, delicate manner; the book seems to say that, in a way, the virus has already arrived. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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