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The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand

3.14  ·  Rating Details ·  579 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
Adam Strand isn't depressed. He's just bored. Disaffected. So he kills himself—39 times. No matter the method, Adam can't seem to stay dead; he wakes after each suicide alive and physically unharmed, more determined to succeed and undeterred by others' concerns. But when his self-contained, self-absorbed path is diverted, Adam is struck by the reality that life is an ever- ...more
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published February 21st 2013 by Dutton Juvenile
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(showing 1-30 of 2,701)
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Rob
Nov 15, 2013 Rob rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Two stars out of generosity only. It's sort of confounding to see a book that's generally well-written be so awful. If we're to believe the author's note at the end, he wrote this book after experiencing the suicide of several friends and family members, and this book is his attempt explore the psyche of the clinically and chronically depressed. It makes perfect sense, then, that he'd make the title character a suicidal teen who can't die. He flings himself off bridges, shoots himself in the hea ...more
Lectus
Jun 12, 2014 Lectus rated it did not like it
Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/03/...

I don't really know how to explain this book. The concept of the story is good and new but it left me empty.

Adam has killed himself 39 times: "18 times by jumping (from bridge or building or other high place and once from the back of a truck), five by drowning, five by asphyxiation, four by poison/overdose, three by hanging, one by fire, one by gun, one by chain saw, and one by train" (page 9). Every time he comes back. He won't stay dead.

Why did Adam
...more
Chris
May 29, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: second-read
I've been waiting for a new novel from Galloway for, at least, five years. I can only imagine what would've happened had I read AS SIMPLE AS SNOW when it first hit the shelves. I'd've been even more impatient. Because, honestly, Galloway is one of my favorite authors. Something about his writing simply clicks with me. However, I can see why this one hasn't been getting as "rave" of reviews as ASAS.

This one isn't for everyone, and for some, I think it will piss them off, not only from the subject
...more
Megan (The Book Babe)
Jan 13, 2013 Megan (The Book Babe) rated it really liked it
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Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

I don't know what it is about books with suicide, but when they end, I'm always left with this huge profound sense of peace. Does anyone else get that feeling, or is it just me? Maybe it's that the content is so out there, yet SO FREAKING true and sad that it makes me feel peaceful, because it usually doesn't end badly.

Maybe it's like philosophy, you know? I LOVE philosophy, but in an "argues with the greats, paranoid what if" kind
...more
Dilara
Aug 20, 2016 Dilara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitabın ismine bakıp kitabın ölümleri işleyeceğini düşünmüştüm fakat kitabın anlattığı hikaye bu değil, hatta herhangi bir hikaye de anlatmıyor. Sadece Adam adındaki genç birinin hayatını anlatıyor. Böyle düşününce romanın sıkıcı olacağı anlaşılabilir fakat yazarın dilinin yalınlığı ve sürükleyiciliği sayesinde akıcılık yakalanmış.
Adam 39 kere kendini öldürüyor fakat yazıldığı kadarıyla yaşamak da istiyor. Kitap boyunca anlatılmak istenen ve anlatılan bu. İçinde güzel, düşündürücü diyaloglar da
...more
Beyza Taşdelen
Feb 07, 2016 Beyza Taşdelen rated it it was ok
İlgi çekici bir ana karakteri olmasına rağmen konu akışındaki havada kalmışlığın ve yan karakterlerdeki yapaylık dozunun bu kitabı öldürdüğünü düşünüyorum. Aslında Adam Strand'ın kendi kendini öldürmeyi bir türlü başaramayışı, bu konudaki düşünceleri ve hayata bakışının anlatıldığı kısımları başarılı buldum, hatta Adam'ın iç monologlarında pek çok kısmın altını çizdim. Ama iş dış dünyaya gelince değişiyor. Ana karakterin ailesiyle, sözüne değer verdiği birkaç yetişkinle ve arkadaşlarıyla olan il ...more
Liz Overberg
I read and reviewed this arc for School Library Journal.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Strand is addicted to committing suicide. Bored, self-absorbed, and desperate to have some control over his own life, he has committed suicide thirty-nine times in seven years. Each time, however, he has awoken hours or days later, physically unscathed. By now, the people in Adam’s town, a bleak factory community in rural Iowa, have come to view his failed suicides as more of a nuisance than a miracle. Adam’s narrat
...more
Julia
I just couldn't get into this book. I suffered through the whole thing waiting for the turning point where I'd care about Adam's apathy, but I found I got more and more disgusted with him and his behavior. I also was frustrated that I felt like - probably due to the sophisticated level of the writing - there was something I was missing, a point the author wanted to make that just didn't come through. Nor do I understand Adam's eventual slow transformation away from someone who commits repeated a ...more
Shannon
Feb 22, 2013 Shannon rated it it was amazing

*This is an ARC copy via Library Thing giveaway* 5 Stars!
Adam Strand is not depressed, mentally ill, or even suicidal despite what rational thought may suggest. He is just indifferent to life so he kills himself repeatedly only to wake up and try again. He’s not trying to purposely hurt those around him, but he also doesn’t care how they feel. He doesn’t care until someone, a girl, turns his own self absorbed world upside down.
For first half of the book I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Obvious
...more
the golden witch.
Usually, I love risky books in YA that deal with the darker issues (or tough stuff issues, depending on the content) - the more risky, the better. I love authors who don't quite want to stay in the safe status quo, and so I thought that "39 Deaths" would make it into this category of awesome. Sadly, I was mistaken. "39 Deaths" has a promising premise, but ultimately fails to deliver in pretty much every way.

Where to start? Ah, yes, the sensory imagery and language. Only rarely did Adam talk abo
...more
Daniel
Mar 01, 2013 Daniel rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
There is something kind of brilliant in the concept of this book. Young adult books are usually filled with so much angst and pathos, and it's usually centered around death -- the death of a close family member...the death of a close friend...the desire for death for one's self.

Here, Adam Strand experiences the latter. But although he kills himself...he never stays dead. What's brilliant here is that the reason for this is never explained. It's not that Adam Strand fails in his attempts to kill
...more
Meredith
Jul 06, 2014 Meredith rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I probably would have eaten this book up when I was thirteen and said it was the best book ever - that might say more about my 13-yr-old brain and its preoccupations than the book itself. For me as adult reader, it had its moments. I picked it up for its premise - though it turned out to be more philosophical than I expected (too much sci fi recently), and it was actually more a poetic examination than an intellectual one.
It would be easy to say this is a book about suicide, and it is, but it i
...more
Tasha Robinson
Jan 05, 2013 Tasha Robinson rated it really liked it
I'm not saying much about this one because I'm planning to review it professionally, but this was a really unusual, compelling, strange read. I've read so much YA lately that's been simplistic to the point of talking down to the audience, but 39 Deaths is so much more sophisticated, in prose style and in concept, that it really shows books for teenage readers don't need to be skeletal or exaggerated to connect.
Becky
Oct 13, 2014 Becky rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, death-and-dying
I read this in pieces between other books because I wanted to finish it but didn't find it engaging enough to just sit down and read. Adam Strand is almost wish fulfillment for anyone who has ever lost someone to suicide. It's not that Adam can't get hurt or die, exactly, he just can't do it to himself. This gives his family and community seemingly infinite opportunities to intervene, though for the most part they lose interest, seeing Adam more as a nuisance or a joke. The ways in which people ...more
Kama Doucoure
Dec 24, 2013 Kama Doucoure rated it liked it
The 39 deaths of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway is a fiction novel about Adam Strand the main character who attempts to commit suicide 39 times. In all of those tries he manages to stay alive, He isn’t suicidal or depressed, he is just bored and questions the concept of life. He wants some “action” some thrill in his life. He uses many methods of suicide from asphyxiation to different ways to jump off a bridge. He sees a therapist but only because he has to, but that doesn't stop him from tryin ...more
T.
Mar 21, 2014 T. rated it it was ok
Being the adventurous person I am when it comes to reading (I'm not, but let's pretend I am), I rarely dislike books. This was the rare book I didn't enjoy that much. I'm really picky when it comes to interesting characters, characters I feel like I can bond with; I like characters who feel like they are more than just fictional characters in a fictional book. That being said, Adam was boring. The only trait I can think of for him is bored. This made the entire novel boring. I found myself skimm ...more
Joshua
Jun 16, 2015 Joshua rated it did not like it
When people ask me what my favorite book is, I can’t give them an answer. I don’t have one. But if someone asked me what my least favorite book is, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that the answer is The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand. There are many things wrong with this book, written as, of all things, an anti-suicide tract. But its worst flaw – and I say this not as hyperbole or as a snarky comment but the pure literal truth – is that it will make people more likely to commit suicide, not less ...more
BookWitch_Namine
Perhaps about a 3.5 but not good enough to have 4 stars...maybe after lots of thinking

First, I should state that this book is extremely exhausting to read. It's like Adam's whole death thing made me tired reading it or the thought of summer so I couldn't finish as fast as I would have liked to. Nonetheless, page 261 whispered to me to finish and so I did. It's a little plain and normal for me. Self-discovery didn't necessarily happen. It was like a change of mind all of a sudden. I think Gall

...more
Sarah
Mar 09, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
The Good

The writing. This book's prose is very poetic. Adam's musings about life, death, and the people around him are enlightening and insightful. I love books like this that hold a mirror up to your own life and the people in it, forcing you to see things from an entirely different perspective.
The questions. Adam brings up many interesting questions that stick with you long after the book is finished. Is one life more valuable than another? How can we know that? Why do bad things happen to go
...more
Hayley
Dec 08, 2013 Hayley rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Adam Strand is your average teenager – bored, malcontent with everything, only his boredom can seemingly never be overcome. To alleviate this intense sense of ennui Adam kills himself, he kills himself 39 times to be exact. Most often he jumps, but no matter the method he just can’t seem to stay dead. Frustrated, determined and totally unconcerned for the feelings of those around him Adam’s story remains the same until he’s forced to face the mortality of someone else.

The 39 Deaths of Adam Stran
...more
Emily
Dec 12, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: books-in-md
The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand was dark in an irreverent way that many YA books attempt, but few succeed. Galloway's novel focused on a purposeless, empty young man who was unable to end his life, despite 39 attempts. This protagonist was realistic in his conversations with other characters, but his inner thoughts--not to mention the premise--felt contrived. The book was split into many tiny chapters with clever names that often repeated background information--sometimes it felt as though this nov ...more
Medeia Sharif
Feb 09, 2013 Medeia Sharif rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Just as the title suggests, Adam Strand experiences death. He kills himself repeatedly, but he’s back to the life of the living, mysteriously intact, every time. His parents send him to a therapist. There are some colorful characters in the way of friends and a “transcendentalist” teacher, but Adam himself is lackluster. I didn’t connect to him in any way.

Concerning his suicides, it seemed like they were listed in between scenes. He kills himself, then again…oh, and again. I didn’t care for the
...more
Mariah Davids
Jan 07, 2015 Mariah Davids is currently reading it
The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand is a fictional story by Gregory Galloway. The main character is, Adam Strand; A teenager who kills himself 39 times; 18 times by jumping (from bridge or building or other high place and once from the back of a truck), five by drowning, five by asphyxiation, four by poison/overdose, three by hanging, one by fire, one by gun, one by chain saw, and one by train. And he doesn't die. He wakes up the next morning perfectly fine. In the book it's stated that he is not depre ...more
Kelly Wiley
Oct 26, 2013 Kelly Wiley rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I think it's because I can relate to it so much. Adam, the main character is so utterly bored, he opts to kill himself. He can't. He keeps coming back. That honestly sounds terrible, wanting something so bad and not being able to have it. However, Adam talks about being bored, a lot. He talks about how he does the same thing every day and doesn't really care and I totally feel it. I totally know how he's feeling. The great thing about this book is that there's no crazy love st ...more
Brandon Ryan
Mar 27, 2015 Brandon Ryan rated it really liked it
Great book, loved the messages, literary devices in the book. Very realistic and overall great awareness and fitting for other people going through the same struggles/issues, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely read it again
HourglassOrca
Feb 08, 2016 HourglassOrca rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
The concept is interesting, isn't it? A suicidal teenager repeatedly tries to kill himself from flinging himself from bridges or chugging bleach, but time after time comes 'back from the dead'. For whatever reason, he just can't die.

"The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand" doesn't attempt to explain the 'why', and instead chooses to focus on the consequences of Adam's deadly hobby of offing himself. The first person narrative had an end result is something that I like to call 'Diet Holden'.

But unlike Ho
...more
Douglas Lord
Aug 27, 2015 Douglas Lord rated it did not like it
Save for his inability to remain dead after he commits suicide, 17-year-old Adam Strand is a completely unremarkable loser; he has tried 39 times, mostly by jumping off bridges, tall buildings, and cliffs. But he reanimates every time. His first attempt is as a ten-year-old, who describes the urge as “a low murmur,” from inside himself, “a tone, an enveloping note…that almost shook me as it emanated inside me.” Other than enjoying the sensation of the jump, the crisp, cold air tasting “like a ta ...more
Ben Mangels
Oct 05, 2014 Ben Mangels rated it liked it
The book “The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand” was a very different book than I am used to reading. Gregory Calloway, the author of the book wrote it with lots of vivid imagery and detail that might appeal to some readers. With a lot of imagery, at some points you could feel like you were falling off of a bridge into water. The book was mainly about Adam Strand, the main character, retelling the events in his life and the 39 times he tried to kill himself. The book had very interesting points, but at t ...more
Jared Farquhar
Oct 02, 2014 Jared Farquhar rated it really liked it
The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway is a controversial, slow reading, and all around disturbing book. But the disturbing side of it is what I really like. The main character, 17 year old Adam Strand, is addicted to committing suicide. If you can even call it that.He also has been an alcoholic since the age of 15. Him and his friends wash all of their problems away in a raging river of booze and suicide. Self absorbed and bored he is longing for some control over his own life. He ha ...more
Kristen Nichole
Aug 11, 2014 Kristen Nichole rated it did not like it
Contains Spoilers

This book had such an interesting plot line, and it just fell flat. None of the characters were the least bit likeable, it felt like I was trudging through reading about Adam trudging through life. None of the characters had anything intelligent to say, or gave any kind of great meaning to the story or Adam's journey. The only character that was even somewhat interesting was the little girl who was sick. I feel that she was sloppily thrown into the story to finally make Adam rea
...more
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Gregory Galloway received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His first novel, As Simple As Snow, was a recipient of the Alex Award.
More about Gregory Galloway...

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“That's the point of it, to have those connections, as painful as they are, as much worry as they might cause; they give back in strength and comfort and joy, believe it or not, and the more connections you make, the happier you are, the more point there is to getting up and getting through the day.” 9 likes
“The world is perfect there. Or maybe you’re perfect and the world is the same.” 3 likes
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