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Group Books Under Discussion > The Brief History of the Dead Spoiler Alert

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message 1: by James (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

James (rebelmswar) I have this now in my shaking hands and will posthaste begin slogging through it. I at this time, have not even read the synopsis but the brief and underlying fear of this book fills me with a dread not known since I last changed my cats litter box.

I will keep you posted about my journey to literary hell.

message 2: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) James, If you want to discuss as you go, I would love to be a sounding board, as Ive read this one already. I may have to reread it as the posts/discussions on it begin....

message 3: by Courtney (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Courtney Stirrat James, perhaps you jest a bit. Clearly, there is no dread like the dread of changing a litter box.

message 4: by James (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

James (rebelmswar) Perhaps I jest a little; I have two cats so it may be a smidgen worse. I am sure that this book will entertain me however, and look forward to it as soon as I finish this other book I am reading at present. Thank you all for your reassurances.

message 5: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) James
Have you begun to read this book yet?

message 6: by James (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

James (rebelmswar) Yes I have, my first thoughts are that it seems to be most strange. The whole situation to me, has a dream like quality to it, where this is all in a person's head. I think the is a very clever way of using a limbo-esk type scenario of where you are only as alive as the people thinking of you.
I see the city (even as I know it is not) like Dark City, my mind keeps running that it is a grotty place. This may go back to my thoughts that these people are in limbo and there is a faint undercurrent of punishment there.
The brief flashes of news to them such as who is at war with whom seems to clash somewhat with the peaceable way they live in the city so far. Which again sends me on a whole dream like state where they are all communicating through thoughts sort of, and this never ending city is where they meet.
I am sure I am wrong but thus far is my thoughts.

message 7: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) That is interesting, your visual take on the book is rather different than mine was. Tho I can see where you are coming from.

I just pictured it as a washed out, colorless town.... where people were there, like you and I are here, in our towns/cities... gathering around to hear news of loved ones or worldly events to get an idea of what is taking place. They are disconnected from everything except themselves. And I had this overall selfish feeling... like the souls in the city are actually hoping to hear news of their loved ones, which would mean they were on their way to be reunited.

What do you think of the chapters rotating between the city, and Laura?

I had to struggle alot through some of the Laura chapters as they were longer and more drawn out, and pulled me away from what I was most interested in... which was the city of the dead.

message 8: by James (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

James (rebelmswar) I have that washed out dark feeling to the whole city too. Have you ever seen the movie Dark City? I feel the rotation as comfortable and at the moment I am enjoying egging her on as she attempts to survive. I have been able to deduce that she is probably the last or one of the last people living on earth and that that the Blind Man and the main character are people that she is thinking about. I should be completely done with the book by Sunday; it took me a moment to get to it as I had to read Lolita and Porno for another project. I am liking it though and I find the flow very easy to ride through as well as the writer’s style. Very nice so far.

message 9: by James (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

James (rebelmswar) When a person dies they are only as alive as the person remembering them, when the remembering party also snuffs it the person goes elsewhere. An interesting idea and well executed, but it leaves the question, where do the dead go when they are forgotten? To me what I took from this was a very cold and cynical view, that when no-one remembers you anymore you are gone. You are kept alive only in the mind of the person who knew you and when they themselves die you are gone, forever. Now a person may say that well there has to be something else after The City doesn’t there? I mean if the city is there then must there be something after. So by this supposition this must mean that all the people that the people in the city remember are also in another city and the people who are known to the people in the second city are kept alive in a third and then a fourth….. I don’t see that at all, maybe after The City there is a party city where all of the souls congregate and meet again. If this were so then what would be the purpose of the City at all? Why couldn’t these people go directly there? Was it a matter of overcrowding perhaps? And rules had to be established for a nice flow of Mega City travelers? I don’t see that either, the City is for some reason there and here is what I think in my softer side.

The City in itself is a form of telepathy; all people who are remembered are formed there with buildings, scenes and even animals that other people who are still alive remember. The city is formed by ALL living peoples memories and are all joined together through a mixture of everyone’s minds eye. When there is not enough imagination and in this case memory itself, then the world starts to disappear. The people are only held there because the living desire them to be there, in the living do not want to acknowledge that death is the end. So in short it is the power of people’s hope that created the city and when there was no-one left to hope there was no city anymore.

Well this book was a quick read and a very decent one at that. It was a book that you knew how it would end from a quarter of the way through, but you didn’t quite know how it would get there.
It had its eerie moments and left you with questions to ponder. It must be said that the book was set in two parts with the even numbers being about the Antarctica scenario and the odd chapters being about the city of the dead. It pulled them both together at the end quite well but not well enough at the same time. I had the awful feeling that he needed to end it and did it in a very Stephen King way.
Still it must be said that the book was good enough to keep a person interested and not good enough to be memorable.

message 10: by Wes, Moderator (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 473 comments Mod
I am about 100 pages in, I have not read everyones post yet, but this is an interesting book. I have found alot of flaws in the reality of it all, to where it does not make sense but I am dealing with it. lol

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry I have been out of touch, but I have finished the book. It is a quick read.
I enjoyed it a great deal mostly because of the incredible creativity of the author. This was a totally different way of viewing the end of the human life on earth. I agree that the ending was obvious but the discriptive flow carried the book.

message 12: by Wes, Moderator (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 473 comments Mod
I forgot to post a comment after I finished it. I agree with Sandra about the books flow and it was kinda predictable to an extent but an overall good story.

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