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The Last Time I Died

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  333 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Christian Franco is embracing the despair of divorce, doing nothing to slow the implosion of his career, friendships, and relationships. He camps out at bars to pick fights, finding that getting his ass kicked allows him his only meditative moments, something he explores with sardonic zeal.

Nine years of his childhood are entirely repressed, a consequence of his father kill
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 18th 2014 by Gallery Books (first published December 2nd 2013)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  333 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an inside out view of a human being emotionally , physically and spiritually falling apart while careening between denial and full awareness?

Well if you'd like to experience that with a heavy sauce of dark humor, cutting insight into human character and brilliant writing- then Last Time I Died is your new favorite book.

Masterfully written from multiple viewpoints , no detail of the story's characters is left untouched. The dark visual images,
Amanda Byrne
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Christian’s head is not a nice place to be.

It is the opposite of nice. It’s dark and supremely fucked up. I almost feel like that’s a mild description for Christian Franco’s brain. Dark and supremely fucked up.

There’s something about The Last Time I Died that is excruciating to read, and yet, I couldn’t stop reading. Not until my stomach clenched one too many times and I had to put it down and pick up something else, something fluffy and mind-numbing. It’s that kind of book. It’s Hurricane Katri
Richard Cytowic
Jul 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is absolute DRECK. If ever one wanted proof that publicists "make" books, this is it because the hype is unbearable.Give this to your enemy as a gift. Terrible writing, incomprehensible plot, and subject matter opaque.
Tina Pino
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unlike anything I've read before. This was less like reading a book and more like falling into someone's head and suddenly being on a crazy thrill ride. The descriptions are vivid, so don't read if you're squeamish.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was a wild ride. It was an intense, grim, and outrageous look into the mind of a man who is self destructing. The reasons unfold slowly, a bit at a time. At the end, I thought "of course!" but it was not predictable in any way. It was well written and intelligent, with darkly humorous observations throughout. It was written from the perspective of the protagonist and an unnamed narrator. I could not put this book down, and I think it will stay with me for a while. I'm going to read som ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you know anything at all you'll do yourself a big favor and lose yourself within these pages.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-reveiw
*I was given a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.*

Imagine not remembering your childhood. Imagine not remembering your birthday parties, friends, or anything about your life before the age of 8. Now imagine that the only time you could remember these events were when you were having a near death experience.

Christian Franco, is on a downward spiral of his life, because he can’t pull his crap together. He wants to remember his past, remember what happened years ago, not jus
Amy Lignor
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Offering a completely unique premise, this author has created a plot that almost feels as if you’re becoming a drug addict during the reading of the book. In other words, the material is so weighted down and dark, the mind spins at the utter tragedy of it all.

Christian Franco, like many folks, has not had a great life. He has forgotten or repressed much of his childhood; which seems normal, considering his father killed his mother when Christian was only eight years old. Although receiving flash
B K McIntire
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eerily plausible storyline

Troubled man tries to retrieve a traumatic memory from childhood by dying and being brought back to life. Each repetition brings a fragment of memory. First person narration interspersed with an omniscient voice is effective.
Jonathan Fine
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I powered through the entire book in about 4 hours without stopping once, just could not put it down. This is great, truly great. The reader is always a half step ahead of Christian, and the writing talent that puts you in that position is just remarkable. Fight Club fans will recognize its influence in a couple of different scenes, while the ending gives the reader just enough closure (while still likely to prompt vigorous debate). I can't wa ...more
Jerry H
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A dark exploration of the mind. The author's sparse prose reminds me of The Stranger by Albert Camus. Told in the first person with the help of a narrator, it is the story of Christian Franco, an up and coming lawyer in New York with a beautiful wife and a wonderful life. But Franco has a problem. He has no memories prior to the day, when at the age of eight, he watches his father kill his mother. Franco starts to drink and when he gets in a bar fight he gets the crap beat out of him and dies. B ...more
Rufus Crumplebottom
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Goodness gracious, this simply was a delightful read! I felt such joy when I read this. It was amazingly executed and my wife Martha agrees. We will be buying 500 copies to pass around the Genius Old People home. Everyone at Bingo Night agrees that this installment is particularly spectacular. Now I am off to drink some prune juice, for I have been having quite the indigestion after I had some of Martha's rock cake. Warning, dear friend, never eat Martha's rock cake!

Tots ma goats amazing!

Rufus C
Mary Walker Baron
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If what you want is an easy to read, predictable, straight forward plot driven narrative do not even consider this book. On the other hand if you're looking for a roller coaster ride, don't bother breaking the rules create your own from the get go piece of amazing creative genius grab this book and don't let go until its last word slams you in the gut to leave you slumped in delighted exhaustion, this is your read!
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. A lot. I thought it was insightful, funny, and emotional. I really liked the flipping between memories and the present. I loved the pace and the realizations. I thought this was excellent and I loved the motif of trying to die and find a way to come back. I loved that the narrator had a desperate need to draw his memories before they disappeared and I loved that he was at times unreliable.
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Just. Wow. A descent into addiction and madness that grabbed me from the beginning and never let go. It's a difficult book to like because it's so dark and relentless but the portrayal of madness and release is compelling and spell-binding. Amazing.
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book - my newest FBOY (favorite book of the year)! Really grew to care about the main character as his story was revealed...... Very well-written, fast paced, hard to put this one down! Highly recommended!
David Ridgway
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a seriously good book! I've read it 3 times and I saw aspects that I hadn't perceived before on each read.It's much different than "Formerly Fingerman" but just as rewarding!!And if you haven't read Fingerman then pick them both up and you will be handsomely rewarded
Kim Raccoon
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The prose in this is beautiful and darkly disturbing. Christian leads you through the twisted alleys of his mind on a trip that is alternately harrowing and enlightening.

This book will make you uncomfortable.
Michael Cohen
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
'The Last Time I Died' ended just as strong as it started. One of the best yet darkest books I've read all year.
Alex Jackson
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fingernail biting good.
Helen Crawford
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Light and Dark. Joe Nelm's first book is artful, and darker than dark. Not for the faint of heart, but accurate to the inner turmoil that some in this world have survived.

A page turner.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow so that was a very disturbing book. I loved it. Well written.
Heidi Chandler
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
R.A. Diane
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked it. Written in an unconventional way but one of those books that gives you a whoa! moment toward the end.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dark and devastating, but I couldn't put it down.
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story line. Really enjoyed it.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of this from Goodreads giveaway and as always I am inordinately delighted! Thank you!

Now, onto The Last Time I Died. I'll just say up front that I'm struggling with the star rating. Unlike anything I've read before and once I picked this up I could hardly put it down, so five stars right there. And there's some terrific writing deserving of that fifth star. Here's a bit that caught me early on -

"I am the sticky, syrupy, sinful residue of a hate reduction sauce. I am thick. I am obs
Marisa Turpin
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, that was a total mind f***. I can't believe I read the whole thing, yet I could not stop. The way this book made me feel was quite similar to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "A Little Life." It is a deep, dark book about how seedy people can be. I am pretty confident that I will have some majorly twisted dreams thanks to Joe Nelms.

Christian Franco is the main character. This book is written from his viewpoint in some chapters, yet there is another writer who appears to be watching Ch
Paula Cadle
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Christian is a man on a destructive binge. When a near-death experience helps him tap into repressed memories, he is obsessed with continuing to find ways to almost die and learn more about the past his 9 year old mind repressed. The narrator is at times snarky and dismissive - alter ego of Christian? As so often happens, the understanding of the pieces is quite different from the understanding of the whole.
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Joe spent the last twenty years working in advertising, television and film including senior positions at DMB&B, Grey, BBDO and Warner Bros. serving clients like Pepsi, GE, Campbell's, Foot Locker, the Harry Potter series, the Ocean's 11 series, and The Matrix Trilogy.

Joe was co-founder, artistic director, producer and director of Live On Tape, a live sketch comedy show that was bought by NBC and

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