Hello! I came across The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier whilst watching some Booktube videos. It has only been mentioned by one person and I’ve not heard of it since which is a shame, I quite enjoyed this book!
“A moving and unsettling meditation on memories, how recollections of the seemingly trivial can sustain us.”
This book follows the story of a girl, Laura Byrd. In this world, when you die you head to this city. It’s as normal as any other city, it has shops, restaurants, cinemas, etc. You live there for as long as someone on earth remembers you. They may have seen you in passing or they may be a family member. As soon as that person dies, you disappear. Where? You’ll have to read the story to find out the connections and more!
The world building and story line in this were really unique. It’s a shorter book at around 280 pages and I found myself unable to put it down and also wanting more. The way it’s built up is really interesting, each chapter moving from one part of the story to another alternately.
As you move, you see the connections between everything. What bothered me about this book is that the ending left questions. I don’t know if they were left for us to draw our own conclusions or if the author just didn’t know what to add that wouldn’t spoil the story of the world they had built.
Either way, it was a good read and I would definitely recommend it. I would just love some answers! But I guess everything can’t have a perfect answer.
Some of my favourite quotes:
“Anyone who has ever experienced love knows that you can have too much or too little. You can have love that parches, love that defeats. You can have love measured out in the wrong proportions. It’s like your sunlight and water – the wrong kind of love is just as likely to stifle hope as it is to nourish it.”
“The living carry us inside them like pearls. We survive only so long as they remember us.”
“But why did he remember only the things in life that had hurt him? Why couldn’t he remember the things that had given him joy or caused him to smile: the jokes he had heard, the songs that had made him lift his arms in the air, the people who had loved him, whose cheeks he had touched with his fingers?”
I definitely think it’s a good one to check out. Something different!
Love & Laughter