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In other chapters the narrative moves forward. Celice and Joseph are on vacation and nobody misses them until they do not return. Thus, it is six days before their bodies are found. Crace describes in minute detail their gradual return to the land with the help of crabs, birds, and the numerous insects that attack the body and gently and not so gently prepare it for the dust-to-dust phase of death. Celice and Joseph would have been delighted with the description: she was a zoologist and he was an oceanographer, and they spent their lives with their eyes to the microscope, observing the phenomena of life and death. Some readers might find this gruesome, but the facts of death are told in such glorious prose that these descriptions in no way detract from the enjoyment of the book.
After her parents do not return home, their daughter, Syl, must search the morgues and follow up John and Jane Doe reports until she is finally asked to make an identification of the remains in the dunes. We then discover that the reader has had a more intimate relationship with them in death than Syl ever had with them in life. This small gem of a book, not really a mystery in the usual sense, will stay with you long after you finish. --Otto Penzler
We are not spared as the dark cloud of mortality evaporates and trickles into the Grace's pen. Relief is on the form of attachment which weathers a random act of violence.Published 2 months ago by Helen Boyle
This is a most marvelous book. It starts with the death of an elderly couple discovered on the coast in England, and then with a series of flash backs takes the reader back into... Read morePublished 3 months ago by E. Holden
This remarkable novel opens with the dead bodies of the two main characters, Joseph and Celice, a married couple, each a doctor of zoology. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joyce
Brilliant as well as entertaining. A great read. Jim Crace can capture a reader's mind and hold it for the entire thrilling journey.Published 5 months ago by Ann Armstrong Kresler
I hardly ever give five stars to anything, and I was very tempted to give five stars to this novel. I have no criticisms. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M. Metteer
I certainly did not expect the title of this book to be so literal in describing the contents, but, sure enough, that's just what it's about: being dead. Read morePublished 8 months ago by gammyraye
A lot of nonsense has been talked about this minor tome, particularly stateside, because it deals with a previously taboo (though ubiquitous in American culture) topic, but there's... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Simon Barrett
This is a short 6 disc audiobook, and the first one I haven't been able to finish. The 2 main characters are murdered at the very beginning of the book (no spoiler alert), and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by CranberryLady
Excellent premise. Very Well written. Mey first read by Jim Crace and I shall read others. It is a book that needs to be read and though aboutPublished 14 months ago by bone