The critically acclaimed, spellbinding novel about life, death and everything that follows.
'A prodigy of imagination, insight and overwhelming tenderness' Independent
'Remember me when I'm gone' just took on a whole new meaning . . .
Laura Byrd is in trouble. Three weeks ago she and her friends found themselves alone in one of the coldest, most remote places on earth. Her friends set out in search of help, and now Laura realises that they are not coming back. So she gathers her remaining supplies and sets out on an extraordinary journey.
Meanwhile in another city, more and more people arrive every day. Each has a different story to tell, but their accounts have one thing in common - it was their final journey. For this is the city of the dead. And the link between this city and Laura's journey lies at the heart of this remarkable novel.
The Brief History of the Dead tells a magical story about our lives - about our place in the world, our connections with each other, and what happens to us all after our deaths. It is a story of spellbinding power and imagination, which resonates long after the final page.
Kevin Brockmeier lives in Arkansas, USA. His short stories have won many awards. The Brief History of the Dead is his first novel to be published in the UK.
'An unearthly literary tale' — Bookseller
'Sure-to-be-acclaimed fiction mixes with travelogue ... Gripping - and moving - stuff.' — Sunday Times Travel Magazine - February 2006
'A moving and unsettling meditation on memories, how recollections of the seemingly trivial can sustain us' — Books Quarterly (Waterstone's)
'His confident voice, observational brilliance and playful humour dazzle to the end.' — The Times
'Convincing . . . reflects on relationships in a beautiful, delicate manner' — Publisher's Weekly
'A story of spellbinding power and imagination which resonates long after the final page' — Tangled Web
Unique and spellbinding ... Brockmeier is up to something different — Minneapolis Star Tribune
Brockmeier investigates our capacity for wonder ... and the result is exacting and perfectly strange — The New Yorker
'A spellbinding novel' — Amy Worth, lead account manager, books, Amazon; Bookseller/ February Booksellers' choice
'Such a powerful read' — Time Out
'Interesting and intellectually daring' — New Statesman
'The themes...are united with wonderful delicacy . . . A prodigy of imagination, insight and overwhelming tenderness' — Murrough O'Brien, The Independent
'The Brief History of the Dead is more magic realism than science fiction. Brockmeier brings to his book the inquisitive soul of a child. He is a master of the imaginative ponder. His prose is full of whimsy, word play and metaphysical musing. ... evocative and attentive...truly spellbinding' — Weekend Australian
'A genuine page turner' — Derby Evening Telegraph
'The inventiveness with which the author links (the worlds of the living and the dead) is highly impressive' — Financial Times
'Brockmeier is a lyrical yet subtle writer, interested in perplexing teleological questions . . . A powerful read' — Time Out
'Imagery like this abounds so that reading Brockmeier's prose is like eating a plate full of tasty titbits. You are bound to be delighted over and over again...it's entertaining and pleasurable to read.' — Canberra Times
'Luminous' — The Age
'Such is his sensitivity and skill that Brockmeier contrives a mystery that is nonetheless subtle, absorbing and ultimately satisfying.' — Colin Greenland, Guardian
'The Brief History of the Dead is altogether remarkable' — Good Reading
'An intriguing take on the afterlife and will encourage you to think about what death means to you' — The Weekly Times
'Sort of like Lost in a good book . . . Comparison with Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones is inevitable' — USA Today
'Brockmeier's tale of polar hardship is gripping, but this touching novel is more concerned with what it means to confront nothingness, and how small gestures and accidental meetings shape who we are' — James Smart, Guardian