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How Not to Die Alone
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How Not to Die Alone

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  14,435 ratings  ·  2,278 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)
Michelle There was one acronym in the book, FA, which is mentioned in the book on his first call with Sally. Which according to google is Friedreich ataxia. Bu…moreThere was one acronym in the book, FA, which is mentioned in the book on his first call with Sally. Which according to google is Friedreich ataxia. But maybe this acronym means something else, I'm not sure!(less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  14,435 ratings  ·  2,278 reviews

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Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
2020 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

While this started out a bit slow, I found myself intrigued by this story. I cannot imagine being so lonely. I found the idea of him going out of his way to attend strangers funerals heartwarming. ❤️ I enjoyed the ending, even if I was a bit frustrating with how long it took him to get there. God bless Peggy!! 🙂
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 alone, sear
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 matt
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Dec 13, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF @ 60%: I really tried to get through this one, but wow was it a slog. I just couldn't do it anymore. Onto the next one! ...more
Susanne  Strong
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, netgalley
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 lied to everyone at his
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 huge mess t
Emer (A Little Haze)
This book has shaken me to my core. But in the best way. It was nothing like I expected it to be from the blurb but instead was so much darker and utterly heart wrenching.

I don’t know if this is morbid on my behalf but I frequently wonder about my own inevitable death, wonder about how old I’ll be, where I’ll be, would my absence impact anyone to any great degree... I’m guessing I’m not the only one who thinks about these things because these themes are key to the plot of ‘Something to Live For
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.
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’s allowed them to believe he’
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
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 you smile, despite yourse
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.

I don't know what I had
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 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 not an interes
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
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 Oliphant and I who
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
Andy Marr
A great premise, somewhat spoiled by the book's very boring main character. ...more
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. We do Polos (videos) everyday almost to each other. We also text and sent pictures. When I go home to
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
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.

Nicole Reed
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Elinor Oliphant copy cat, but way more poorly executed. Silly and predictable.
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 is its p
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
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: august-2020
I didn't realized I was reading this book since I was listening to the audio of 'Something to Live For' but realized they just changed the title later on. Anyways, for the audio, you have to SLOW IT DOWN. No way can you listen and follow along anything higher than 2.75 and digest what the story is saying due to the quick wit, dry humor, and subtle details. I really enjoyed this book since it was quirky and kind of fun in a way. Who would have thought someone can get away with lying for YEARS to ...more
Susan Johnson
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an enjoyable book. You start out thinking this guy is a total loser and then he steals your heart. It was a great way to spend time.
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 dust –but simply fe
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
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“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.”
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