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The Brief History of the Dead

The Brief History of the Dead 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

  • Title: The Brief History of the Dead
  • Author: Kevin Brockmeier
  • ISBN: 9781400095957
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 clFrom 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.

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    • ☆ The Brief History of the Dead Ë Kevin Brockmeier
      483 Kevin Brockmeier

    About Author

    1. Kevin Brockmeier says:
      Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Brockmeier received his MFA from the Iowa Writer s Workshop in 1997 His stories have been featured in The New Yorker, McSweeny s, Crazyhorse, and The Georgia Review He is the recipient of an O Henry Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts grant.

    Comment 770 on “The Brief History of the Dead

    1. Scott says:
      How many people have you met in your life How many have you glanced at on the street, seen in a shop, sat opposite and shared a smile with at a concert Ten thousand Twenty Imagine that every person you ever met, ever remembered, has endured after death, kept alive by the power of your memory.This is the central idea around which Kevin Brockmeier has constructed a book of surprising beauty and sadness, a novel different from most of what I read, but rewarding and memorable.Few books stick solidly [...]

    2. Richard Derus says:
      Rating 3.9 of fiveThe Book Description 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, [...]

    3. karen says:
      i always want even 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 little to 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 wri [...]

    4. Saucy Kate says:
      There are very few authors who write books that haunt me Neil Gaiman, Kate Chopin Add to that list Kevin Brockmeier I didn t think that a book about the end of human civilization would have any affect on me my ignorance led me into this novel fully unprepared for what I would encounter Set in the not so distant future, The Brief History of the Dead follows the story of a very big corporate oops Coca Cola unintentionally spreads a virus that kills off the entire human population in a very short p [...]

    5. Annet says:
      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 [...]

    6. Eric says:
      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 Antarctic [...]

    7. Oceana2602 says:
      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 Frien [...]

    8. Ann M says:
      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 [...]


    9. Maciek says:
      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 [...]

    10. Trudi says:
      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.

    11. Ana-Maria Petre says:
      Many African societies divide humans into 3 categories those still alive on the 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 gener [...]

    12. Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~ says:
      I loved the concept of this story line.Ghosts spirits or what ever you want to call it, still roaming around in our everyday life But they hang round until the very last person who remembers them passes away them selves It just didn t match up to all the hype Still it was okay.

    13. Ken-ichi says:
      Diverting, but not much The book didn t displease me, but it never left the blocks of its central conceit there s a city you go to when you die, populated by those still remembered by the living You know that from the dust jacket, and it seems like fruitful territory for some Italo Calvino esque slices of city life, but Brockmeier keeps his cast relatively small and his narrative surprisingly linear, short, and ultimately unsatisfying There still seems like opportunity for some straightforward [...]

    14. Sezín Koehler says:
      This was an incredibly profound book, and I have a feeling that it will shape the way I see the world and death from now on I really wasn t expecting it to affect me this way, and it completely came out of nowhere Can t recommend this one enough Absolutely gorgeous in every way.

    15. Ameriie says:
      fantastic world building ongoing sense of wonder a novel that is very hard to put down

    16. Daniel says:
      One of the few comforts we can draw on when facing up to our own mortality is the fact that we will live on in the memories of those we leave behind Kevin Brockmeier takes this sentiment and envisions a world in which it is literally true As such, The Brief History of the Dead makes for a unique take on the idea of life and death, as well as a poignant testimony to the power of memory For the dearly departed, there is no heaven or hell in this world of Brockmeier s imagination Although the cross [...]

    17. Res says:
      The one where when people die, they go to live in the city until no living person remembers them Meanwhile, on earth, things are turning out very badly.I loved the short story that became the first chapter And there are so many beautifully observed moments that I found the book quite enjoyable while I was reading it It was only afterwards that doubts began to creep up.The real world part of the story has two major implausibilities in it why the company would consolidate its production into one f [...]

    18. Tim says:
      I picked up this book after listening to an episode of KCRW s To The Best Of Our Knowledge entitled Apocalyptic Fiction mp3.I had just finished reading Cormac McCarthy s The Road, and felt myself compelled to read a bit apocalyptic fiction Unfortunately, the brutal grandeur of The Road set the bar too high It seems unfair to compare the two books, but because I read them in succession I feel I must.Where The Road was almost liberatingly sparse and hopeless, The Brief History of the Dead seemed, [...]

    19. Kelly says:
      The Brief History of the Dead had a fantastic premise but ultimately failed to deliver In this book, there is the earth and the living and there is a city of the recently dead The dead stay alive in this city as long as there are living people on earth who remember them Once everyone who knows you dies, then you pass on to the final death I loved the idea of the city of the living dead and I thought there was some great writing on it What kind of heaven had the blasting of garbage trucks in the [...]

    20. liz says:
      This book had no climax I mean, I figured out what would probably happen and then it did And that was it It mostly takes place in a city where everyone who s died, but can still be readily remembered by at least one living person, continues to exist It also follows a three person research expedition for the Coca Cola company to the Antarctic A horribly deadly virus escapes into the world population and whoops, I just gave away the ending.He could not decide which possibility was the most likely, [...]

    21. Stephanie says:
      The story is based on an African belief that the dead remain in a limbo world until the last person who remembers them also dies Only then will they pass on to whatever afterlife awaits them In a world that has killed itself with pollution, war, and finally disease, this is the tale of the last survivor and what ultimately happens to those whom she holds in her memory I liked the premise much than the execution I wish there was to the ending but maybe that s what the authors intended It was in [...]

    22. Silver Thistle adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.Oh, and accronyms :P says:
      The premise is wonderful and exactly the kind of story I usually love I suppose it s an apocalypse booknda It s an afterlife book though, if such a genre were to exist I thought the beginning few chapters were great and I loved hearing all about the world of the departed although not the part of how they got thereat was a bit psychedelic.I was probably interested in the dead than I was in Laura Byrd, although even the chapters given over to Laura were interesting at the start, just not as inte [...]

    23. Marvin says:
      A moving story that explores the power of memory, the significance of loss, and the meaning of our existence While reading this novel I was constantly reminded of Berkeley s If a tree falls in the forest question Certainly many of us want to know that our life have meaning, perhaps even remembered beyond our existence I think these are the ideas Brockmeier is playing with and of course he has no real answer but the route he takes is one mesmerizing journey Two separate stories are revealed with [...]

    24. A.W. Wilson says:
      If you read my reviews then you ll probably think I just wax lyrical about everything I read the reason for this is that if I don t enjoy a book I tend to stop reading it and also don t think it s my place to criticise something that happened not to be for me And it s much fun writing about stuff I ve enjoyed anyway, so there Guess what That s right, I loved this book I normally employ a know nothing in advance technique in which I ensure I ve not read any reviews or even read the blurb on the [...]

    25. Debbie says:
      I m so glad I found this book The story is that I was trying to find something else and ran across this book in perfect condition that I do not remember purchasing Inside was even a postcard of the cover from Pantheon Books So I started reading and couldn t stop Original and fascinating, so different from other apocalyptic stories I might even read it again Definitely recommending it to my friends.

    26. Shaniqua Lizardo says:
      Good premise, but not entirely well fleshed out story This book made me realize that I don t take well to survival stories, because A there is only person to care about and if I don t like that person, well that s that, isn t it and B NOTHING HAPPENS No conversations, no character development, hardly any movement It s not fun for me to read about a person who s basically just sitting there, twiddling her thumbs, trying not to die I don t know, maybe I m just really self centered.The first and la [...]

    27. Matthew Hunter says:
      Speechless that s a good description of my state during my reading of Kevin Brockmeier s The Brief History of the Dead Brockmeier gives us Coca Cola as unintentional doom bringer The mega corp manages to spring a lethal virus on humanity, killing off the entire planet in no time Their attempts to spin the catastrophe bring a dark, cynical humor into the mix.Brockmeier paints a very imaginitive picture of the city of the dead, a limbo like place where souls go after death and stay until everyone [...]

    28. Alb says:
      I just finished this book and now I need to go to CuteOverload and stare at pictures of puppies before I wander drained of all hope into on coming traffic Phew somebody please buy Kevin Brockmeir a balloon bouquet or give him a hug because this guy needs cheering up I mean don t get me wrong, I like lots of sad, bleak books and I actually think the fatalistic ending was logical and necessary but throw me an interesting charater or a meaningful, complicated relationship every couple of hundred ch [...]

    29. Gijs Grob says:
      The Brief History of the Dead is partly an apocalyptic future novel, akin to War With the Newts or On the Beach Like in those two books, human existence is wiped out by a destruction force of its own design.Brockmeier, however, is not interested in the process of destruction itself, but focuses on the last survivor, biologist Laura Byrd, who s utterly alone on the Antarctic Curiously, though, her adventures are altered with the description of a city where people go to after they die These chapte [...]

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