Customer Reviews for

Being Dead

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Being Dead is writing at its finest

    Being Dead is a beautifully written novel. Crace constructs sentences with such vivid imagery that there is a simple pleasure in reading his words slowly and letting the picture he paints come alive in your mind. If I may provide a quick example: "The house itself is stretching, creaky in the rousing wash of dawn's first grey. The sun's forehead is peeking at the day, its face still indigo from sleep, its cloud head uncombed and tumbling its vapour curls on to the skyline of the sea." If that doesn't do anything for you, doesn't create an image in your head, then this book may not be for you. <BR/><BR/>This is a slow (but not difficult) and pleasurable read. The characters are credible, and Crace evokes your empathy for them. The narrator telling this story has a captivating voice capable of compassion, humor, knowledge and brutal honesty. He very well becomes a character in the story. <BR/><BR/>I have nothing but good things to say about this novel. If you enjoy the craft of a book, if you enjoy complex and realized characters, if you're interested in the fragility of mortality and just how to recapture the glory of a life passed away, if you want to see beauty where you think it couldn't possibly exist, then this book is for you. I never though I'd be saying the words "Being Dead is great," but there you have it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Jim Crace is the Flaubert of our time. That may seem a rather h

    Jim Crace is the Flaubert of our time. That may seem a rather heady exaggeration, but I have yet to read a living writer who is a better craftsman of that most fundamental unit of style, the sentence. Crace's are elegant, slightly unusual, a touch poetic, but never heavy handed or overdone. I'm always amazed at the way his powers never waver, not once--the stylistic consistency of his works, maintaining that perfection of style on every page, in every sentence, from start to finish, is great proof of a true literary genius. I can't recommend his work enough.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    Imaginative look at a reality of life

    One of the more imaginative books I have read. This will become a part of my permanent library. I discovered Jim Crace through a review of Being Dead in The Financial Times. I recommend this book to thoughtful readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2006

    Romance stripped completely bare.

    Jim Crace's book, on the surface, is depressing. It is about death, and takes a brutal atheistic perspective. However, it is also about love, and romance, in situations where they should not flourish. The book examines two distinctly unromantic and unattractive people who meet in an unromantic situation, who are incompatible and somewhat unpleasant besides, and stay together into the unromantic period of middle age. They obviously love each other anyway. The couple is killed, and in disgusting detail are described as they rot and are consumed, but maintain a pose of tenderness and love. The world of this book is cynical and pessimistic but the beautiful, hopeful conclusion is this: love is not part of a situation, it transcends situation - love needs nothing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    Shallow yet Pretentious

    This novel failed to engage me on every level. It was written with a dryness that was supposed to suggest a deeper meaning, but it never conveyed anything extraordinary. The characters were flat and their relationships over-simplified. The plot, unique in its conception, was clumsily advanced. The novel manages to be boring without rewarding the reader for the effort. It lacked insight and emotional truth, though it pretended to reveal both. The last two words 'Being Dead' are 'being dead.' When I finished reading, I had to groan in disgust. At least it was cheap and short.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2003

    i dont get it

    I read it .... but it was neither entertaining nor uplifting. There is a gloominess that I just couldn't may be fine literature but I can't appreciate it. When there is a violent murder, i want some justice... not ambivelance and decomposition narrative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2001

    Being Dead does not mean Being in Love

    Being Dead is a love poem without the poetry as it might appear in Scientific American. The detailed description of the decomposition of two bodies was skillfully done, but beyond that success, there is little to be gained from this blessedly short novel. Joseph and Celice are drab, dispassionate people who, if they are, in fact, in love, show scant proof of it in the book. Maybe they were in Crace's imagination, but he failed to transfer that emotion into his characters. Indeed, Celice seems to flat out dislike her husband; it is hard to believe they were married for thirty years, much less subsequently destined to 'enjoy a loving and unconscious end' eternally thereafter. If you don't believe me, ask their daughter, Syl. She was unabashedly happy to see them go and didn't for a minute think of them as two people in love. Joseph and Celice lived and died and decomposed and that is what this book is about and there is nothing more to be harvested from Crace's prose other than his good intentions. Being Dead might have been an eloquent love dirge with another writer's execution. Return to James Joyce's 'The Dead' for an idea of what it's supposed to feel like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    Grossly honest about death and the stain our existence leaves on the world.

    I found this book very enjoyable because of its sincere examination of death and a love relationship.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2001

    The existential perspective of death

    This is a real 'real' bummer of a book. 'Being Dead' is a very existential look at death. If Paul Sartre had the word on living in our existence, this book has the corner on the dead existing after their gone, i.e. a hunk of rotting flesh. It really puts a perspective on the daily priorities. Get the sex when you can, don't stress on the future, and act on the important things. If I could only figure out the last one I could probably execute the first two better. This book is a good read, and a must read for a better life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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