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How Not to Die Alone

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  7,147 ratings  ·  1,297 reviews
A darkly funny and life-affirming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine the story of one man who is offered a second chance at life and love when he develops an unexpected friendship--if he can expose the white lie he told years ago that grew into so much more.

Andrew's day-to-day is a little grim, searching for next of kin for those who die alone.
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Ginny I find it amusing that your readers seem to have forgotten the hysterical porn scene. I’d not want my 8 year old reading that unsupervised. But it is…moreI find it amusing that your readers seem to have forgotten the hysterical porn scene. I’d not want my 8 year old reading that unsupervised. But it is not a big deal for most adults. (less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  7,147 ratings  ·  1,297 reviews

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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading How Not to Die Alone on 5/8/2019 and finished it on 5/10/2019. This story being particularly depressing, but I have to admit that I enjoyed reading it. It’s different. I have never thought about those people who live alone and die alone before. I’m aware of people who live through life that either don’t get married or don’t have children and outlived their spouses but I always thought they may have cousins or live in nursing homes with caretakers. Andrew’s job is interesting, t ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-physical, 2019
Qυιɾƙყ. Uρʅιϝƚιɳɠ. Uɳιϙυҽ.

Richard Roper has crafted a quirky and uplifting story packed with colorful characters and a unique storyline. The blurb of this book compares it to “Eleanor Oliphant”, Generally I’m not a fan of comparing books but I’d have to say this is an accurate comparison. SO if you loved Eleanor you will also love getting to know Andrew. Andrew is 42, a bit of a loner, and he works for the Ministry of Death. His job includes finding the next of kin for those who die
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

What a pickle this book has left me in! I should have hated it because it contained my (maybe only) dealbreaker plotline – one that 99.99999% of the time makes me . . . .

Since I received an early copy, common courtesy says not to divulge too much and ruin things for everyone else. Buuuuuuuuuut, Imma do it anyway because I don’t think it’s fair for readers to spend their dollars on books that they didn’t know contained subject matter that they would have steered clear of if t
Theresa Alan
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fast, chuckle-inducing read with poignant moments of sadness and reflection. Andrew’s job is to go to the homes of the deceased and find out if they have any family and any money to pay for a funeral. Sometimes the bodies have been rotting for months but no one realizes it until the money in the bank runs out and they can no longer pay bills through automatic deductions.

Andrew has lived alone for twenty years. His parents are dead and he is largely estranged from his sister. His entir
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons / Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

Andrew is 42, single, lives alone in an apartment in London, and works for the council. He has the unusual task of dealing with the aftermath of people who die alone. Job details include going to the residence armed with a mask doused liberally with expensive cologne to mask the uniquely foul smell of death. Sometimes the dwelling is extremely neat, and other times there is a
Susanne  Strong
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
3 Stars.

Have you ever started a novel and known immediately that it was not for you and yet you kept going? Such was the case with “How Not to Die Alone.”

This novel is about a man named Andrew, who works for the death registry - his main job is to go to the homes of the recently deceased, determine if they have next of kin and/or funds to pay for funeral expenses. If they have no one, he makes sure to attend their funerals. You see, he is alone and has no one, yet he has
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Andrew works for the local council and has an unusual job of identifying if people who lived and died alone had a next of kin. The irony of the situation is that Andrew himself is estranged from his family, single and lives alone, although due to a misunderstanding during the job interview his boss thinks that Andrew has a loving wife and two children. When a new employee Penny joins the department, an unusual friendship is born, which changes the way Andrew views himself and other people.
Aga Durka
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Quirky Stars/5

I have to admit that the beginning of this novel was a little slow for me. I had a hard time getting into it and I was getting a little bored. However, at around 40% something clicked for me, and I was in love with Andrew’s character. Andrew became this quirky, funny, and unique character that will stay with me for a long while. I truly felt his need for human company, and his desire for having his own family became my own obsession. I wanted him to finally find someone to settl
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Liberty Hardy

Prepare yourself for hilarity and heart-squeezes in this life-affirming novel about—wait for it—death!

Andrew has an unusual job for a civil servant: He goes into the homes of deceased people who lived alone and searches their belongings for clues of any living relatives. He is respectful and sensitive, and the job suits him. Andrew himself lives a quiet life alone—not that his coworkers know that. For five years, due to a small error, he
It seems to me that I live in a state of eternal conflict when it comes to the books I read. I haven't read a single five-star book in all of 2019. And most of the books I like are books that are equally as interesting as they are flawed.

This was one such but and I don't know how to feel about it.

First, let me just out there that objectively speaking, this is actually a decent, well-written book.

Now let me admit that subjectively speaking, this book was not the one for me.

Please don't believe the GR blurb. This is nothing like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, besides the fact that both protagonists are loners. That book is laugh out loud funny many many times and this one really isn't. It can be pretty bleak at times, but still I enjoyed it.

This book follows the story of Andrew, who lives in London. He works for the local council and goes to homes of those found dead who don't have close family or friends. He takes care of the burial and notifies next of kin, if
Ruthy lavin
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ah this book is wonderful!
If it’s possible to have a male equivalent of Eleanor Oliphant then Andrew is him!
Witty, likeable and so quintessentially British!
I loved everything from the quirky job Andrew holds (it had never occurred to me before that this is an actual thing, but in hindsight, of course it is!) to his little white lies which start off innocently enough but continue to escalate.
It’s just so well written with that dead pan British humour undertone that makes y
The first time I picked up How Not To Die Alone, I simply was not in the right frame of mind to read it, constantly comparing it Eleanor Oliphant. So I sat it aside to come back to. This time, however, I was in the right place and found the book to be utterly charming, hope-filled and quite wonderful!

Andrew is a loner - well, that's actually an understatement - who works for the Estate Council tracking down possible relatives of people who have died alone. There is the question of who buries th
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

So, this was a thought provoking and sobering at times read. I did laugh a few times, but a few times while finishing I thought to myself will I die alone and if I do, will anyone be left after to miss me and come round to check in on me.


My family does a very good job of staying in touch with each other
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I loved this book from start to finish. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did NOT let me down. I've finished it in two days and I was kind of sad when I reached the last page. Thank you, Richard Roper for this wonderful and brilliant debut novel. Can't wait to read your next book. Oh, and thanks for making me feel things, for making my heart hurt and for making me cry in public ON A TRAIN.

This book has been compared to Eleanor Ol
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vine, reviewed
It started out okay but before long I found myself slogging through it. I've given more stars to worse books, but this had great potential and my expectations quickly turned to disappointment. Still, a part of me wanted to know how the story unfolded. Another part of me fought with the aforementioned part of me because I find it very hard to DNF. I began to avoid reading it and that escalated until I began to give the book side eye. But I finished it.

It's all about Andrew and he's no
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is something both unusual and moving. We meet the main character, Andrew, at the funeral of an elderly man he didn’t know. For Andrew works for, ‘Death Administration,’ at the Council offices. In general terms, the department he works for, deals with, what were once known as, ‘Pauper’s Funerals.’ When someone dies alone, it is Andrew’s job to go into their home and attempt to locate enough money to pay for their unmarked grave, and, if possible, find contact details of a relative.

Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A 3.5 star read for me!

I will be the first to admit that this book had an abundance of lessons hidden within its pages. The facets of hope for a better future, the idea that love can conquer loneliness, and the importance of having someone, anyone to turn to in times of need were readily apparent. With this said, this book was somewhat...well...boring. I found this book to be one of those reads that while a quick look into the fabric of mankind in itself is not overwhelmingly memorable. I did e
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
If A Man Called Ove and The Music Shop had a literary child this would be the baby. Actually it’s more like a slightly annoying teenager trying to mature, but much like it’s parents no less.

Andrew is working a strange job (inspecting houses of the dead after being found alone) and living a strange sort of double life. All of his fellow employees think he lives one life, yet he knows the truth and deals with the disconnect on the daily.

Honestly I thought the premise sounded good, but the extent
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How Not To Die Alone (also titled Something To Live For) is the first novel by British author, Richard Roper. Andrew Smith works for the council. It’s not a job people line up to do: he searches the dwellings of the solitary recently-deceased to discover if there might be family or funds to cover the funeral that the council is otherwise obliged to provide.

His department, Death Administrations, is a small one and his boss, Cameron Yates has the sort of fervour that makes people cringe (picture
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5, rounded up.

This has been touted as the male equivalent of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and coincidentally, I gave that a measly 2.5 stars also, and for much the same reasons. There is nothing inherently BAD here, but nothing very scintillating either. The prose is pedestrian, at best, and although there are a few droll witticisms sprinkled throughout, it is rarely LOL funny. I was never much invested in Andrew's predicament, and the conclusion (a bit gloopy for my taste, as i
Apr 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF-ed at 29%. I thought the concept for How Not to Die Alone was really intriguing, but I ended up just not being able to connect with the story. There were times were I found it relatable and funny and other times where I thought the humor fell pretty flat. I read 29% before it started to lose my attention. I decided to set it down to read something else and planned to come back to it, but after reading several other books I can't make myself pick this one back up. While I'm sure that there pe ...more
Nicole Reed
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Elinor Oliphant copy cat, but way more poorly executed. Silly and predictable.
Hayley Stenger
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet, amusing, and quiet. A book I could have easily missed, but I am so glad I didn't. It wasn't a perfect book, but I definitely loved the characters and how they interacted.
This book made me grateful for my life and remembered to appreciate what I have. I even recognize the small things now that I usually take for granted nowadays. A lot of people can relate to this, especially us the introverts. Some of us are lucky than Andrew to have a family and companion of our own before we hit our forties and a comfortable job that we are proud of.

Andrew is a loner in his early forties and without REAL friends outside of home and work. He’s been living in a lie in the world
This book has been getting a lot of press and good reviews and I picked it up because the plot sounded intriguing. Unfortunately this book was just not for me. The more we delved into Andrew's sad backstory and (current) sad life I found myself uninterested and a little put off by all the character drama and issues going on. I couldn't connect to anyone or really care. I forced myself to finish because I was almost done but yeah, this book was not my thing. It was a lot sadder and more depressed ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"To see Peggy rushing toward him like that,for him to be needed, to be an active participant in someone else’s life, to think that maybe he was more than just a lump of carbon being slowly ushered toward an unvarnished coffin; the feeling was one of pure, almost painful happiness, like a desperate embrace squeezing air from his lungs.

And it was then that the realization hit him: he might not know what the future held - pain & loneliness and fear might still yet grind him into dus
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars - To me Andrew was just a liar and a coward. I never really felt any connection to him. So when you find out why he can’t listen to Blue Moon I was kind of like, that’s it? I did think his job was really interesting.
Andrea Montague
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this, very funny and heartwarming.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Smith is one of life’s loners. 42 years old and working for the Council’s death department, it is his job to search for next of kin when contacted by the coroner – to go through their homes for evidence of money to pay for the funeral, a will and any evidence of family or friends who may wish to know of the person’s demise. One extra thing he does do, which isn’t in his job description is to attend their funeral. Most of the time it is just him and the vicar – but the thought of someone d ...more
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Book Club for Int...: Chapters 1-4 10 45 Aug 06, 2019 02:25PM  
Book of The Month: How Not to Die Alone 10 102 Aug 02, 2019 01:31PM  
Book Club for Int...: Chapters 36-38 7 23 Jun 29, 2019 09:10PM  
Book Club for Int...: Chapters 31-35 6 19 Jun 29, 2019 08:56PM  
Book Club for Int...: Final Thoughts & Discussion *spoilers possible* 11 40 Jun 28, 2019 09:14PM  
Book Club for Int...: Chapters 27-30 7 18 Jun 28, 2019 07:25PM  
Book Club for Int...: Chapters 22-26 7 17 Jun 28, 2019 06:01PM  
“The idea of people looking at me all sympathetic... I just can't deal with that."
"Yep. I hear you," Peggy said.
"I mean their hearts are in the right place but if you have not been through it then it's impossible to understand. It's like we're in the club or something.”
“It was Andrew realized, not because of tension or nervousness, but purely because of the pulse of her heart, and suddenly he was gripped by possibility once again, that as long as there was that movement in someone, there was capacity to love and now his heart was beating faster and faster as if the power of the river were pushing blood through his veins, urging him to act. He felt Peggy stir, "So", she said, the faintest of tremors in her voice, "Quick question. With you go with jam or cream first?" Andrew considered the question. "I'm not sure it really matters..." He said. "Not in the grand scheme of things. " And then he leaned across, took Peggy's face in his hands, and kissed her.” 0 likes
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