Thursday, April 19, 2007

Review- The Brief History of the Dead and random thoughts

Go out and buy this book if you have not got it.

Go home and read this book if it is on your TBR pile.

Personally I thought this was a fantastic read, I know others have had some reservations but i loved the way the stories fitted together, the writing was lovely and ooh it was just great! The story details a place between the living and dead where a population has gathered, caught there while others on Earth are alive to remember them. There existence is at risk when a plague hits the world and the book details the aftermath and how it is dealt with.

I thought the author had considered characterisation carefully, I enjoyed spotting the links between Laura and people from the city. It is a tale that unwinds, no thats not the right word, unravels? so more and more is revealed and explained, but then throws up more questions. I found myself engrossed by this book, torn again by the wish to finish it to see what happens and savour it slowly and enjoy it while I could. In the end I arrived at work this morning having some things to prepare for my class today but sat myself at my desk and finished it hungrily feeling so disappointed when it ended. I was also slightly disappointed (but not in a bad way if that makes sense?) by the ending as there was much left unsaid. However this in no way detracted from the book.

OK falling asleep now so am going to stop although I may add some thoughts tomorrow after a sound nights kip.

Some brief other thoughts-

I am finding it difficult to think of books for the Something about Me reading challenge. I want to include something about teaching, something about living in the UK, something bout my love of History (perhaps The Historian for that one!). Then I have to choose for my dystopian challenge, I have a HUGE long list for that one and I am trying to narrow it down but then I get another suggestion and the list lengthens again!

My class were noisy again tonight but one great moment was when we went down to the library and I could see the transformation in them from the beginning of the year where they were not interested in choosing books, now they bound up to me and ask me if I have read this or that book, show enthusiasm and even say 'Miss' you MUST read this. Ah its lovely. And one of my SEN children is showing so much improvement in his reading, writing and maths I just want to give him ten million housepoints and stickers to show him how proud I am.

Anyway, toodle-pip hope everyone is ok!


kookiejar said...

I'm glad you liked this one. I was a little put off by the surreal tone of the ending, but all-in-all it was the most imaginative novel I read last year.

My husband is reading it now.

Gentle Reader said...

I was just looking at this book in the bookstore--I'll have to go back and get it! Thanks for the review.

I was thinking about doing the "Something About Me" challenge, too, but it was a little intimidating to define myself... said...

gentle reader I think that is part of my problem too!

kookiejar I must admit the chapter with Laura's surreal 'journey' was a bit hard going!

Arukiyomi said...

that's great about your kids, especially the SEN kid... I also teach but TESOL and I can't spend half the time focussing on reading that I would like.

BTW, your link to the Something About me Challenge (which is a great one) has an extra http:// in it you might want to edit out.

I really have no idea which books define me. I'll have to work on that! said...

Thanks arukiyomi will take a look

Bookfool said...

I'm really anxious to get a copy of this, but I'm waiting in line at Paperback Swap and have been for about 7 months, now. It's very possible I might just have to order it. Don't tell my husband I said that. ;) said...

Your secret is safe with us;)

Bybee said...

How has this slipped past my bookwormy radar? Thanks for the recommendation.

Sam Houston said...

"A Brief History" was one of my favorite books from last year. I stumbled across a newspaper review that praised it and was immediately intrigued with the whole concept. It was one of those that I enjoyed so much that I hated to reach the end.

Spread the word...people will thank you for turning them on to this one. :-)