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I can almost guarantee there is no other book like, "Physics of the Dead". On the surface, it is a story of two men trapped in an afterlife they don't understand. Where are they? Why are they there? Most importantly, is there any chance they can get out?
Beneath that story is the true brilliance of this book. You learn about these men. You feel what they feel--bored, lost, sad, scared, and alone. They only have each other to help pass the time and how long will that be? Forever? They don't know and neither do we.
There is an incredibly written story about a train ride that will make you understand the utter desperation of these men. It may also make you ache with compassion and wince at the agony felt by the man on the train. This train ride puts you into the mind and body of the man and you will feel his pain as he tries to hold on just a little longer.
This is a story of friendship. It is also a mystery of sorts, as they try to figure out where they are and if there is any way out. There are agonizing moments in this book, but there are also beautiful, life-affirming moments that show us what it really means to be human--even if you're dead.
I highly recommend this book. It tells us there are always consequences to our actions, but, more importantly, there is always hope to change and rise above our circumstances. And, whether you are alive or dead, having a friend who understands and loves you is priceless.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Perhaps the best thing about Luke Smitherd's books is the sheer inventiveness of each story's concept. A lot of sci-fi and fantasy are variations on a theme, fresh renditions of, say, time travel or space opera or dungeons and dragons. But Luke's stuff is always wildly original, and, he sells it (and I do not mean in the monetary sense). Try to relate the plot of one of Luke's books to a friend, and you will see a quizzical look staring back at you, but when you are immersed in these wild tales, they seem as real as everyday life. Physics of the Dead is exactly this kind of book, unlike anything I've ever seen and strangely compelling. That it is narrated by the author himself, is an added bonus not only because of the charms of his storytelling voice, but because you know you are getting exactly the nuance that was intended when the words were composed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Physics of theDead, and couldn't wait to get back to it for each session.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Every so often an author comes along who has the gift of original thought. I don't mean the kind of author that comes up with a single great idea and then proceeds to develop it across a number of books. I mean one that can produce an excellent and original book and then come up with something equally good in a "And now for something completely different" kind of way. There's no formula for what Smitherd does, just quality ideas put into quality writing.
This book is a case in point. The characters are the story, so much so that the plot almost creeps up on both them and the reader, at first unnoticed. The quality of this book is underlined by the fact that it's hard to describe, it's a story of desperation, friendship, characters, discovery and so much more.
Smitherd does a very decent job of narration. Normally I'd say having the author do the narration is not the greatest idea. Authors write but narration requires a reader's mind. However, he seems to strike a tone that simply fits. How irritating it must to be for his friends to know someone who seems to be so good at everything!
I'm not going to include spoilers because this is original, it is compelling and it will take you to unexpected places. In all honesty it's not my usual kind of book and I can imagine that not everyone will take to it in the same way. However, it's one that I'd urge everyone to read because it is so very different to much of what is out there.
48 of 51 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Physics of the Dead again? Why?
Amazing story brought to life by fantastic reading. It's a gem to find such a fascinating and cleverly constructed piece of writing and even better to have it narrated by the author himself. It is such a unique and complex story and I highly recommend it even if you think this isn't your thing, it will grab your attention and pull you right in until you can't let go!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Without wishing to be a cop out I honestly can't choose! They are all complex and fascinating, it's like trying to choose a favourite child!!
What does Luke Smitherd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
The author knows the story inside out, he has lived and breathed the characters so who better to bring them to life.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Definitely, so much mystery and clever dentil that I didn't want to stop listening to it.
Any additional comments?
If this is the first book you come across by Luke Smitherd then you are on the start of a fantastic journey, read/listen to more of his books, they are all individual but all addictive and so cleverly written.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful