The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

“The Blinks,” a worldwide epidemic, has infected the human population. Its origin is unknown – only that it is the product of a Coca-Cola promotion gone horribly wrong. And as humanity ends all that remains is the solitary Laura Byrd, struggling to survive alone in Antarctica, with only her memories to keep her company.

Brockmeier weaves a most original tale of a plausible and not-so-distant future, in which the apocalypse is a manmade occurrence. Also unique in Brockmeier’s work is the integration of the City, a place where the “living-dead,” (those who have died, but can still be recalled in memory by the living who knew them), reside after they have passed on. The living-dead’s lives continue as normal in the City, and they receive, in a sense, a second chance at life. Eventually, the only people left in the City are those remembered by Laura, due to the fact that she is the last person alive on earth. The chapters switch back and forth between Laura’s lonely ordeal and the confusion of the City’s denizens, who find their world to be, quite literally, shrinking.

Overall, this book is engaging; easy to read, but steeped in philosophical meaning. It explores the question of true death; if we leave an impression on those we left behind, have we truly left at all? Brockmeier’s work can be viewed as a new-age classic, serving as a window to a prospective, believable world. A fresh, original plot makes The Brief History of the Dead the perfect addition to any summer reading list.

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One Response to “The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier”

  1. jacquelincangro Says:

    you’ve made this book sound really interesting. I’m going to add it to my list of to be read titles.

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