Postcards from a Dead Girl [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sid is going crazy . . .

A telemarketer at a travel agency, Sid is becoming unhinged and superneurotic. Lately he's been obsessed with car washes and mud baths. His hypochondria is driving his doctor sister mad. And it's all because of his ex-girlfriend, Zoe, who's sending him postcards from her European adventure, one that they were supposed to take together. It's all quite upsetting.

A fact-finding tour of local post offices—and a new ...

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Postcards from a Dead Girl

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Overview

Sid is going crazy . . .

A telemarketer at a travel agency, Sid is becoming unhinged and superneurotic. Lately he's been obsessed with car washes and mud baths. His hypochondria is driving his doctor sister mad. And it's all because of his ex-girlfriend, Zoe, who's sending him postcards from her European adventure, one that they were supposed to take together. It's all quite upsetting.

A fact-finding tour of local post offices—and a new friendship with postman Gerald—followed by a solo European jaunt will do little to ease his anxiety. A long talk with his mother's spirit in a wine bottle doesn't help either. But what he really needs are a few more tentative dates with the chatty Candyce. Sid needs to get over Zoe and find love again—even though Zoe, apparently, has no inclination to be gotten over.

Wonderfully poignant, funny, odd, and more than a bit macabre, Postcards from a Dead Girl marks the emergence of a truly gifted and original literary voice.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sid Higgins, the appealing, self-deprecating narrator of Farber’s poignant, funny debut, has been receiving postcards from his old girlfriend Zoe. Unfortunately, the whimsical Zoe has disappeared, and the postmarks on the cards are more than a year old. Though he doesn’t really expect to find her, Sid travels to Europe in search of Zoe. Since Sid works for a travel agency, a slick telephone operation that uses the amusingly named Randomizer to dial potential clients, the trip is easy to arrange. Sid plaintively and self-mockingly relates his interactions with his boss, Steve; his neighbor, “Gerald the Post Office Guy”; and, most of all, his dog, Zero, whose deftly described postures convey so much, though perhaps not quite as much as Sid reads into them. Sid’s older sister, Natalie, a doctor who provides welcome perspective on Sid, is by turns affectionate, irritated, supportive, and occasionally fed up. The reader is likely to feel the same. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
High-strung young man grappling with grief and possibly supernatural incidents tries to pull himself together in Farber's quirky psychological potboiler. This we know: Sid was with Zoe, but Zoe is now gone. But where exactly is she? Sid has reason to be confused, what with the steady stream of postcards from exotic locations that he continues to receive from his one-time girlfriend. Is she on an extended world tour, or writing from the beyond? Mind you, Sid might not be the most reliable narrator of events. The spirit of his dead mother communicates with him via an old bottle of Bordeaux, and he digs a mud "spa" in his yard that looks suspiciously like a grave. He also confides (to a point) in his no-nonsense sister Natalie, a busy physician expecting her first child who seems weary of Sid's issues. Suspecting that his problems might be physical, she encourages him to undergo a CAT scan. But while waiting for the results, he jets off to Europe to see if he can get to the bottom of the Zoe mystery. Back home, he pieces together memories of a trauma and talks to his dog Zero. Candyce, a chatty hipster who works for his doctor, pursues Sid while he pines for a tranquil mystery woman he spies in his yoga class. He names her Jane, and she haunts his dreams; then a coincidence brings them together. Sid's various demons continue to torment him, though, and he needs to come to terms with some hard truths about himself before he can embrace new love. A witty, tormented hero surrounded by fascinating, compassionate supporting characters makes this slender debut a surprisingly compulsive read.
Garth Stein
Kirk Farber has a style very similar to Chuck Palahniuk, with offbeat observations, a view of our world through a slightly distorted lens, and a tone that’s quite fun and sometimes hilarious and tragic at the same time. I love the voice and irreverence and humor.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Dark. Funny. Bizarre. Mysterious. Fantastic. Kirk Farber’s Postcards from a Dead Girl is a polished gem. Farber’s uniquely quirky protagonist reflects our own personal obsessions, pinning us in limbo while simultaneously prodding us towards adventure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061969911
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 898,734
  • File size: 444 KB

Meet the Author

Kirk Farber

Kirk Farber lives with his family in Colorado, where he writes and works at a library with a lovely mountain view.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Terrific Debut

    Kirk Farber's debut Postcards From a Dead Girl is a compelling read that blends mystery with the darkly comic to tell the story of Sid, a hapless telemarketer trying to come to grips with mortality and his own tenuous grip on sanity. Is his true love dead or alive? Does his dog Zero really talk? Can he communicate with his dead mother via a bottle of wine? You'll stay up past your bed time reading to find the answers. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an amusing often poignant tale

    His former girlfriend Zoe began sending Sid Higgins postcards from all over Europe. However, the cards are all over a year old and Zoe seems to have fallen off the face of the planet. He decides to travel to Europe to make sure zany Zoe is okay though he doubts he will locate her.

    Sid easily arranges his getaway as a perk working for a New Jersey travel agency. Before crossing the pond, he opens his soul to his boss, his neighbor, the mail carrier, his sister the physician and his best listener Zero the dog.

    This is an amusing often poignant tale that takes the audience deep inside of Sid although he can be irritating to the point fans will emulate his sister by shouting at him to get a life and move past a relationship that has been dead for a couple of years. Zero makes the story line fun with his precious reactions to his owner's tales of woe is me when all he wants is chow. Although Sid's obsession can be wearisome at times, Postcards from a Dead Girl is a profound character study.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Postcards From A Dead Girl

    Sid is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Zoe who is sending him postcards from Europe. The only problem is that they are postmarked from a year ago, and nobody has heard or seen Zoe in all that time. Is Sid going crazy? This is what POSTCARDS FROM A DEAD GIRL by Kirk Farber makes us wonder. And it doesn't help that Sid's sister Natalie thinks he just may be. Farber's novel is delightfully written with enough humor to not make it sappy and or depressing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Strong Open, Look Forward to Further Work from this Author

    I picked this one up because I was intrigued by the plot premise - and the opening third of the book did not disappoint. Very unusual plot structure, with a ghostly Mom, a missing girlfriend, a preoccupied sister, and a strange neighborhood little girl - this author is very good in depicting women of all ages, they were are believable and memorable. But after the very strong open, the story slowed down a lot as the main character Sid traveled to Europe, then the plot ground to a halt after his return and his attempt to build a home mud bath in the yard - reading it, it felt like we were stuck in the mud with him, not much happens until there is a sudden, breathless chapter where the true fate of the missing girlfriend is revealed in a rush, almost like the way a child tells a story in a big rush just to get it over with. The ending was disappointing, as the main character literally runs away, and the ending seems tacked on, it does not ring true. Also - we learn again and again that Sid is a hypochondriac, but he never really gets help from his physician sister for his recurring neurological symptoms - a note to the author: if you bring up neurological symptoms, please confer with a doctor so that you have someting to go on, are you aware that you have described a real entity - the symptoms involving recurrent smells, inattention, blurred vision, fainting - all strongly suggest epilepsy, which does not show up on a CAT scan, so a physician reviewer would have advised you that Sid should have been seen by a neurologist (so much for the plot device of a physician sister - by the way, I am a physician, and I kept waiting for better health care for Sid, be sure that in real life, he would have had a neurological consult for a suspected diagnosis of epilepsy). If the latter parts of the book had matched the opening chapters, this would have been a masterpiece, even so, it is worth reading for the strong opening. For a first book, it is still quite an achievement, and I look forward to further work from this author.

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    Posted September 19, 2010

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    Posted August 30, 2010

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    Posted January 28, 2012

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    Posted January 14, 2011

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