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Aftermirth (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Hillary Jordan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
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Book Description

“I stopped being funny the day my wife was electrocuted by her underwire bra.” So begins “Aftermirth,” a dark comedy that explores the absurdity of death through the eyes of thirty-one-year-old comedian, writer, and actor, Michael Larssen. What is horribly funny to the rest of the world is devastating to Michael, who loves his wife deeply, especially her bright, rippling, abandoned laughter, which captivated him from the first time he ever heard it. In the aftermath of her death, he loses his sense of humor, and his career along with it.

Then, after two years of mourning her, he sees an article in the paper about a factory worker named Julio Santiago who fell into a giant vat of dough and was kneaded to death. For reasons Michael doesn’t understand, he decides to go to the man’s wake. There he meets and bonds with Julio’s twenty-nine-year-old daughter Elena, a law student who is reeling from her father’s unexpected and preposterous death.

Three months later, she calls him out of the blue and suggests that the two of them drive to North Carolina to speak with another survivor like themselves Elena has found on the Internet. Their road trip is a darkly funny journey of healing that takes them deep into the heart of their grief and others’, and then beyond it, to a place of peace and laughter.

Product Details

  • File Size: 160 KB
  • Print Length: 45 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009ITV0K8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,153 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the strangest pilgrimages ever October 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're old enough, you may remember the "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show, where a rogue elephant in a circus parade mistook Chuckles the Clown for a huge peanut and "shelled" him to death. His comrades at the TV station were heartbroken by the tragedy, but also could hardly suppress their laughter. "Aftermirth" dealt with those same mixed emotions that come from bizarre, freakish accidents where people are killed.

In the story, narrator Michael Larssen, whose wife was killed when lightning struck her nickel-titanium underwire bra, withdraws completely from the world. Only when he meets Elena, whose father was killed in a freakish industrial accident, does he begin to live again. On one of the strangest pilgrimages ever, they meet others who have lost loved ones in bizarre accidents, and they learn the startling secret to moving on with their lives.

I enjoyed "Aftermirth" very much. The storyline was quite original, and the characters - even the dead ones - were painted vividly enough to be real people. Kudos to Ms. Jordan for a very intriguing and entertaining story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly humorous, smartly poignant October 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Hillary Jordan demonstrates yet again how little you REALLY know her as a writer...."Aftermirth" is unexpected, irreverent and super-smart, finding both humor and human connection in that most bleak of topics: death. A fantastic and thought-provoking read, by one of the best (and clearly most versatile) literary voices out there!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darwin Lives! October 13, 2012
By ADavis
Format:Kindle Edition
Alas, the sacrifices that some people make to take their genes out of the human gene pool. "Aftermath" tells the story not only of people who have contributed to their death by their own foolish actions but also of those who have met their ends through bizarre, albeit humorous, circumstances. While the story naturally has a morbid thread, its message goes well beyond death and bereavement. If anything, it shows that death can forge the beginning of new relationships - and, let's face it, that the means to the end can be pretty damn funny.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this October 9, 2012
By A. Lynn
Format:Kindle Edition
Funny for funny's sake is a big accomplishment in itself, but what Hillary Jordan has done in Aftermirth goes far beyond that: she's written a laugh-up-my-coffee story about death that turns out to be seriously moving in the end. (which surprised me -- I was so distracted by the laughs that I didn't see the emotions coming) This is the best kind of fairy tale, one that's a great ride, unpredictable, and charming. Do I need to mention, again, that it's hilarious? I mean, it starts with an electrocuting bra. Try to top that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark comedy with a sensitive side October 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once again Hillary Jordan shows off her dynamic range as an author as she pivots to create a wholly believable, yet farcical, tragic-comedy. Borderline metafiction, this story never lets structure get in the way of poignant truths about death, loss, grief, and recovery. I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshingly honest tall tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't know I could love dark comedy October 8, 2012
By Dagny
Format:Kindle Edition
Hillary Jordan has a way of taking me on a journey that I don't want to end. In Aftermirth, she brilliantly balances the powerful human insights that come from enduring conspicuous, highly visible loss with a laugh-until-you-cry account of being head-butted to death by a goat. Sheer genius. Thank you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars None November 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Funny, then moving, then funnier and (finally) even more moving. And still funny! Hillary Jordan just "gets it right," with nary a bogus moment from first word to last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this; would read more by this author November 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't know what to expect, given the premise, but found this short novel (long story?) to be engaging and thought provoking- not prize winning literature but just very good storytelling. A fair amount of genuinely funny passages, and honestly human encounters. Interesting characters, well presented, I wanted to see what they did, how they fared, and I was satisfied in the end. Some of these shorts leave me shrugging, eh? And forgetting all about them the next day. This one stays with me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars quick intriguing read
Funny and uplifting story that will leave you grateful for today and hopeful for tomorrow. Reminiscent of Mitch Albom's work.
Published 4 months ago by melissa green
5.0 out of 5 stars Aftermirth
This is a very short book about with a lot to say about death, grieving and how we deal with both.And it is dark humor at it's absolute best. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Aftermath by Hillary Jordan
I love this author. Very entertaining. It had my attention from the start.Funny but not over done . I read this straight through the day I bought it.
Published 21 months ago by T N
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh out loud.
Loved it! From start to finish, the storytelling is captivating, the humor charming. I was reading this on a plane and was so pleasantly engrossed that the flight attendent had... Read more
Published on April 9, 2013 by rukieb
1.0 out of 5 stars Supposed to be funny
Missed the jokes and sarcasm as this book is billing itself. The humor was lost on me and the book just isn't plausible. Read more
Published on March 31, 2013 by genevany
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible writing
Laughed. Cried. This is what really great writing looks like. The author took a risk with the plot and concept, but who cares that it was not totally believable? Read more
Published on March 3, 2013 by danotr8
2.0 out of 5 stars Aftermirth
Can not comment much as I never finished the book. Poorly written, slow plot line, nothing in aprticular to recommend it to anyone.
Published on February 18, 2013 by Lucy L. Noonan
3.0 out of 5 stars Aftermirth by Hillary Jordan
This started off really well, was amusing and was a good, quirky idea. Paced along quite well and the characters were reasonably well drawn. And then......... Read more
Published on February 8, 2013 by Diana, Dublin
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Connections
The description of this book sells it short, the read really shines it the connections between the characters and the shared absurdity of life.
Published on February 5, 2013 by Bryan J. Chasko
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark - very dark - comedy
Kindle singles work well - more than a short story, not quite a novel, plenty of time for the reader to dive into the story and the characters and get completely immersed, in the... Read more
Published on January 4, 2013 by rgnyt
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More About the Author

Hillary Jordan grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. She received her BA in English and Political Science from Wellesley College and spent fifteen years working as an advertising copywriter before starting to write fiction. She got her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Her first novel, MUDBOUND, was published by Algonquin Books in March 2008 and became an international bestseller. It won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver and awarded biennially to an unpublished debut novel that addresses issues of social justice, as well as a 2009 Alex Award from the American Library Association. It was the 2008 NAIBA (New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Assoc.) Fiction Book of the Year and was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. PASTE Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Debut Novels of the Decade. MUDBOUND has been translated into French, Italian, Serbian, Swedish and Norwegian.

Hillary's second novel, WHEN SHE WOKE, was published by Algonquin Books in October 2011. It was a #1 Indie Next pick, one of BookPages Best Books of 2011 and a BookList Editor's Choice for Best Fiction of 2011. It has been translated into French, Spanish and Turkish. German, Chinese and Brazilian editions are forthcoming.

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