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How Best to Avoid Dying
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How Best to Avoid Dying

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  21 reviews
[i]Lazarus Dying[/i]: the man Jesus raised from the dead is alive and living in New York City. [i]The Fecalist[/i]: an author whose best selling work is his latest poop. [i]Christmas[/i]: she loves you, you love her, she has a gun in your mouth. Welcome to the award-winning short fiction of Owen Egerton. Egerton, a rising star in Austin's growing literary scene, has a gift ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published June 17th 2007 by Dalton Publishing (first published June 1st 2007)
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Melissa
If you've a hankering for chilling short stories that will linger in unpleasant ways in your head long after you've put the book down, be at peace & look no further. Egerton can write a pretty nasty little tale. Most of these are no more than three or so pages long, so you're automatically primed to keep telling yourself "Just one more!" and staying up way too late, feeling more and more deeply unsettled as you read. I particularly enjoyed his twist on religion - the lengths that camp counse ...more
Ariel
I started reading this and couldn't stop thinking "This is really weird. What is going on? What. What. Why. What." and then upon continued exposure realized it's charming weird and I love these stories. SO much. Very much. I also literally COL-ed (chuckled outloud) multiple times. (To be clear, I'm not sure why I didn't predict the oddity...there is a creepy baby doll on the front cover, and throughout the book, after all)
Kathryn
You will get funny looks if you read this book on an airplane.
Adam Morgan
Owen Egerton is a novelist and a screenwriter known for his dark, satirical humor. His work often touches on religion, as evidenced by his last two novels, The Book of Harold, a modern-day gospel narrative, and Everyone Says That at the End of the World, which riffs on the Judeo-Christian eschatology of the end times.

In this glossy reprint of his first short story collection, How Best to Avoid Dying, lost souls search for meaning in both life and death. In “The Martyrs of Mountain Peak,” counsel
...more
Paul Eckert
I've had this book on the shelf for so long. Glad I finally got around to reading it.

As with any good collection of short stories, the tales in How Best to Avoid Dying are hilarious, sad, and bittersweet, often within the same story, and all manage to tie into the title in interesting ways.

Egerton is at his best when he's focused on the obsessions of everyday folk. "Waffle," a story about a former Waffle House quality control guy who goes to a Waffle House and ruminates on every thing they've
...more
Zack Quaintance
Very sharp, funny collection. Favorite stories: Pierced, The Martyrs of Mountain Peak, and Lord Baxtor Ballsington.
Mitzi Moore
After meeting Owen Egerton at the Literary Death Match in San Antonio this month (he was the runner-up), I just had to buy this book. Despite the title, I didn't expect it to be about dying. It was so BIZARRE, but also intriguing, fascinating (sometimes repulsive). I couldn't put it down.
Jay Olson
What can I say about this book?! It. Is. Great. Owen Egerton's short stories are right up my alley - darkly, almost pitch black, hilarious. Gut wrenching. Layered. My favorite entertainment in any genere is simply that which reflects life. And life is funny, sad, scary, loud, calm and everything at different times and sometimes all at once.

We are all headed toward the same fate - read this book and let's connect before then, shall we?
Kevin Mckinnon
Wicked and morbidly dark little stories. Reading them is like handling razor blades.
Chris
There's enough to like in this swarm of stories (18 in all) that swing from the fully ridiculous(like, a penis abandons its owner ridiculous) to the mostly ridiculous (like "I crapped and called it art" ridiculous). I bought it after reading the nearly perfect "Spelling" aloud to my classes, and some here live up to its promise. The "The Adventures of Stimp" and "The Turtle and the Snail" are especially fantastic.
Dennis
The whole collection is pretty funny with some parts among the funniest things I've read. What's especially striking is that some of the stories that made me laugh most also brought me closest to tears. "The Martyrs of Mountain Peak" and "Lazarus Dying" are clear standouts in this respect, with deft handling of religion that manages to point out what's absurd without being mocking.
David Failing
Strange. Just strange.
Laura
So much weirder than I ever dreamt, and so so good! I mean, I don't know exactly what I expected....I knew it would be hilarious, because Owen wrote it, but it was so much more than that. Highly recommend this book to everyone except those who are looking for a something that doesn't contain a lot of death.

I think Miss Gobbler is really my favorite character EVER.
Hil
Owen brilliantly ties in themes of death into all of his short stories. Before you dismiss this as morbid, remember that death can come in many forms--a dead car battery, a dying romance, a broken friendship. I highly recommend it. I loaned my copy out and am now afraid I won't get it back.
Vicki
Interesting and unique read. I'm not sure I'm deep enough/smart enough to fully appreciate it, but I still couldn't put it down. I actually grew up with the author and he was in my short lived garage band in junior high. I'm glad he found his true calling as a very funny writer.
Rachel
I won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

It wasn't what I expected but I am glad that I read this book. The stories were very unique, weird, touching, sad, and beautiful.
Faye
Jul 01, 2007 Faye rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I knew Owen was amazingly talented, but his book blew me away. Interesting, bizarre stories beautifully written. The pages kept turning and turning. Loved it.
Renee
Hilarious, gruesome, startlingly creative, and finally, surprisingly, devastatingly beautiful. I don't know what I expected but this was not it. Amazing.
Matt
I wish I wrote this, there I said it. Are you happy universe!?
Michele Baber
This collection of short stories has a dark edge, and I like it. Many stories focus on the absurd or smack the reader in the face with absurdity at the end. Each story is brief, and they all stand alone, making this the perfect read for someone who gets interrupted often while reading.
Michelle
Was exactly what it said it would be, dark and funny. The stories were truly original and I wasn't sure where any would go once they started. My favs were the first one and the one about the religious camp.
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Owen Egerton is the author of the novel The Book of Harold, the Illegitimate Son of God as well as the novel Marshall Hollenzer is Driving and the short story collection How Best to Avoid Dying. He is also an accomplished screenplay writer and commentator for NPR affiliated stations. He is also the co-creator of the award winning comedy hit The Sinus Show which performed for six years at the Alamo ...more
More about Owen Egerton...
Everyone Says That at the End of the World The Book of Harold: The Illegitimate Son of God Marshall Hollenzer is Driving Harold and the cat killer How to Best Avoid Dying: Stories

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