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Extended Audio Sample Being Dead: A Novel Audiobook, by Jim Crace Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,237 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Crace Narrator: Virginia Leishman Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2017 ISBN: 9781440782367
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Jim Crace has been called “one of the brightest lights in contemporary British fiction” by The New York Times Book Review. His novels have won a Whitbread Prize, an E.M. Forster Award, the Guardian Fiction Award, the GAP International Prize for Literature, and have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
Far-ranging in its imagery, Being Dead is a provocative examination of mortality. A middle-aged couple, Joseph and Celice, are murdered on a remote East Coast sand dune. They are not discovered for six days. Both doctors of zoology, Joseph and Celice would recognize what is happening to their decomposing bodies if they could have watched. They are dead, but they remain part of the living for a while as they become food, shelter, icons, and sources of emotional catharsis. As Jim Crace examines the various facets of these two people’s lives and deaths, he creates an extraordinary journey through haunting physical, scientific, and philosophical landscapes. Narrator Virginia Leishman provides the perfect tones for Crace’s remarkable, lyrical text.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bryce Emley | 2/12/2014

    " somehow he turned a very small story into an entire book; this mostly thanks to his quasi-artistic philosophic spouts which were probably supposed to be profound or something. however he made intriguing use of chronology and he talked about dead stuff a lot. also his take on sexuality made me feel sorta awkward. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Laughlin | 2/2/2014

    " This is a book I recommend VERY highly. Crace is a bit much at most times, but here, he is unguarded and scientific in all the right ways. I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 1/26/2014

    " What a lovely little book, a bit of a treatise on (a few kinds of) love and (a few kinds of) death. This is a keeper, one to read every few years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dholom | 1/22/2014

    " I think most scientist can relate to this book and look forward to being dead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 SheilaRaeO | 1/17/2014

    " The cover of the book has a quote from Johathan Levi, Los Angeles Times Book Review - "An original - an exquisitely gentle and unsentimental tale on the evolution of love." I would say the operative word here is "unsentimental". While I was completely absorbed by the "Planet Earth" type descriptions of death and life, I was less so with the characters themselves. I became bored with the chapters that focused on Joseph and Celice's lives before their death. There was also no plausible explanation for their only daughter's disdain of her parents. I came away not feeling anything in particular for the main characters and only confusion about the daughter's behavior and response to their deaths. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 1/14/2014

    " What a strange book! Very vivid and graphic description of the death of a middle-aged couple. I'm not sure what to make of this work, but it was oddly fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 1/11/2014

    " The story of a relationship told through the device of the decaying bodies of a murdered couple. Beautifully told. Not gross at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn | 1/4/2014

    " Despite the graphic death details, I found this book to be quite boring & uninspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Antonio | 12/28/2013

    " Really great read with an unbelievably beautiful description of -- can you believe it? -- a decaying body. Excellent prose, terrific story, pretty good ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill Sanders | 12/1/2013

    " One of best books ever "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/18/2013

    " Very hard to stomach, with characters who are annoying both dead and alive (I believe I hate every single character in the book!), but the author does an excellent job of moving between the present and the past. It is a good story, overall, somehow... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Dalton | 5/26/2013

    " This really is a masterpiece. Everyone knows it because of its unlikely concept. But half of this novel is a realists portrait of a wonderfully rendered courtship and marriage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisbeth Solberg | 2/16/2013

    " Amazing writing. Not creepy despite the subject matter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Shields-Szostak | 2/12/2013

    " 1st edition, signed & inscribed by author "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis Gerwing | 1/13/2013

    " I think that this is a book that you will either like a lot or dislike a lot. I liked it a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karyn | 12/7/2012

    " Great book-group book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gillian | 11/22/2012

    " It doesn't even tell you who killed them or why! I finished this book but just in the hope there was a reason for writing it. I found that going over their lives did not endear either of the victims or their daughter to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne-marie | 5/24/2012

    " Big grim, what was to be expected! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Letchworth1 | 5/27/2011

    " Interesting and disturbing in equal proportions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/24/2011

    " This really is a masterpiece. Everyone knows it because of its unlikely concept. But half of this novel is a realists portrait of a wonderfully rendered courtship and marriage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 5/1/2011

    " Excellent book on the meaning of death and how we mourn and what 2 people mean in the world to each other and the friends and family. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bud_smith | 2/18/2011

    " This was trite bland British bullshit about two ugly zoologist teachers who get killed on a sand dune. It was a waste of a paper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JackieB | 12/8/2010

    " Although this book beings with a murder it's actually about life and love. I thought it was beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 11/22/2010

    " Jim might have to change his last name to Crass as we find out way too much about decay , A scientist would enjoy this more than I didand there is such scenes of lurid sexuality as well.
    what i liked was the way the story starts and ends in the same spot compressing cleverly on itself "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aaron | 10/26/2010

    " 2.5 A meditation on the lives of the two murder victims with strong first chapters that meanders in later sections. "

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About the Author
Author Jim Crace

Jim Crace is the author of over ten novels. Being Dead was shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Fiction Prize and won the US National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2000. In 1997, Quarantine was named the Whitbread Novel of the Year and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Crace has also received the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the E. M. Forster Award, and the Guardian Fiction Prize. He lives in Birmingham, England.

About the Narrator

Virginia Leishman successfully revived The Railway Children and other titles by E. Nesbit. She parses phrases carefully for nuance, and flavors dialogue with personality and spontaneity, as exemplified in her rendition of A. S. Byatt’s Possession.