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The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

The Brief History of the Dead

Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   

RRP £9.99

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

All the different strands are still rushing around in my head, still astounding me, pulling me back for I read it like a galloping horse, so totally hooked was I. The chapters alternate between what is happening in the City and Laura Byrd struggling to stay alive in the Antarctic. The link between the two is spellbinding, utterly brilliant. Highly recommended.

Similar this month: None.
Comparison: Unique but you’ll enjoy Audrey Niffenegger, David Mitchell, Yann Mantel.

If you like Kevin Brockmeier you might also like to read books by Yann Martel, Audrey Niffenegger and Audrey Niffenegger.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

Laura Byrd is in trouble. Three weeks ago she and her friends found themselves alone in one of the coldest, most remote places on earth. Her friends set out in search of help, and now Laura realises that they are not coming back. So she gathers her remaining supplies and sets out on an extraordinary journey.

Meanwhile in another city, more and more people arrive every day. Each has a different story to tell, but their accounts have one thing in common – it was their final journey. For this is the city of the dead. And the link between this city and Laura`s journey lies at the heart of Kevin Brockmeier`s remarkable novel.

The Brief History of the Dead tells a magical story about our lives – about our place in the world, our connections with each other, and what happens to us all after our deaths. It is a story of spellbinding power and imagination, which resonates long after the final page.


'An unearthly literary tale'

'Sure-to-be-acclaimed fiction mixes with travelogue ... Gripping - and moving - stuff.'
Sunday Times Travel Magazine

- February 2006 'A moving and unsettling meditation on memories, how recollections of the seemingly trivial can sustain us
Books Quarterly (Waterstone

's) 'His confident voice, observational brilliance and playful humour dazzle to the end.'
The Times

'Convincing ... reflects on relationships in a beautiful, delicate manner'

's Weekly 'A story of spellbinding power and imagination which resonates long after the final page'
Tangled Web Unique and spellbinding

... Brockmeier is up to something different Minneapolis Star Tribune Brockmeier investigates our capacity for wonder ... and the result is exacting and perfectly strange The New Yorker 'A spellbinding novel
Amy Worth, lead account manager, books, Amazon

; Bookseller/ February Booksellers

'Such a powerful read'
Time Out

'Interesting and intellectually daring'
New Statesman

'The themes...are united with wonderful delicacy ... A prodigy of imagination, insight and overwhelming tenderness'
Murrough O

'Brien, The Independent 'The Brief History of the Dead is more magic realism than science fiction. Brockmeier brings to his book the inquisitive soul of a child. He is a master of the imaginative ponder. His prose is full of whimsy, word play and metaphysical musing. ... evocative and attentive...truly spellbinding'
Weekend Australian

'A genuine page turner'
Derby Evening Telegraph

'The inventiveness with which the author links (the worlds of the living and the dead) is highly impressive'
Financial Times

'Brockmeier is a lyrical yet subtle writer, interested in perplexing teleological questions ... A powerful read'
Time Out

'Imagery like this abounds so that reading Brockmeier's prose is like eating a plate full of tasty titbits. You are bound to be delighted over and over's entertaining and pleasurable to read.'
Canberra Times

The Age

'Such is his sensitivity and skill that Brockmeier contrives a mystery that is nonetheless subtle, absorbing and ultimately satisfying.'
Colin Greenland, Guardian

'The Brief History of the Dead is altogether remarkable'
Good Reading

'An intriguing take on the afterlife and will encourage you to think about what death means to you'
The Weekly Times

'Sort of like Lost in a good book ... Comparison with Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones is inevitable'
USA Today

'Brockmeier's tale of polar hardship is gripping, but this touching novel is more concerned with what it means to confront nothingness, and how small gestures and accidental meetings shape who we are'
James Smart, Guardian

About the Author

Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of the story collection Things That Fall from the Sky and the children’s novel City of Names. He has published stories in many magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, McSweeney’s, and The Best American Short Stories. He has received the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, an Italo Calvino Short Fiction Award, a James Michener—Paul Engle Fellowship, two O. Henry Awards (one of which was a first prize), and, most recently, an NEA grant. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th January 2007


Kevin Brockmeier

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Author 'Like for Like'


John Murray General Publishing Division


Paperback (b Format)
272 pages


Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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