This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

I actually finished this one several books ago but never got around to writing my review. Here it goes.

***Spoiler Alert***

This one really had a lot of promise. It's all how you end it that can make or break it and this one just lost it in the end. So terribly sad because it really had me going for awhile. I couldn't stop thinking about it, which is why I need to write this post.

First: there's a world of the almost dead. Not like zombies or anything but a 'middle' world, as in you die but you go to this other world and you live there until every single person in this world that has any memory of you dies. Then you're gone and whether you go to heaven or yet another world, well, no one knows.

And the middle world is just like this world. You can go to work, you can eat, you can hang out with your dead relatives. Although you may not know when you'll just disappear forever, you can estimate how long you'll have in the middle world, which will pretty damn long if you think about all the associations you could have in one lifetime.

In the middle world, there is no way to know what's going on in the real world. News only comes from those who are recent arrivals.

Second: there's life in the real world. We meet Laura Byrd, who is alone in a research station in Antartica, decides to go out on her own for help.

But we, the reader, soon find that it may be that Laura Byrd is the only life left in the real world. The middle world, or the City, first fills up with people who have been killed by a deadly virus called The Blinks, because of what it does to people's eyes. Eventually, we figure out that the virus was possibly an act of biological terror and planted in water supply that was used to manufacture coca cola (how did he get away with that?). So it hit everywhere, quickly. With no cure.

The book alternated chapters: first would be The City then the chapter with Laura. I was really into the chapters with Laura. I loved Laura. She was clueless to what was happening in the world around her and was just fighting to survive. Back in The City, the 'survivors' that were left all eventually figured out their only link was Laura...and that she was the only person left alive in the world.

I really didn't want that ending. I was hoping for a pocket of other people somewhere in the world that were alive. How they'd be able to save Laura, I had no idea. She was in fucking Antartica. I hoped that maybe she had a cure, or would figure out the cause of the virus (she worked for coca-cola and was there doing research on the ice for potential water supply for manufacturing). But her journey was to see if her fellow researchers were alive at a distant station (they weren't), then going to another station to call out for help (which was destroyed). This was the end of the hope for Laura, who had no way of transporting herself back to the fully stocked research station from the destroyed communications place.

And it ended with some weird sci-fi Laura as a light, walking through a desert or something, I don't know. It was just weird and didn't fit into the storyline. I hated the ending.

But up until that, it scared the shit out of me. And I found a new heroine in Laura. And then Kevin just blew it up and made it into something else. I mean, I _assume_ she died and so did everyone else in The City and we all (humans) became extinct. Really, I love a good indie, unusual, ending but this? Bleh.

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