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The Brief History of the Dead

by Kevin Brockmeier

Just the preface had me hooked, though it took a couple of chapters to grasp what was going on. There are several threads - Laura on an Antarctic expedition; a city peopled by those who are not dead as long as someone living remembers them, and a virus killing off the world's population. The Arctic scenes make you feel cold, the city makes you feel alive, and the massive outbreak of the virus, suspicious. You'll want to keep reading to see how it all hangs together. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Extract

'So what do you think it's all about?'
'You mean Laura?'
'I don't understand how all those people could have known her, Phillip. And I don't understand why she isn't here. Where is she?'
'You're just full of unanswerable questions today, aren't you?' he said. 'Maybe she is here somewhere, but she just hasn't turned up yet. Or maybe she's changed so much that we can't recognise her. Or maybe she's still alive. Maybe there's a different afterlife for everybody, and this is Laura's, and we're all just waiting for her to die so that everything will make sense to us.'

Parallels

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Alborn
 

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