Date Finished: January 29, 2008
From the back cover: "The story of life, mortality, and love, Being Dead confirms Jim Crace's place as one of our most talented, compassionate, and intellectually provocative writers."
The story starts with the newly murdered bodies of Joseph and Celice on the sands of a beach and moves backward and forward in time from that point in time to tell the stories of their lives and the the story of what happens after death. The chapters describing the decomposition of the body can be a bit tough to stomach for some readers, but Crace handles it in such a scientific and yet eloquent way that even those passages add to the over all beauty of the book itself. As a reader, I did find it hard to connect with Joseph, Celice and their daughter Syl, but again I believe that was the author's intention. Its easy to sympathize and express shock at the death of someone lovable, but by taking the lovable part out of the equation the author is showing that death is still a part of life and there is still beauty in it. The book itself is unlike anything I've ever read and will probably continue to stick out in my mind in the months and years to come because it is such a unique novel...handling a common subject in such an alternative way.