Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

This sci-fi/fantasy/fiction book brings a different spin to an "end of worlds" story. A virus called the blinks has killed just about every human being on earth, but earth isn't the final journey for these people. While there are still humans left on earth that remember those that have died, they live in a city with each other, and their lives go on as they would in the real world. However as more and more people die on earth, the population of the city becomes smaller and smaller because there are less living humans to remember. Soon they realize that the only common thread is one person: Laura Byrd.

Laura was on an expedition for Coca-Cola in the Antarctic with two other colleagues when they lose their communications. Her colleagues headed out to get help, but after weeks of waiting and not getting any news, Laura decides to make the journey herself. As she travels, she remembers small moments in her life with other people, who are now in the city. She fights to survive, not knowing if she is the last person on earth or not.

Though this really does fall into the sci-fi genre, it doesn't read as one. The focus isn't on the events happening so much as it is on the memories of those living and dead. It's incredibly easy to get into this book and the pages keep turning as you wait to see what ends up happening to Laura, though there are some hiccups along the way. The chapters switch back and forth between Laura and the city, and I found that one of the city chapters about the religious man I couldn't determine the relevance of it, which made me skim through it.

This book definitely gets points for creativity though, so I would recommend it!

First Line: "When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had travelled across a desert of living sand."


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