Life After Death: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $1.82 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Life After Death: A Novel has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Nearly brand new book that shows only slight signs of wear. Selection as wide as the Mississippi.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Life After Death: A Novel Paperback – June 11, 2002

7 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.13
$7.60 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$12.13 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I'm stronger than my own power to destroy. That's my motto now," says Boyd Schaeffer, the protagonist of Muske-Dukes's latest novel (after Saving St. Germ; Dear Digby). Like a fairy tale, Boyd's story begins with a careless but fateful event: a curse uttered during an argument with her insidiously charming husband, Russell, who reveals to her that he believes he is dying. Boyd wishes aloud that he would die, since she suspects him of getting drunk and briefly losing their daughter, Freddy, at the park. It turns out Russell wasn't exaggerating, as his death on the tennis court of their St. Paul home the next day proves. Forty-two-year-old Russell seemed to have everything money, looks, sensitivity. But the two things he really wanted the unconditional love of his wife and literary renown evaded his grasp. His death leaves Boyd with a question and a ghost: who was Russell? Boyd goes back into medicine (a field she left years earlier, after a patient died during an abortion procedure), snubs just about everyone she knows and becomes progressively more bewildered by her own grief as she tries to understand better the circumstances surrounding Russell's death. Boyd is not what one would call likable she's confrontational, stubborn and irascible but it's hard not to be won over by her. Her foil in the novel is Will Youngren, the funeral-home owner who buries Russell. Her quest for the meaning of her husband's life mirrors Will's need to end his own long mourning for his dead twin sister, and the two begin to find strength and support in each other. Muske-Dukes, who is also a poet (An Octave Above Thunder, etc.), has shaped an exquisitely written tale with raw emotional appeal, a deeply humanistic story of death, grief and survival. 5-city author tour. (On-sale: June 12)

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In the latest from poet and novelist Muske-Dukes (Dear Digby), Boyd Schaeffer tells her husband to die and he does. When they quarreled, she never dreamed that the very next day Russell would have a fatal heart attack, leaving Boyd and their young daughter, Freddy, to cope without him. Russell was rich, charming, and not all that reliable, and his marriage to Boyd was less than perfect. His death brings up some of Boyd's past issues with death, including the time she was an obstetrician in New York City and a woman died in her care. When Boyd married Russell, she returned to Minnesota, leaving her career behind. Will, the undertaker who handles Russell's burial, attempts to befriend Boyd. But Will, too, is haunted by a past death that of his fraternal twin sister, Signe. The novel is rounded out by Russell's wealthy, enigmatic mother, Gerda, and Griggs, the eccentric embalmer who works for Will. These well-developed characters affect one another throughout the uneven narrative as they deal with issues of death and how to keep on living. The novel doesn't always flow smoothly, but this doesn't detract from a story to which many readers will relate. Recommended for public libraries. Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

"Sofrito" by Phillippe Diederich
Browse more titles about Cuban life & culture.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (June 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375760504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375760501
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,812,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Allen on January 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The reviews on the back cover mention humor and laughter, but the only time I laughed while reading this book was when Boyd gave the dollhouse daddy doll a swirly. Given the initial premise (she tells her husband to die and the next day he does), I expected some black humor. But this book rarely provoked even a smile.
I don't need humor. A book doesn't have to have a plot. I can even overlook disjointed dialog (this book has its share). What I cannot forgive are characters I don't care about and can't understand. I could not get a clear picture of just who these people were or why they behaved as they did, especially toward each other. In fact, the only one for whom I felt any sympathy was poor dead Russell; like most people, he just wanted to be loved.
At the end of the book, I was still waiting for the answers to questions such as: Why did Boyd hate Russell (and his mother) so much? What was the point of refusing her inheritance? How did she feel about Will? After losing the patient during a legal abortion, why would she risk performing one on a minor with no one else attending? Why were the last few pages about Roger?
Freddy, the four-year-old daughter, seemed to be the only one with any sense: when the going got rough, she fell asleep.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on April 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was really wanting more from this novel -- I didn't find it hard to get through, as another reviewer mentioned below, I just found it lacking in several areas. The characters are likable enough -- I just didn't find them interesting or sympathetic in many ways. The woman who is the center of the story has married a man I suspect she does not really love -- and barely respects -- and put her medical career on hold in order to have a child and make a life with him. In her case, the verb 'make' connotes a bit of a feeling of 'force' -- their life together doesn't seem to mesh, their personalities seem to be very much at odds with one another.
As a result, when they argue early in the book, and she tells him 'Why don't you just die?', it's not too much of a surprise when he does just that. The rest of the story involves her coming to grips with the guilt that she inevitably feels over this unfortunate chain of events -- and her struggle to understand (and recognize) her own emotions and feelings on love and death.
The scenes mentioned in another review involving detailed descriptions of embalming procedures didn't offend or disgust me as much as they made me wonder why they were there at all -- perhaps to give some authenticity to one character's line of work (a funeral director). He provides a somewhat believable catalyst for the widow's emotional and intelluctual struggle with her own demons, and works on a few of his own in the process -- but I was left with the feeling that the novel could have been much more effective (and interesting) if it were quite a bit shorter.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I finished Life After Death just before September 11th and on the 13th I began reding A Death in the Family. Together these books provided a balm... the kind of balm one uses to bandage an injury and go on however painful going on is. There has never been a time when understanding human emotion,loss and the will to go on has been more important. Life After Death is jarring and it is smart. It will make you tough. A Death in the Family is tender and insightful. It will help you find a balance. We need what these books provide.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a engrossing, totally surprising novel. Who'd expect to find this dark humor married to such a depth of feeling? LIFE AFTER DEATH is peopled by strong characters, particularly Boyd, the central character whose heart is broken by the death of her husband, and restored -- at least partially -- by the strength she finds to do the right and difficult thing in her work as a doctor. Funny, heartbreaking, instructive and haunting all at once -- a terrific book about the ways we think about love and death.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Life After Death: A Novel
This item: Life After Death: A Novel
Price: $12.13
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com