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The Suicide Collectors

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3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  524 ratings  ·  132 reviews
The Despair has plagued the earth for five years. Most of the world’s population has inexplicably died by its own hand, and the few survivors struggle to remain alive. A mysterious, shadowy group called the Collectors has emerged, inevitably appearing to remove the bodies of the dead. But in the crumbling state of Florida, a man named Norman takes an unprecedented stand ag...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,135)
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Kelly Maybedog
There are some good things about this book and some really irritating things. I’ll start with the good because David Oppegaard is on Goodreads and will undoubtedly read this review. I think it’s well written, it flows well and it kept me interested. I wanted to know what happened next. The characters were believable and fairly fleshed out. Although post-apocalyptic novels are common and most involve journeys, I felt he handled it well. The premise is different and thought-provoking. I really app...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Some time in the not-too-distant future, everyone in a popular night club in Tokyo committed suicide. Not long after, suicide rates around the world started climbing. Tokyo was only the beginning of a world-wide Despair. Depression, hopelessness: it sends people hurtling from the tops of buildings, dashing in front of trains, swallowing pills, slashing wrists. Your friends, your family - at first people are constantly calling each other, checking that their still alive. After five years, there'r...more
Brad
When I read that The Suicide Collectors was the story of a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by “The Despair,” which drove billions of humans to death by their own hands, I thought, “Whiz! BANG!”

And that’s exactly what I expected.

I expected a world that went out with a bang. And I expected bangs to greet me throughout the book and a nice big bang to end the book.

None of those bangs came.

From beginning to end, The Suicide Collectors is a tale of a whimper. There were promised moments of action an...more
Erin
The Suicide Collectors is a good book full of horrible things. I mulled it over, and that's really the only way to describe it.

In Oppegaard's dystopian world, the entire planet has been gripped by an epidemic called The Despair. Ninety percent of the Earth's population has committed suicide in the past five years since the "disease" started to spread, leaving the remaining survivors left to deal with the crumbling society and the most ominous force of all -- the Suicide Collectors, shrouded figu...more
Richard
Aug 05, 2009 Richard rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: SciFi & Fantasy Group 2009-03 SciFi Selection
This was the SciFi selection for the Goodreads SciFi and Fantasy Book Club for the month of March 2009. Visit this link to see all of the discussions, group member reviews, etc.

Well, I waited too long to write this to remember all the details of my complaints, but this basically felt like a mostly-tolerable first effort.

The nature of the apocalypse is never adequately explained, and while that might be fine in some cases — allegorical, or magical realism, or somesuch — it really didn't work here...more
Jody
What a book. David Oppegaard takes the dystopian novel and manages to create something new and horrifying. In the not-so-distant future, few people are left in the world due to wide spread epidemic called the Despair. There is no cure and no known reason why the majority of the human race succumbs to the Despair which results in suicide. To add to the creepy factor, Suicide Collectors show up to retrieve any body that died from a result of a suicide. How the Suicide Collectors know about the sui...more
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erika
I wanted to really like this book just because the premise was so fascinating. But I think this dude had a deadline he was about to miss because he ended it very abruptly, without explaining anything, and it just didn't gel with the rest of the book. It was a little like drinking a decent cup of coffee. It's doing its job, it tastes pretty good, but you put it down for a minute and when you pick it back up it is cold and more bitter than you thought previously. So you stop drinking it and get an...more
Alice Lee
What a disappointment; I was all looking forward to my first GoodReads author read of the month too. So, just to cover the basics, this is a book about a future where the Despair "plagued" people and almost everyone started offing themselves, and then this One Man who was resistant and his buddy went on this journey across the Country, after hearing a rumor about some doctor who was working on The Cure. It's got a nice post-apocalyptic, dystopian feeling to it, at least for the first half of the...more
Danielle
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Peter Derk
This was another book read for genre-expanding.

The basics of the plot: There's this great sadness, almost like a disease, spreading over the world and causing people to commit suicide. A lot of people. Like 90% of the world. Of course, there are some survivors, and they make a pilgrimage of sorts.

The story clips along, and it's like reading a good zombie book or post-apocalypse story. What's nice and different is that the author doesn't make every person into a complete asshole, which is unusual...more
Josh
Eh.... This book is a poor attempt at a mix of The Road, The Happening, and a little like the Matrix.

The part like The Road: 1. a world where most of its inhabitants are dead. 2. A cross country road trip to find a population. 3. Marauders and crazy people. Where it fails: Cormac McCarthy was so visual in his storytelling that I felt like I was there. The Suicide Collectors starts off well with its visualization but about half way through it gets lazy with its description.

The part like The Hap...more
Ryun
Feeling a bit too optimistic as of late? Thinking that nothing can get you down? Try David Oppegaard’s THE SUICIDE COLLECTORS on for size! It’ll get you back to earth like the rest of us.

It’s set in a future in which the apocalypse took the form of “The Despair,” an overwhelming urge among 90 percent of the world’s population to commit suicide. Our hero, Norman, and his wife are managing to survive in a slowly dwindling Florida community, when she finally gives into the suicidal despair that’s...more
Jenny
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AJ
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Bandit
This was really good for a first novel and quite excellent for a random grab off of a library shelf. I do enjoy post apocalyptic/dystopian fiction and this was an interesting entry into the genre dealing with, as the title states, suicides. Strong characters drive the story across the country as we witness the devastation that 5 years can being in the world that lost hope and desire to live. There are definitely some interesting ruminations on the phenomenon of suicide and the power of human spi...more
Robert
A very interesting and strange trip across post apocalyptic America, from Florida to Seattle, with one of the surivors of The Despair. It seems that after The Despair hit the world five years ago only about 10% of the population remains, the others having commited suicide. This book had great potential until the ending. Perhaps others will not agree but I did not like how the author wrapped this one up. Not that it caused me any great consternation, I just did not quite get into how the author b...more
Jerm
So, I’m not really sure what to say about this one. It had potential. Had. Not really sure what happened. It became a collection of vignettes about a man traveling the country to find the remnants of American civilization, but it didn’t really come together like it should have. “The Despair” has seized the world, and about 99% of the population has offed itself. Yay!

The problem is that “the Despair” was caused by something, and I didn’t like the cause, so…..enh.

Should be 2 1/2 stars.
Claire
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Sue
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Zen
A gripping tromp through a much ignored topic (in alternate reality worlds). The ending was a tad to abrupt for me - I wanted more!
Trudi
Meh ... 1 1/2 stars really. Mediocre, disappointing ... much ado about nothing.
Wayne Eury
Oppegaard struck me as a weak writer. I was hoping for more from this.
Pagetranquillity
The despair has taken over the world, starting in Tokyo with a mass nightclub suicide. In the corner of Florida Norman has just lost his wife, who like countless others has succumbed to the despair and chose a way to end it. Coming to clear away all the bodies are people called The Collectors. Instead of allowing them to take her body, like everyone else did who was left behind, Norman out of anger takes a shotgun and blows one of the Collectors away. He teams up with an aged old friend who has...more
Judy
Apr 30, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dystopian lit
Post-apocalyptic nightmarish story, my favorite genre!

I'm not at all surprised that this novel was nominated for the prestigious Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. The story is engrossing and suspenseful the entire way. As others have noted, the ending was anti-climactic, but for me it didn't detract too much from the overall enjoyment of a great dystopian experience. Something called "The Despair" has overtaken the entire world, causing feelings of great sadness and hopele...more
Mersini
Well, that was certainly interesting. The Suicide Collectors is one of the strangest books I've ever read. Set in a dystopian future, a mysterious pandemic of suicide has grasped the world, dubbed the Despair by the living. More strange, groups of people clad in dark robes collect the dead, taking them because the Source demands it. This novel follows Norman, the first person who ever kills one of these Collectors, thus starting the only revolution that matters in this post-apocalyptic world.

Co...more
Blaire
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Alena
When I grabbed this book off a shelf, I thought the premise was intriguing. What is the Despair? Why is it plaguing humanity? Who are the Collectors? WHAT are they? Why is it bad if they remove the bodies?

The writing was good, it made me want to keep reading. The descriptions were enough to paint a picture, but they weren't overdone and tiring. Initially I liked that the author let his readers figure things out on their own and didn't give everything away. By the end of the story, I had plenty o...more
Isidore
One of the oddest of the recent avalanche of apocalyptic novels, and one of the most imaginative. It's written with the lightness of a children's book. It has a remote, dreamlike tone, an introspective softness, a refusal to strike a dramatic pose. Despite a horrific premise and events, there is a prevailing mood of gentle, innocent fantasy; although the world depicted is bleak and full of death, it's not without kindness and even subtle whimsy.

Refreshingly, the author does not feel obliged to...more
Brian Taylor
I realize it’s been a while since my last in-depth book review. I have been reading. I simply didn’t have many good things to say about what I’ve been reading. That all changed two days ago when I opened this book. To be honest, I haven’t sat down and read a book this quickly in good, long while. Onwards with the review!

From the publisher:

The Despair has plagued the earth for five years. Most of the world’s population has inexplicably died by its own hand, and the few survivors struggle to remai...more
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David Oppegaard is the author of the Bram Stoker-nominated The Suicide Collectors, Wormwood, Nevada, And the Hills Opened Up, and The Ragged Mountains. David’s work is a blend of science fiction, literary fiction, horror, and fantasy. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Hamline University and a B.A. in English from St. Olaf College. He lives in St. Paul, MN.

You can visit his website at davidoppegaa...more
More about David Oppegaard...
Wormwood, Nevada And the Hills Opened Up The Ragged Mountains The Nevada Review Cifiscape Volume II: The Twin Cities

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