How the Dead Live

by Will Self | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0141040173 Global Overview for this book
Registered by rem_SEP-393294 on 2/15/2016
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by rem_SEP-393294 on Monday, February 15, 2016
The extraordinary story of a 65-yr-old woman who lies dying in a London hospital. As she's in the process of being ferried across to the other world (which turns out to be remarkably like this one), she reflects on her husbands, her children, her entire life. Brilliant and witty as always, Self has this time written a novel that carries a huge emotional punch in its portrait of a wonderful middle-aged woman - based apparently on his mother.

"He has shown that literature can still be great" - Evening Standard

Journal Entry 2 by rem_SEP-393294 at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 16, 2016
I really struggled with this book at times. The opening chapter is just too clever and wordy, and although I got into the book, I found the narrator's un-PC rantings got tiring after a while, after the shock value wore off. I really enjoyed the story and most of the ending. Some of the ending was a bit confusing, as were the italics (dead baby dialogue) as it wasn't always clear who was speaking, and to whom. Overall, a good book and I'm glad I read it. Not sure I could recommend it. Will be interesting to hear how other people get on with it!

Journal Entry 3 by rem_SEP-393294 at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, March 17, 2016

Released 4 yrs ago (3/17/2016 UTC) at London, Greater London United Kingdom



Journal Entry 4 by 4evagreen at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 19, 2016
Grabbed this as part of the Reading it/Want it thread. I look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 5 by 4evagreen at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 06, 2017
This seems both a somewhat disquieting but also amusing look on life, and of course death. In particular I loved the 12-step programme and the 12 traditions for the ''Personally Dead'' but was repulsed by the thought of having to spend the afterlife living with moving, talking lumps of fat gained and lost throughout life.

For me, the early part of the book feels like a long winded lead up to a joke out; where the punch line is death and there is a real lack of characterisation despite Lily revealing glimpses of her early life in America. I also found some of the imagery used both repetitive and at times pointless. It was if Self had been given a list of words by his editor and had been told that he had to use them all at some point or other otherwise the book would not be published. It had the effect of making the text turgid rather than flowing but then perhaps that was the whole idea and I just missed it. On the flip side I wouldn't say that I totally dislike it. At times I found it intriguing and compelling but I didn't enjoy half as much as The Book of Dave, the previous Will Self book that I have read. Like that book this seems to be a back-handed swipe at organised religion and beliefs but this one fails to really hit the mark.

Journal Entry 6 by 4evagreen at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Monday, October 09, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (10/9/2017 UTC) at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire United Kingdom


Going out as part of a wishlist thread. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 7 by kingfan30 at -- Somewhere in Lincs, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Thank you so much for sending this book

9 Nov 2020 - With a title like this I knew it probably wasn’t going to be a cheery read and did question why I would pick it up now with everything going on in the world. And I’m not going to lie, after reading the epilogue I nearly put it back it down again. But the first section was weird readable, the poor Lily being told she was near the end of her days and some if the thoughts that went through her head. However once she went into the after life (if that’s the right word), it lost me again. There were bits that I thought were quite clever, people take solace in the fact that meet their loved ones again, and that maybe the reality isn’t all rainbows and flowers, or that all that weight you’ve gained and lost comes back to haunt you. However those last two parts of the book were a long old slog and not really my sort of book.

Journal Entry 8 by kingfan30 at Telephone Box in Burton Coggles, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Saturday, November 14, 2020

Released 3 mos ago (11/14/2020 UTC) at Telephone Box in Burton Coggles, Lincolnshire United Kingdom


Left in the telephone box library for someone else to enjoy

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