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Breu història dels que ja no hi són

de Kevin Brockmeier

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
2,4601684,958 (3.63)1 / 213
All residents of the City have recently died, and they will remain in the City only as long as someone still living on Earth remembers them. On Earth, however, the population has been devastated by terrible pandemic. Laura Byrd, isolated at an Antarctic research station, is running low on supplies and has only her memories to comfort her. The people of the City realize Laura is the common thread binding them together. But Laura, who may be the only person to have survived the pandemic, is running out of time--and her memories are fading.… (més)
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H1.32.7
  David.llib.cat | Jan 31, 2021 |
What if those enjoying the afterlife require for their continuing existence being remembered by Earthlings? ... Since the afterlife, as depicted here, is never believable (the denizens show little stress about their temporary status), the stakes of Laura’s sledding aren’t what Brockmeier hopes. ... In this speculative fiction, perhaps the most interesting element to wonder about is how Brockmeier will get away with blaming Coca-Cola for causing the pandemic. After a charming first chapter that imagines highly individual “crossings” to the other side, a novelistic virus called “The Flicks” debilitates the rest.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaKirkus Reviews (May 20, 2010)
 
Brockmeier's epigraph and the publisher's blurb spell out, pretty much, the connection between the doomed quest of Laura Byrd in the even-numbered chapters, and the denizens of the anomalous city in the odd-numbered ones. Such is his sensitivity and skill that Brockmeier contrives a mystery that is nonetheless subtle, absorbing, and ultimately satisfying. As befits a writer whose stated influences include Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping alongside JG Ballard and Italo Calvino, The Brief History is both formal and heartfelt, an elegiac fabulation on the fragile, ignorant beauty of human life.
 
Between earth and whatever lies beyond, the inhabitants of a benevolent purgatory known simply as The City have realised that death can be a wonderful restorative. ... Just as they had originally believed that The City owed its existence to the memories of the living, so now the citizens are increasingly convinced that Laura herself sustains it. ...The prose spreads a patina of whimsy over even the most urgent emotions: the characters are sometimes hearts that think rather than people who feel. But for all its foibles, The Brief History of the Dead must be accounted a prodigy of imagination, insight and overwhelming tenderness.
 
Nobody in the novel is remotely interesting, even in their responses to their extraordinary predicaments. And the plot, although rich in dramatic possibility, limps along through various tedious digressions and flashbacks, failing to stimulate any real imaginative or intellectual excitement. The bold premise at the heart of "The Brief History of the Dead" could have offered the best sorts of complex pleasures, narrative and metaphysical, that science fiction has to offer. Instead it merely flounders, a waste of a perfectly good idea.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaThe New York Times, Patrick McGrath (Web de pagament) (Mar 5, 2006)
 
...the brilliant question fueling the book is: What happens to the land of the dead-but-not-forgotten when the land of the living is destroyed? ... This conceit is also the book's primary weakness. The first half of The Brief History of the Dead is compelling and fascinating, full of interesting characters, lyrically restrained prose, and amusing bits of satire. The structure Brockmeier has created, though, limits him, making the second half of the novel a clever puzzle but not much more ... The weaknesses of the second half cut the wires suspending a logical reader's disbelief and let it drop to the ground and sprout questions about the way this afterlife is configured.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaSF Site, Matthew Cheney (Mar 1, 2006)
 
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Many African societies divide humans into three categories: those still alive on earth, the sasha, and the zamani. The recently departed whose time on earth overlapped with people still here are the sasha, the living-dead. They are not wholly dead for they still live in the memories of the living who can call them to mind, create their likeness in art, and bring them to life in anecdote. When the last person to know an ancestor dies, that ancestor leaves the sasha for the zamani, the dead. As generalized ancestors, the zamani are not forgotten but revered. Many ... can be recalled by name. But they are not the living dead. There is a difference.

-- James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me
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For My Dad
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When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had traveled across a desert of living sand.
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There was a flaw at the heart of their discussion, the blind man realized. They were mistaking the spirit for the soul. Many people tended to use the words casually, interchangeably, as though there was no difference at all between them, but the spirit and the soul were not the same thing. The body was the material component of a person. The soul was the nonmaterial component. The spirit was simply the connecting line.
Not forever, but long enough.
. . . orchardlike rows of the box springs . . .
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

All residents of the City have recently died, and they will remain in the City only as long as someone still living on Earth remembers them. On Earth, however, the population has been devastated by terrible pandemic. Laura Byrd, isolated at an Antarctic research station, is running low on supplies and has only her memories to comfort her. The people of the City realize Laura is the common thread binding them together. But Laura, who may be the only person to have survived the pandemic, is running out of time--and her memories are fading.

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Mitjana: (3.63)
0.5 2
1 17
1.5 6
2 58
2.5 20
3 194
3.5 70
4 305
4.5 39
5 121

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