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Being Dead


Jim Crace
July 17, 2009
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It's short (just 196 pages) and I read it in one sitting. Its quirkiness just pulled me in and held my attention for hours. The story revolves around a couple (both are zoologists) who return after 30 years of marriage to a beach where they once made love. While trying to relive the moment they are both murdered by an unknown person who arrives, does the deed, and then conveniently leaves the story. The rest of the novel is about being dead, but not at all in the spiritual sense. I realize that this all sounds pretty strange but take my word for it, this is a remarkably beautiful tale. It's told through flashbacks along with a rather intense look into the troubled life of their estranged daughter. It also gets very involved with all the natural things that happen to two dead bodies when left on a beach for six days. Sounds gross, I know, but it's all done very . . . tastefully.