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Extended Audio Sample The Brief History of the Dead Audiobook, by Kevin Brockmeier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.59 out of 53.59 out of 53.59 out of 53.59 out of 53.59 out of 5 3.59 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kevin Brockmeier Narrator: Richard Poe Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781440799464
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From Kevin Brockmeier, one of this generation's most inventive young writers, comes a striking new novel about death, life, and the mysterious place in between. The City is inhabited by those who have departed Earth but are still remembered by the living. They will reside in this afterlife until they are completely forgotten. But the City is shrinking, and the residents clearing out. Some of the holdouts, like Luka Sims, who produces the City's only newspaper, are wondering what exactly is going on. Others, like Coleman Kinzler, believe it is the beginning of the end. Meanwhile, Laura Byrd is trapped in an Antarctic research station, her supplies are running low, her radio finds only static, and the power is failing. With little choice, Laura sets out across the ice to look for help, but time is running out. Kevin Brockmeier alternates these two storylines to create a lyrical and haunting story about love, loss and the power of memory. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy Glasser | 2/10/2014

    " This story was somewhat interesting. I was a little bored with it at times, though I think it was worth reading. It was an entertaining read, and strange in a good way. I was a bit disappointed with the ending at first, but later resolved that it was innevitable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/10/2014

    " I'm conflicted about this novel. On the one hand, the ideas behind it are fantastic -- the first chapter pulls you in immediately. On the other hand, the constant shifting of the narration among minor characters just ends up leaving you unfulfilled. Laura's struggle (and what her struggle means to the dead) is what captivated me. However, the story going on in the city of the dead feels underdeveloped. Several forays into the past of minor characters feel like they go nowhere. Yet the writing is strong, and (with the exception of some sidetracking) the story moves along at a nice pace. It's a good story, if not exactly great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Muriel | 2/9/2014

    " Not as good as I thought it would be.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 2/6/2014

    " Wow, that was a weird story. Huh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 2/1/2014

    " It's been a while since I read this book but I still think about the authors concept of afterlife. It wouldn't be bad at all! Really enjoyed this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Holter | 1/21/2014

    " The fourth star here is for inventiveness. Otherwise a three. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie Sherling | 1/17/2014

    " This was a great find. The story in enthralling and even though you know where you are headed, it is one heck of a ride. The writing was so well done that I finished it in one day and didn't even realize the time had passed. I love when I find a new author like this. Thanks to Ari my niece for lending me the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 A. Gamble | 1/13/2014

    " I really liked this book...at first. Then it began to drag...and drag...and pick up a bit...and end on a semi-interesting note. The premise is great, the execution is good, but the overall story leaves something to be desired. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lyn | 1/10/2014

    " Good to think about memory and identity, how we create and are created by others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lulu | 10/31/2013

    " Ok so maybe this is magical realism, but usually I hate that stuff and I love this book. Visually creative with a story I can't help but be drawn into. A world I think I can believe in. Beautiful imagery and plenty of movement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanie | 9/29/2013

    " Not really sure how to review this book--it introduced ideas to me that I've thought about a lot since, which is such a great thing to get from a book....but then, the whole ending of the book kind of sucked. But I don't know how else it could've ended. So I have mixed feelings here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amelia | 9/25/2013

    " Fan-freakin-tastic! What a clever, and maybe chilling, way to look at the afterlife. I couldn't put it down, and I have recommended this book to several people with positive feedback. The only shame is that it's a standalone book, but in a way it pretty much has to be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 2/20/2013

    " I would have given this book more stars if the end wasn't so completely wierd and anti-climatic. Great writing, great characters, enjoyable story with lots of suspense, but then absolutely no payoff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christian | 2/1/2013

    " A great book, rather typical of the popular, independent, quasi-love genre that at has been taking up a huge portion of the market share of new writers. A well thought-through story with great interconnectivity. I recommend it for people who enjoy Nicole Krauss or Jonathan Safran Foer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deepa | 7/30/2012

    " Amazing concept in a beautifully written book. A book of poetry in prose form. I would reccomend to everyone and anyone. It can be a little abstract and heavy at times, but the writer's plan is clear and well-executed. Read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara Sole | 7/19/2012

    " a strange, unique and wonderful book about a the city full of people who gradually realise that they are all dead, and who try to discover why they are there. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tirza Sanders | 4/16/2012

    " I love apocalyptic books. I love this premise of this book. I love the cover. But I hated this book. The female protagonist was unbelievable and the other half of the book was like short stories, which I don't care for. I really wanted to like this but no. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie Ward | 11/1/2011

    " I really liked the idea of this book and was excited to read it. Was an interesting concept, but I kind of felt let down by the ending, which was a bit, well...dead! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Portobellord | 10/31/2011

    " Interesting viewpoint of the afterlife and the power of memory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi Kling | 9/7/2011

    " I loved this book. It's a very cool idea of where we all go immediately after death, woven into the story of a woman struggling to survive all alone in Antarctica. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Regina | 8/23/2011

    " Such an interesting concept! I didn't care for the "present day" story; loved the storyline told from "the other side." I rather hope there is an "other side" and wonder how long I will stay there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 5/18/2011

    " I read this for a Book Club reading. It was interesting and odd, definitely science fiction. The idea of death was interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 5/2/2011

    " Brilliant! My favorite kind of book: insanely ambitious, honest, spare, harrowing and beautiful. This goes on my short shelf.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kay | 4/28/2011

    " The writing is marvelous, but the plot just wore me down. The endless, hopeless solo trek through Polar Ice had me skipping ahead to the ending, which really wasn't much of an ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 4/25/2011

    " There's a quote that's something like "I am a part of all I have met" that this book reminds me of. I like the idea that we have all touched the lives of people we don't even know, and that that makes a difference in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nurture | 4/18/2011

    " This book wasn't quite as good as I had expected, though I can't quite put my finger on why. I do know I was disappointed in the ending. Still, it was worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 4/4/2011

    " the premise is fascinating. the characters are interesting and believable. but parts of the book were incredibly tedious, and the ending was kind of disappointing... "

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About the Author
Author Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of The Truth about Celia, Things That Fall from the Sky, and multiple children’s novels. His stories have appeared in many publications, including the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Georgia Review, The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and multiple editions of the O. Henry Prize Stories anthology. He is the recipient of the Nelson Algren Award, Italo Calvino Short Fiction Award, James Michener–Paul Engle Fellowship, three O. Henry Awards, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

About the Narrator

Richard Poe has worked extensively in movies, television, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Gul Evek in three different Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He has narrated dozens of audiobooks and earned eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards.