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For fans of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and P.G. WodehouseWhere do you go after you die? Detroit.Something’s rotten in the afterlife. At least that’s how it seems to Rhinnick Feynman, the one man who perceives that someone in the afterlife is tugging at history’s threads and retroactively unraveling the past. Doing his best to navigate a netherworld in which history won’t stop changing for the worse, Rhinnick sets off on a quest to put things right.This would be a good deal easier if Rhinnick didn’t believe he was a character in a novel and that the Author was changing the past through editorial revision. And it’d be better if Rhinnick didn’t find himself facing off against Isaac Newton, Jack the Ripper, Ancient Egyptians, a pack of frenzied Napoleons, and the prophet Norm Stradamus. Come to think of it, it’d be nice if Rhinnick could manage to steer clear of the afterlife’s mental health establishment and a bevy of unexpected fiancées.Undeterred by these terrors, Rhinnick recognizes himself as The Man the Hour Produced, and the only one equipped to outwit the forces of science and mental health.
About the Author
Randal Graham is a law professor at Western University, where his teaching and research focus on ethics and legal language. His first novel, Beforelife, won the IPPY gold medal for fantasy fiction and was a top ten finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Graham’s books on law and legal theory have been assigned as mandatory reading at universities across Canada and have been cited by judges on all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the U.S. Supreme Court. He lives in London, Ontario.
Read an Excerpt
It’s okay if you don’t believe in the afterlife.
The people who live there don’t believe in you, either.
Afterlife Crisis is the second story in the Beforelife universe, a world you might think of as the afterlife. The people who live there wouldn’t think of it as the afterlife, though, because they don’t think that anything comes before it. They call their world Detroit. Almost all the people who live in that world have forgotten their pre-mortem lives, and think that people simply pop into existence by emerging from the Styx and getting on with eternal life. Anyone who remembers having lived a mortal life is shoved into an asylum and treated for Beforelife Delusion.
This raises a question. Should you read the first story, Beforelife, before dipping into this one? A short answer is “no”. A slightly longer answer is “yes”. But another answer, and a more correct one, is that it depends on what you want to get out of this book. Having read the previous paragraph you know all you need to know in order to follow the story of Afterlife Crisis. You’ll realize that many of the characters in the book are historical figures who now live in the world of Detroit without remembering who they were in the mortal world. You’ll understand that the people of Detroit fail to realize the true nature of their world, and that the people being treated for Beforelife Delusion are the only ones who get what’s going on.
There are other mysteries, though, that you’ll have a better chance of piecing together after reading both books. Who is Abe, the all powerful leader of Detroit? Why are some people in Detroit, like Abe, able to reshape the world to suit their whims? Why does Rhinnick Feynman, the narrator of Afterlife Crisis, believe he’s a character in a novel being penned by a cosmic Author? Why do some people reincarnate? And why are there so many Napoleons? Clues about these (and other) mysteries are liberally besprinkled throughout both books. And while you’ll be able to piece many of them together by reading Afterlife Crisis on its own, those who really enjoy detective work might have a lot more fun by sifting through two volumes filled with intersecting clues.
My mother says you really ought to read both books. She loves them both.