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The Art of Staying Dead Paperback – May 25, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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About the Author
Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist. Joel writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him). His first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, with The Art of Staying Dead following a year later. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthor or Twitter at @joel_hames.
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The story involves a journalist and a human rights lawyer… and between them they strip bare all of the ugliness of the world going on today, exposing the horrors, forcing the reader to take a look when he’d rather turn a blind eye. This stuff is almost too painful to watch in the news, which is why it seldom makes it to the news. And within the context of drama it’s all the more powerful because it rises above statistics. But getting someone to keep reading and not put down the book—there’s art in that. The writer has to entertain, after all, seduce, enchant, not bludgeon you to death with unmitigated horrors; he has to keep you looking long enough so you can perceive the truth when the unmitigated horror is the truth, but the fact is you can’t face it, you can’t process it, it’s just too much. But what if the author can get you to process it, make something of it, act on this knowledge, turn a pacifist into an activist? That’s the beauty and the poetry and the power of books like this.
From the first scene, our hero is caught up in a jail-break, fighting for his life, and the tension never lets up from there. He manages to escape the prison riot, barely, after seeing people get shot and killed around him, and barely missing being shot and killed himself. It was the worst, most terrifying experience of his life. Little does he know that with what he’ll be facing in the days ahead, being part of that prison riot will seem like a well-deserved vacation.
The author’s writing style is rather heady and intoxicating. There’s a one-page sentence in the novel that rivals anything Faulkner ever penned. While it’s a standout, I mention it as just a small example of his writing skill.
Can’t wait to jump into the next book in the series.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does, and you wonder how on earth this guy is going to get himself out of it- or will he? Who knows what kind of an ending it will have; the author certainly doesn’t give anything away (and as a reviewer, I won’t either).
The writing is personal, the action is practically constant, and there are enough bad guys to make you wonder if anyone is good at all. Oh, this one will keep you on your toes, that’s for sure! Excellent!
Sam Williams is a human rights lawyer who has made some mistakes in past cases and is having a difficult time living with himself. He gets himself included in a group of journalists and lawyers that are going to a high security prison to interview prisoners. Maybe he is looking for a new client; maybe he is just filling his day with a different experience; but, when there is a riot at the prison and Sam finds himself in a life and death situation, he is definitely in over his head. It is the escaping prisoner that points a gun at Sam's head as they lock eyes that sets off the rest of this book. Who is the prisoner? Why are prison officials denying the prisoner exists? Why is no one believing Sam? What kind of horrifying conspiracy is this?
This book is truly action packed from the very beginning. Characters are well developed and believable. And really, the conspiracy is believable too. If you love action thrillers, this is definitely the book for you.