Sherrie's Reviews > The Brief History of the Dead

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
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's review
Jul 16, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2006booklist, myfavorites
Recommended for: Anyone who loves well thought out fantastical fiction
Read in June, 2006

WOW! One of my favorites of 2006! What a fantastic book! The only way I can do this book justice is to first give you the Editor’s blurb: In a not-so-distant future, a deadly virus kills off every human on Earth, except for Laura Byrd, a wildlife specialist on an expedition to the South Pole. Readers quickly learn that the dead move on to another life in a fantastic city on another plane of existence; there, they live out a second life free from aging and disease until every person who knew them on Earth dies. The chapters alternate between Laura and those in the city of the dead, often showing how these individuals connect to her. The elegiac, thoughtful tone of the writing is balanced by the survivor's adventure-filled travels across the frozen landscape as she hopelessly searches for signs of others. A crisis develops in the city as the only ones who remain finally realize that they continue to exist because Laura is still fighting for her life on Earth. Brockmeier's style–elements of fantasy mixed with a strong sense of character and a wonderful lyricism–will remind readers of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (Random, 2004). Although lacking some of the far-reaching depth of Mitchell's work, Brockmeier's haunting reminder of how connected people are to one another will appeal to readers of fantasy yearning for a bit more to think about than the usual fare offers.

Okay, now it's me:

This book surprised me and had me guessing at every turn. It even provided me with an Ahhh HAH! moment of revelation. That is a rare feat indeed. And the method of transmitting the virus? Genuis…pure and simple. And if this should ever become a reality…I’m deadmeat immediately. A MUST READ! (Oh, and I LOVE the cover) Book #29 of my 2006 Book List, finished reading it on 6-14-06.
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