The Brief History of the Dead

I picked this book by Kevin Brockmeier up on a whim when last at the library – it looked kind of interesting. The whole premise is that the dead go to a place much like here “in between worlds”, while there are still those on earth who remember them.

So, the book goes on about this for a little while, and eventually we learn that some kind of extinction level event has occurred on earth. A plague of some description. Slowly the waiting place dwindles to just a few. Intertwined through the story of this is the story of Laura Byrd, a scientist in the Antarctic. Laura finds herself alone on the ice, and struggles to understand what has happened the world she is at the remotest end of.

Where Brockmeier could have been subtle, he is heavy handed, explaining concretely to the reader that everyone left is someone who knows Laura. I really do hate that expectation that a reader to too obtuse to pick up this kind of subtlety.

In the end, it was a struggle to finish this for precisely that reason. Give it a miss.


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