The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
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Synopsis

From Kevin Brockmeier, one of this generation's most inventive young writers, comes a striking new novel about death, life, and the mysterious place in between. The City is inhabited by those who have departed Earth but are still remembered by the living. They will reside in this afterlife until they are completely forgotten. But the City is shrinking, and the residents clearing out. Some of the holdouts, like Luka Sims, who produces the City’s only newspaper, are wondering what exactly is going on. Others, like Coleman Kinzler, believe it is the beginning of the end. Meanwhile, Laura Byrd is trapped in an Antarctic research station, her supplies are running low, her radio finds only static, and the power is failing. With little choice, Laura sets out across the ice to look for help, but time is running out. Kevin Brockmeier alternates these two storylines to create a lyrical and haunting story about love, loss and the power of memory.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Kevin Brockmeier

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Kevin Brockmeier is the author of The Brief History of the Dead, The Truth About Celia, Things That Fall from the Sky, and two children's novels. He has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His stories have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, McSweeney's, and Oxford American, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
 
Published February 14, 2006 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Brief History of the Dead

The New York Times

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In this novel, a city inhabited by ghosts is threatened by the end of the world.

Mar 05 2006 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

The Guardian

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The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier 253pp, John Murray, £12.99.

Apr 07 2006 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

BC Books

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Kevin Brockmeier has written a wonderful novel, The Brief History of the Dead.

May 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

AV Club

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Kevin Brockmeier's novel The Brief History Of The Dead opens in a city that goes on forever.

Mar 07 2006 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

Entertainment Weekly

The Brief History of the Dead (2006) In Kevin Brockmeier's vision of the afterlife, you die and go to the City, a big metropolitan way station between life and nothingness.

Feb 22 2006 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

USA Today

The premise is larger than life: There is a transitional place for the dead if they remain in the memory of someone living.

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Pajiba

It sounds like a beautiful way to view the afterlife and the dead seem to be happy in The City.

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

People get up, they go to work, they go grocery shopping, and life is still filled with the minor annoyances endemic to city life like “the blasting sound of garbage trucks in the morning, chewing gum on the pavement, and the smell of rotting fish by the river.” Of course, simple pleasures obtain...

Jun 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

Bookmarks Magazine

Anna Godberson Milwaukee Jrnl-Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars "Brief History also approaches one of my highest standards for fiction: Brockmeier gives nearly every character major or minor a fair shake, a chance to be grasped by readers as understandably human, if not always seen in his or her best li...

Aug 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

A Patchwork of Books

(There are reviews of both of these on my blog.) While I haven't read it, I've heard good things about Celia Rees' Witch Child - a book about an actual witch during the witch trials.Can't wait to hear your review of The Witch of Blackbird Bond - I've been interested in reading more books about th...

Mar 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Brief History of the Dead...

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Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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