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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad there will be a print version, too
Good books arrive like gifts from some better place - where there is more perspective, more wisdom, more kindness and love. Anthony Weller's book purports to be just such a volume -- a guidebook to the Afterlife, and counter-guidebook to wrong-headed ideas we may have about it -- and it succeeds in becoming what it describes: a guide not only to what matters most in this...
Published on October 17, 2011 by Ken Lopez

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84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Sojourn Among the Dead
The blurb on the front cover of the book reads: "wonderfully enticing and deeply, achingly moving." The first half of this statement is undoubtedly true; the second half is most certainly not. This will perhaps sound more harsh than I intend it. Weller's book is a short, fast and--for the most part--pleasurable read. And the Land of Later On is a fascinating place...
Published on January 2, 2012 by Jon Morris


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84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Sojourn Among the Dead, January 2, 2012
By 
Jon Morris (Binghamton, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
The blurb on the front cover of the book reads: "wonderfully enticing and deeply, achingly moving." The first half of this statement is undoubtedly true; the second half is most certainly not. This will perhaps sound more harsh than I intend it. Weller's book is a short, fast and--for the most part--pleasurable read. And the Land of Later On is a fascinating place. Indeed, one can easily imagine the book becoming a movie--and a good movie at that. Perhaps even, I am sorry to say, better than the book. I'm still struggling with why I believe this to be so.

The novel has been compared to Kevin Brockmeier's The Brief History of the Dead, and rightly so; it is similar in both setting and theme (but not plot). Both authors make connectedness the central idea; Brockmeier does it indirectly, and Weller overtly. But Brockmeier's book has a complexity, a profundity that this one lacks, and it is much more suspenseful. Here, instead, the cards are often already on the table, so what keeps you reading is not so much suspense or characterization, but the fascinating setting and occasionally witty dialogue.

For me, the book's greatest detraction was its inability to move me. Weller is better at telling you about a relationship (or his characters) than he is at showing it to you. That is to say, you read about the characters' lonliness and their desires, but you never manage to feel them yourself.

Weller is close to being a really good writer, and I will certainly be on the lookout for future offerings by the man. But he's not there yet. Something here--in both the events and the characters--rings flat. Still, anyone with a bit of patience and an interest in a speculative afterlife should give the book a try. Every writer, Walt tells Kip in the novel, has his own ideal reader in mind, and I should hardly presume to be Weller's.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad there will be a print version, too, October 17, 2011
By 
Ken Lopez (hadley, ma, usa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
Good books arrive like gifts from some better place - where there is more perspective, more wisdom, more kindness and love. Anthony Weller's book purports to be just such a volume -- a guidebook to the Afterlife, and counter-guidebook to wrong-headed ideas we may have about it -- and it succeeds in becoming what it describes: a guide not only to what matters most in this life -- love, the companionship of good friends, and good music, Weller's main character Kip might say -- but also to what is powerful enough to survive beyond us as well -- in this case, the guidebook Kip undertakes to write, the vitality of Walt Whitman's life and poetry, and the book Weller has actually written. I'm glad there's a print version of this coming: I not only wanted to mark it up -- underline passages, dog-ear certain pages (and, yes, I know a Kindle can let you do that sort of thing but I didn't want to have to learn how) -- but I also wanted to be able to give this book away to people I care about, and not have to worry about or know if they had a Kindle. This is a great book, filled with more compassion and insight than I expect in a novel -- and, among many other small gifts it contains, the best description I've ever read of improvisational musical collaboration. In fact, music provides powerful metaphors a number of times in the story in ways that are, to a non-musician like myself, informative and enlightening, and have the ring of truth. (If you look at the Music Bio at anthonyweller.com you can see why that would be the case.) One of the most enjoyable and compelling books I've read in a long time, and one that I think will stay with me for a long time.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This One, October 14, 2011
This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
This book is delightfully unpredictable, thoughtful, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny. Weller takes on the issue we are all most afraid to face -- mortality -- and creates a fable that allows us to consider the possibility of what might happen to us, well, later on. His characters are colorful, amusing, and insightful...and just as confused as the rest of us who for the moment are still in the land of here and now. Weller's language is bright, vivid, and distinctive and he succeeds in taking the reader on an enriching journey that you will hate to see come to an end. Don't miss this one -- it's wonderful!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Less talk, more action please, January 20, 2012
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This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
The premise of the book really intrigued me, but as I read on I found the writer's style too verbose and redundant. I became tired of the flashbacks Kip had, going back to when he and his wife, Lucy, were still alive. They could have helped paint a better picture of the main characters, but they became downright boring after a while. I made it through 58% (according to my Kindle) and had to stop reading. I kept waiting for something to actually happen, and very little ever did. Even the introduction of Walt Whitman as a guide became tedious to read about. This book just didn't hold my attention, unfortunately.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decidedly mixed feelings, February 13, 2012
By 
W. V. Buckley (Kansas City, MO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
A friend recommended Anothny Weller's The Land of Later On to me and heaped high praise on the book. I still remember he used words like "magical" and "lyrical" to describe the book. Finally I picked up a copy of the book and found there were, indeed, lyrical and magical passages in the book, but to reach them required trodding through a lot of non-magical and non-lyrical prose.

The Land of Later On is about a jazz pianist named Kip suffering a debilitating neurological condition that robs him of his ability to play. Life has already taken the love of his life, Lucy, from him and after four years without her, as his condition continues to deteriorate, he downs a handful of sleeping pills and awakes in a sort of afterlife.

Sort of a secular Divine Commedy without either God or Satan, the Land of Later On allows souls to travel instantaneously between places and times. Those who grow bored with such an afterlife can opt to go back and be reincarnated, losing all memory of their past in the process. Aided by Walt Whitman as a sort of stand-in for Dante's Virgil, Kip begins a journey to find his Lucy, unable to understand why she has not been waiting for him to join her. Is she angry at him? Has she chosen to go back? Has she traded in the love of her life for a love of her afterlife?

No spoilers here, but Kip and Walt travel from New York to Istanbul to India to the South Seas to Oklahoma trying to piece together the clues to Lucy's absence. There's a lot of talking (and talking ... and talking) about love and life and, well, the meaning of it all. I'm sure those are the parts of the book my friend found profound. I suppose I would have, too, had it not come across as a sort of Theories of Romance 101. It could be interesting at times, but for the most part I wanted to reached through the pages, shake the characters and scream "Why are you belaboring this point?"

I noted from looking at the wide spread of stars given by reviewers that there is a substantial amount of disagreement over The Land of Later On. I don't think that means this is not a good book. Instead, it's one of those "personal" books that people read into it their own ideas and experiences. Not many writers can have that sort of effect on readers and I salute Mr. Weller for his achievement. While I don't particularly find much in the book I can relate to, I'm pleased that so many people do.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartfelt exploration of love and death, October 27, 2011
By 
Chris (Boston, Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
To explore Weller's labyrinthine afterlife is enough of a reason to jump into the Land of Later On. The fact that he fills the space and time with jocular details and seemingly personal anecdotes of America's greatest writers and musicians clinches it. The story is original; the narrator's predicament will keep you turning the pages and cheering him on in his quest, and Weller's wry humor (see his The Siege of Salt Cove for more) keeps things from being too heavy.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take me to...The Land of Later On, October 15, 2011
This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
This provocative book poetically draws you into a world of possibility and an appreciation for what once was or is; truths we beings so easily neglect.
Weller expresses loss and pursuit with wit and understanding. Read this book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read - Thought Provoking and Entertaining!, October 15, 2011
This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
This book begs for a sequel! A real page turner; impossible to put down. One never knows where the next journey will occur in The Land of Later On, especially with Walt Whitman as a guide. Rich in history, with vivid descriptions and colorful language, the story underscores the question: what really happens after earthly life ceases? Weller's richly-drawn characters pull readers into a complex and highly entertaining search and find mission. You'll find yourself rooting for Kip - whose deep love for Lucy is the driving force behind the plot. Weller's imagination knows no bounds in The Land of Later On!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who'd a Thunk it?, October 18, 2011
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This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
The Land of Later On I don't know how you write a book about dying that's funny, wise, full of surprises, and completely captivating, but Weller has done it. The characters are wonderful and the story is moving. This one was truly fun to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Weller....RIP?, March 8, 2012
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This review is from: The Land of Later On (Kindle Edition)
According to the plot of this novel (or is it?) the author is deceased. Which is a good thing. You'll have to read the story to find out why.
I found it to be a very very good story. Maybe not so fast paced as playing Angry Birds as one reviewer preferred but fast enough and cohesive. Another reviewer said it did not move them. At one point I had to cover my eyes and try not to cry. I guess it will depend on the reader whether they will be moved or not by this story of searching for your true love after death.
The one criticism I would say, although still giving it 5 stars, is that time is quite complex in the afterlife. Hard to follow. But that is a minor quibble: the power of the story remains.
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The Land of Later On
The Land of Later On by Anthony Weller
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