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The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
In The Brief History of the Dead, the dead live in an afterlife called the City, and they can live there as long as someone alive on earth still remembers them. Luka Sims runs the City's only newspaper, bringing news from the other side to the afterlife. Recent arrivals tell of a virus sweeping through Asia, and the City is quickly overrun by new residents, who then quickly disappear as all those who remember them die soon afterwards. As the pandemic sweeps across earth, the City begins to empty. Luka searches the city, finding just a few residents left, and they're all remembered by one Laura Byrd. Back on Earth, Laura is trapped in an Anarctic research station, with her radio out, power failing, and her few supplies dwindling. Her survival is the only hope for the final residents of the City. Kevin Brockmeier's novel has received mostly positive reviews with BookReporter.com saying, "The Brief History of the Dead is quirky and thought-provoking. Long after the story is finished, it will continue to haunt readers as they ponder themes of survival, connection, annihilation, the power of memories, and the mysteries of life and death. I wholeheartedly recommend this book --- certainly one of the best I've ever read."