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Group Reads > March 2010 Group Read: The Brief History of the Dead ***SPOILERS***

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message 1: by William (new)

William (acknud) Here is the area to post comments. Any Takers for Group discussion leader?


message 2: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I nominate William.


message 3: by William (new)

William (acknud) Tressa wrote: "I nominate William."

You know I'm no good at that!


message 4: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Ask Maicie. She's good at leading discussions.


message 5: by William (new)

William (acknud) I have started this and am pleased so far. It is an interesting take on afterlife. I had one question that was partially answered. Apparently, when you die you cross over into and alternate reality/dimension that is sort of like a holding tank. You stay there until all who remember you have died then you move on to somewhere else. The place you stay is a big city. You carry on life as usual with habits, jobs, etc but you don't age. My question is what happens to the stillborns and children? Who takes care of them in this city? I saw one reference to orphanages but this was not really addressed. Any thoughts?


message 6: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I just picked it up yesterday and will start it tonight when I finish Apeshit.

I might need to stay away from this thread until I finish it. I'm afraid it will be spoiled.


message 7: by William (new)

William (acknud) I am not posting any plot destroyers. I am trying to be better and post as I go along!


message 8: by Rusty (new)

Rusty (rustyshackleford) | 134 comments I started this book, but got sidetracked by Mister B. Gone. I'll get back to this one shortly - it really is interesting.


message 9: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Don't go rabid on me, William. I didn't just mean from you. I meant from anyone joining in.

It sounds good and I can't wait to start it tonight.


message 10: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments Just ordered a copy.


message 11: by William (new)

William (acknud) This will make you think how many people you have interacted with (even remotely) over your lifespan.


message 12: by Lee (new)

Lee | 2502 comments This is why it is fun to have a book to read, chosen by other folks, that I would probably never have picked up.
This was a wonderful take on the "city" we go to after we die....as long as there are people who remember you! I can really see how we would want to remember, the people in our past,relatives,friends to your mailman, to the person working in your neighborhood grocery store. Especially, when your in the type of situation Laura was in.
If this type of city excists, where you can find love again with your mate, someone to love you for the first time...I'm all for it.

One quote I enjoyed, was from the blind man,told by Minny(after she had run into him again ) to Luka...."Tired of remembering everything he wanted to forget and forgetting everything he wanted to remember."


message 13: by William (new)

William (acknud) I was impressed on how the city was held together by one person after the mass exodus brought on by all the deaths on Earth from the plague. This statement will eventually make sense (I hope) after you finish the book.


message 14: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments Book just arrived so will make a start on it today.


message 15: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments I struggled through the first chapter. It was all telling, and as such just seemed to drag on. I'm hoping it gets to the meat of the story in chapter two!


message 16: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments For the life of me I cannot get into this book. When I die I want to go to a smelly city and get up and go to work all over again?

And is the city filled with just nice folks? I guess the serial killers and baby rapists take the express tube to hell?


message 17: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) | 231 comments I am on chapter 13. I like the book so far, but it is a little lite on action, more philosophical. I think some of the detail is not necessary to further the story, and that is why it is a bit hard to get into.
It is a thinker though, not really horror.


message 18: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I wasn't expecting horror, but a "thinker" of a book. I'm closing it and probably won't come back to it.

If anyone is interested, Connie Willis wrote a wonderful book called Passage about what happens after we die. It has a fantastic ending that kept me awake thinking into the wee hours of the morning.


message 19: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) | 231 comments Finished.
It is not truly dystopian, unless you consider a future where a mass produced product can cause the end of world a dystopian view. Which, really, is something that could happen right now anyway, so let's be afraid, and dang it I LOVE Coke, so I am in trouble. There was a Coke in The Road also....

Anyway, I enjoyed this book as a meditation on what happens when we die. It is an interesting take on not only what happens to 'me' when 'I' die, but what happens to others when I die.

It made me recall the movie "What Dreams May Come". This is not a sad view of 'afterlife', just a very interesting one which is not utopian at all.
It gives new meaning to the thought that people live on in your memories even after they die.

I was a bit annoyed at the end when the author was describing the crossover of the main character. It was realllly long. But that is what made me compare it to the movie. That would make some really good cinematography...

3 stars


message 20: by William (new)

William (acknud) Tressa wrote: "For the life of me I cannot get into this book. When I die I want to go to a smelly city and get up and go to work all over again?

And is the city filled with just nice folks? I guess the serial ..."


Where are all the assholes?


message 21: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Yeah, that's what I'm asking. I didn't read far enough into the book. Does EVERYONE go there after they die? Is there crime in the afterlife city? Rapes? Murders?


message 22: by William (new)

William (acknud) I don't remember any violent crime but people do drink and there are alcoholics. I had a question: If you are dead, go to this city and then are involved in a violent car crash do you redie or what?


message 23: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) | 231 comments Tressa wrote: "Yeah, that's what I'm asking. I didn't read far enough into the book. Does EVERYONE go there after they die? Is there crime in the afterlife city? Rapes? Murders?"

The city is populated with people that are still in the memories of the living. So only people that a living person has met will be in the city. In this case, since there is only one person left alive on earth, you only get to see the people she knew. Luckily it seems she didn't know murderers per se, just the guys at Coca Cola.....


message 24: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Ooooookay. There's only ONE person left in the entire world? That must have been one bad ass case of Captain Trips.

But at the beginning of the book the city was filled with people. So there must have been a criminal element in the city. Some afterlife!


message 25: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) | 231 comments Yes, at the beginning, you see the city as it was populated just as the plague was begiining to kill people in the world. The city undergoes a big change as people disappear from it.


message 26: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments I am having difficulty really getting into the book :(


message 27: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I know the feeling, Shaun. But I gave up. Didn't interest me in the least.


Dustin Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 143 comments My local library is going to purchase this book, so I'll be joining y'all at some point in the future. I have to say that the books being chosen for group reads sound very interesting. I might go back and read some of the older group reads when I have time :-)


message 29: by Elena (new)

Elena | 36 comments I find the concept interesting but the book boring. I just finished chapter seven. It is about a guy with a sign talking about God for 6 days. I don't know what to make of it. What did it have to do with the story? Will it have some relevance in the future? I don't know if I can hang on to find out...


message 30: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments I am having difficulty picking the book back up. It just isn't grabbing me.


message 31: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Well, now I don't feel like a freak 'cause it didn't appeal to me at all. I had such high hopes for it, too.

The book I'm reading now isn't grabbing me either, and I'm a little shocked.


message 32: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (guidohenkel) | 244 comments Welcome to my world, currently. It must be the spring fever that's getting a hold of all of us.


message 33: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I know. Something's in the air.


message 34: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments Sorry to say I've stopped reading this. I couldn't get into it, as nothing seemed to happen at a pace that kept my interest :(


message 35: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (guidohenkel) | 244 comments Man, am I glad I didn't even try to participate in the read. LOL I think I would not have survived another bomb.


message 36: by Heather (new)

Heather (hkhart) | 3 comments I thought the premise was interesting and the book was a fairly quick read but I can understand where it might be a bit dry. I am a bit confused as to what the ending meant and it seems that the author just decided to stop writing.


message 37: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) | 231 comments Heather wrote: "I thought the premise was interesting and the book was a fairly quick read but I can understand where it might be a bit dry. I am a bit confused as to what the ending meant and it seems that the a..."

Heather, I pictured that at the end, since Laura seemed to be the last living being on earth, but was herself dying, that we got to view her 'crossing', the delusions she experienced as she died. As that was playing out, the city was shrinking, because as she died, so did the city. I especially like the description of the city at the end, I could picture it in a movie as a bubble that keeps growing smaller until it bursts into nothing.


message 38: by Heather (new)

Heather (hkhart) | 3 comments I thought the world was shrinking as well, but then when it states they would be left standing shoulder to shoulder in the middle until... (I don't have book handy), it was like they were going to be left like that and nothing more. I got the impression that they weren't going to go to the next place as the former residents of the city did.


message 39: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (froggykitty) | 44 comments I thought that maybe the end of human civilization came with the death of Laura and that that meant that the holding area of people who had other alive remembering them was being phased out because there were no humans left to remember them.


message 40: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (froggykitty) | 44 comments It was a great read and I am excited that I decided to look to this group for my one and only "recreational" read. :)


message 41: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Man, I normally love books like this. I'm sort of sad I didn't stick around to the end, but I have the option of picking it up again even though I know how it ends.


Dustin Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 143 comments This book is crap :-) imho. I had an audiobook to help me get through this and it was still tough! It's the end of the world as we know it compliments of the Coca-Cola Company. Maybe the author has shares in Pepsi? I gave The Brief History of the Dead one star - I didn't like it. Sure it was interesting, but it was very boring. I'm surprised William gave this 3 stars. I don't understand how people like this book - it sure wasn't my thing. Laura Byrd, Laura Byrd, remember us all before we go down the drain!
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier


message 43: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments Dustin wrote: "This book is crap :-) imho. I had an audiobook to help me get through this and it was still tough! It's the end of the world as we know it compliments of the Coca-Cola Company. Maybe the author has..."

Yes, I couldn't finish it. I hate it when that happens though :(


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