Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh My God....

"The Brief History of the Dead" by Kevin Brockmeier is the best book I have read in a long time. This totally imaginative, wonderfully written book sent me on a journey from which I did not want to return. Crossing from life into the City, a different journey for everyone, is a comforting thought; as long as you are remembered, you exist there, only to cross over to the unknown when the last person who remembers you dies. As a plague wipes out the living, a lone woman on the ice of Antarctica, struggles to stay alive. The two story lines are equally fascinating.

I love this passage-
Dying had changed Marion Byrd. She had been so weary back when she was alive: weary of talking and weary of eating; weary of thinking, remembering, desiring, anticipating; weary, most of all, of the prospect of seeing her life out to its natural end. She felt as though she had spent the last ten years of her life carrying a tremendous unshaped stone on her shoulders. The effort of keeping her legs upright and simply walking underneath it had nearly crippled her. She didn't know how to cast it off, or even where it had come from, only that she had to carry it.
And this-
and she had died, and suddenly everything was different. She began to appreciate all the things she thought she had forgotten how to enjoy, like music and dancing and the way the breeze felt on her neck when she pinned her hair up in the back.

I will remember these words and have hope. I will also not wait until my death to appreciate things in this life. This book made me think, and will keep me thinking for a long time.


  1. It's actually quite a wonderful book, and its premise still haunts me, despite the fact that I read it about a year ago. Let's hope they don't sully it by trying to make it into a film!

  2. I see that you are reading "The Road". This is one that haunts me, as well. Maybe as I age, I become more and more haunted by the possible as well as the impossible. I enjoyed your pages.