Love and Other Near Death Experiences

Love and Other Near Death Experiences

4.5 6
by Mil Millington
     
 

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"If he hadn't bought those crummy towels, Rob would be six feet under. But his poor shopping sense accidentally set off a convoluted chain of events that meant he lived when all those others died in the pub explosion. Okay, maybe it wasn't the ugly towels that saved his life. Perhaps it was some other random action, some other small movement that was the utterly… See more details below

Overview

"If he hadn't bought those crummy towels, Rob would be six feet under. But his poor shopping sense accidentally set off a convoluted chain of events that meant he lived when all those others died in the pub explosion. Okay, maybe it wasn't the ugly towels that saved his life. Perhaps it was some other random action, some other small movement that was the utterly trivial yet vitally important factor. And that's the real problem." "Now, with his wedding fast approaching, Rob suddenly finds himself paralyzed with indecision - about Every. Little. Thing. He just can't be sure which seemingly innocuous choice will mean the difference between life and death: Should he wash the fork or the knife first? Should he step out of the shower with his left leg or his right leg? Red sweater or blue? One thing is certain: His fiancee, Jo, is at her wits' end." To save his relationship and sanity, Rob embarks on a quest to find out why he's still breathing. When he meets up with others who have had similar lifesaving near misses, he figures the answer must be close. But fate may just catch them yet, for Rob's search to understand why he's still alive might well turn out to be just the very thing that kills them all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weird, in a good way, defines the spirited amalgam of madcap romanticism, mordant spirituality and oddball adventure that infuses British writer Millington's third novel (A Certain Chemistry; Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About). Rob Garland's life is decidedly unsettled. He's dithering about his upcoming nuptials. He's bored at the radio station where he hosts a late-night jazz show. And by all odds he ought to be dead, except that a quick errand, coupled with an infuriating traffic tie-up, makes him late for lunch with a musician-who is among those immolated when a tanker truck plows into the restaurant. After Garland forsakes his playlist one night to rant about his near-death experience, he finds himself at the center of a circle of like survivors, including a brawny American soldier who escaped death in war-torn Bosnia and an addled British schoolteacher who left her Bulgarian hotel in search of cigarettes and returned to find it in flames. There are times when this off-in-all-directions novel explodes into the edgily surreal, and its intense Britishness may confound some readers. But the audacious originality of Millington's witty plot and the energy of his crisp, comic dialogue are wholly engaging. Agent, Fletcher & Parry. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Popular British web-master Millington (Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, 2003) makes a stab at philosophical musing in this Nick Hornby-esque tale about a late-night radio disc jockey coming to terms with the randomness of life and death. Rob is on his way to an appointment at the Bird Dog Pub when the pub explodes in a freak accident that kills everyone inside. Afterwards, although too traumatized by his near-miss to make even basic decisions (e.g., to take a bath vs. a shower), Rob resists his fiancee Jo's suggestion to get psychological help. Then he breaks down during his radio show, discarding his assigned playlist to ramble on about his experience. Ratings soar, and he's soon swamped by calls and e-mails. Two catch his attention: Beth, who e-mails that Rob is in danger, and Elizabeth, who argues with him on-air. Then there is the former American soldier Zach, who accosts him in the parking lot. All have had close calls with death, surviving while others perished. With Zach as self-appointed (or God-appointed, according to Zach) guardian, Rob goes on a quest to sort out why one person lives and another does not. He tracks down Elizabeth, a 46-year-old depressed former schoolteacher whom he rescues from a suicide attempt. He contacts Beth, a sexy spiritualist who claims that Rob is the target of fundamentalist Christians. Rob further survives an explosion, a fire and other miscellaneous violence while figuring out who in his world is nutty and who is genuinely nuts. Questions arise: What is coincidence? What is pre-ordained? What is the result of choice? And what does any of it matter compared to the hot, kinky sex Rob's having with Elizabeth although she's 15 years hissenior and he's still engaged to Jo?Beneath the brittle humor and madcap adventure, Millington's novel is oddly sentimental, even old-fashioned.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588365255
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/14/2006
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
478,998
File size:
0 MB

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