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Death: A Life [Kindle Edition]

George Pendle
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.78
You Save: $5.22 (35%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The shocking new memoir from Death

At last, the mysterious, feared, and misunderstood being known only as “Death” talks frankly and unforgettably about his infinitely awful existence. Chronicling his abusive childhood, his near-fatal addiction to Life, his excruciating time in rehab, and the ultimate triumph of his true nature, this long-awaited autobiography finally reveals the inner story of one of the most troubling, and troubled, figures in history. For the first time, Death reveals his affairs with the living, his maltreatment at the hands of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the ungodly truth behind the infamous “Jesus Incident,” and the loneliness of being the End of All Things.

Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, Death: A Life is not only a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a universe that, despite its profound flaws, gave Death the fiery determination to carve out a successful existence on his own terms.

DEATH was born in Hell, the only son of Satan and Sin. He was educated in the Palace of Pandemonium and the Garden of Eden. Since before the Dawn of Time, he has ushered souls into the darkness of eternity. This is his first book.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pendle turns out a wicked satire of death in this faux autobiography. Death, the spawn of Sin and Satan, begins his story at the dawn of creation, before the beginning of God's newest project, Earth. With only a bit of the Darkness from the deepest depths as a keepsake, Death and family travel to the freshly minted Earth, where Death's father takes advantage of the gullible animals (prior to Satan's arrival, the T-Rex was a vegetarian). It isn't until Death accidentally kills a unicorn that he realizes his calling, and soon he recounts his role in some of the most celebrated deaths in history, including Cain's murder of Abel, Socrates' suicide and the resurrection of Jesus. However, Death's profession is demanding and solitary, and at the urging of his only human friend, he begins to dabble with Life to relieve stress. He forms a physical dependency on Life, and after a 10-day period in 1582 when nothing dies, Death is forced into rehab and begins his painful recovery. Pendle's coruscating wit is a great match for the material, and he makes the most of it. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1284 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 030739560X
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 30, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001GJ2QEW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,205 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addicted to Death November 26, 2008
Format:Paperback
It's rare that I find any book such as this where I can't just put it down for more than five minutes before wanting to pick it back up again (if I can put it down at all!) Something about this book has a draw, as Death explains his draw to the dead, like metal to a magnet.

My desire to read this book followed me everywhere, and as it sits beside me now I wish to pick it up again! Motion sickness on car-rides didn't stop me, and neither did the constant nagging of work to be done. I was enthralled, intoxicated, tied to this book and drinking it in whenever and wherever I could manage!

The subject matter is intriguing enough to capture the reader, and the utter sacrilege of the humor inside is enough to keep a smile on your lips through it all. Nostalgic Trees, Snarky Unicorns, Maude's love of dying, and a Spoiled Rotten Christ; every joke is memorable and worth at least a good chuckle out loud, if not a good belly-laugh.

The plot as well has a magnificent flow of mystery, tragedy, and romance, all in a conveniently controversial package laced with sex and violence. Just as Death described the Roman Empire, it's "a bloodbath, a slaughter sauna, a Jacuzzi of gore." Ok, maybe a little more toned down.

I do not want to heighten expectations for those who just won't get it, because this book is vulgar, crude, and a complete mockery of Creation and God Himself. However, for those who like to poke fun at things as this, or who can find humor in the obviously funny, this is the perfect book. It's witty, shocking, and perhaps even moving! I'd suggest it to anyone who isn't easily offended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone must answer to him November 10, 2008
Format:Paperback
Death. The End of All Things. There's no real way to negotiate yourself out of it. In this humor novel, Death, son of Satan and Sin comes into existence as God has started Project Creation. Once a guardian to the gates of Hell, Satan and Sin take a field trip to Earth with Death in tow but an arguement leaves Death somewhere out there, on his own and eventually finds his own way to earth after encountering Gabriel and Urizel. Once on earth, Death gets to know the life here and finds out what his purpose is in life, to release the souls of everything else. As he grows in his existence, he encounters many historical, biblical, and mythological people & creatures. With the Book of Death, he travels the world, releasing the deceased but a snag arises when he travels to Golgotha and there's someone being crucified that is not in his Book.

Who knew unicorns were so mouthy? Who knew the dachsunds are the reasons faeries are extinct? Who knew Jesus' preferred sport is paddleball? What's up with the angel Reginald being locked in Hell? Who knew the unofficial fourth Horseman was Sunburn? Who is Maud? Why was Death sent to the asylum/clinic? What's up with the over-anxious Gabriel?

Great little pictures throughout. Good humor and unique takes on events through history and pre-history. However, for those of religious faiths, this book could easily offend. Be warned, otherwise be prepared to laugh to yourself over the flow of humor as the story unfolds.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS!! February 4, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an amazingly funny book. Pendle has an astonishingly wry sense of humor, which is coupled with an endearing sympathy for his characters. By turns sarcastic and sentimental, Death: A Life is a tour de force of creativity, conjuring up a hilarious biography of Death's birth, addiction to Life, and clinical recovery. With exquisite prose, Pendle writes with verve, never leaving the reader to languish in a dull moment. I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud like this one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious! January 8, 2009
Format:Paperback
Fantastic! One of the funniest interpretations of mythological creation I have ever read. Told from Death's perspective, a diabolical take on God's work through the ages. Death's frequent reference to himself as "...I am the End of All Things," followed by a good shove into the oblivion darkness is just the way I'd want to go. I love the explanations for the beginning of polytheism and the condensing to monotheism, "We are cutting our costs and down sizing..." so told by the human race. His description of souls taken, "many evil villains suffered hernias from having to sustain their diabolical cackling for months on end...", was an extreme delight. Death's first impression of heaven "much like a run down casino vs. the brochure" leads us further into the twisted world of Pendle's book. Only Death would have the guts enough to pin a post-it on God's back.."Take my Name in Vain". I could not turn a page without laughing out loud.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOL funny but not for everyone October 18, 2008
By LegsTX
Format:Paperback
This book is just downright hilarious! No, the humor is not for everyone but if you are partial to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or Monty Python, this is a must read. Irreverant, blasphemous, and original. The more you know about ancient mythology, theology, art and literature, the better this book is! If you're looking for a lesson, forget it. If you're looking for a deep message, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a laugh, a giggle, the occasional snort and a lot of silliness - this will fit the bill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terry pratchett times 10 December 3, 2008
Format:Paperback
i just finished the first 2 chapters and i am having an incredible good time reading this book. this book is a hilarious and twisted pageturner of black humor! *lol* pendle's witty way of describing "His-tory" shows immense creativity and a vast knowledge of the discussed material. the more you know about religion and mythology, the more you will get a kick out of the story. and even better if you are able to make fun out of life. people stating this book was a waste of their time are just not opend minded enough to enjoy a funny book about life, death and religion - this book is simply not meant to be taken serious! i didn't have such a good time reading a book for a long time.

people who love this book will also enjoy terry pratchett's hilarious characterization of DEATH in various of his discworld books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't think of a good title.
Read this as part of a book club. It reads like Alice In Wonderland, where you wonder what the author was on when he wrote this. The opening entices you into a horror thriller. Read more
Published 9 days ago by J Hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book is hilarious! After I finished, I turned around and read it again. Worth every penny!
Published 1 month ago by Marina Simmons
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it.
A great premise, but very poor storytelling. I tried several times to continue after putting it down, but eventually gave up.
Published 3 months ago by tkat
2.0 out of 5 stars Amusing At Times, But Not Enough For Me To Finish....
This was my first DNF of the year. I tried to get into this book...made it about 45% of the way through before I finally gave up. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mercedes J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Funny funny funny.
Published 4 months ago by VeeDubs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great and sarcastic
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This book takes the fear out of dying
it's nice to see death as a being with feelings and not a ruthless soul hungry monster. It's a dirty job and someone has to do it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Carrie Stanton
2.0 out of 5 stars One joke
Man I wish I had started this book earlier, and thus determined that it's one note would be repeated ad infinitium to smugly and blithely riff off perfectly good mythology,... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nicolio
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Clearly from my review history I went on a bit of a grim reaper binge in the book section. I enjoyed this book and the perspective of the grim reaper life it offered.
Published 11 months ago by SpoonieDot
4.0 out of 5 stars More to Death Than a Hood And Scythe
Nothing in life is certain, but Death.

But who is Death, really? The smug may be satisfied to call it the absence of life and be done. Read more
Published 12 months ago by turdpolisher
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More About the Author

George Pendle is an author and journalist.

He writes about contemporary art, historical fiction, imaginary countries, real monsters, mad scientists, sane occultists, and the color blue.

He has written for the Economist, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Times (London), the Guardian, the Observer, frieze, Cabinet, Bidoun, Modern Painters, and Icon.

He has also written signs for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

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