Title: THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD
Author: KEVIN BROCKMEIER
This is a very special book.
In Antarctica, Laura Byrd is alone. Her two research companions have left to find help, after their equipment started breaking down, but they've been gone for too long, and she knows they won't be coming back. And so she starts on a journey towards help herself. A journey that does not only take her across the ice and through snow storms but also through her past life and towards her death.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is being wiped out by a very fast spreading and very deadly virus.
Then there is the city, where those who have died go. A city, where they stay for as long as there's anyone left alive who remembers them. Once they're forgotten, they disappear from the city, but where they go, nobody knows.
Right now, a lot of people are disappearing from the city, until those that do remain all appear to have some connection with Laura, who is slowly losing her battle with the elements.
I have always loved the theory that people don't really die, until there's no one left to remember them. And this book explores that theory in a very original and fascinating way.
It's hard to describe this book properly though. A lot of what happens in the story should be very scary, but isn't because it's described in such a matter of fact way and because the story is really a vehicle to share the theory. And I'm glad it was written in such a way. If the emphasis had been on the "thriller" aspects of the story, the theory would have been lost.
As it is, I think there's probably a lot more in this book than I got out of it during this reading. I will have to read this book at least one more time in the future, while concentrating on that which lies beyond the superficial story.