Recommended by Darla Crist-Writing Center Coordinator and Library PR
The Brief History of the Dead/Kevin Brockmeier
PS3602 R63 B75 2006
Short stories turned into novels are often polarized creatures—they either work tremendously well as the short story expands into the form of a book or they fall terribly short of expectations created by the original work. Fortunately, The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier is an example of a short story successfully transformed into an engaging, quirky novel. Readers of Calvino or DeLillo might hear or see a subtle nod or two in those directions, but Brockmeier manages to keep his notion of death—and life after death—as wholly original, with a main character whose story unfolds in interesting patterns and whose fate is unknown until the last few pages. Because of Brockmeier’s ability to weave narrative threads and lives together, the novel becomes a unified and thought-provoking whole with much to say, not only about how we die, but how we live. As an exploration of the power of memory and the mystery of even the most ordinary lives, The Brief History of the Dead will leave readers wanting more from Kevin Brockmeier.