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Being Dead Audiobook

Being Dead

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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2001

Jim Crace has been called "one of the brightest lights in contemporary British fiction" by The New York Times Book Review. His novels have won a Whitbread Prize, an E.M. Forster Award, the Guardian Fiction Award, the GAP International Prize for Literature, and have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Far-ranging in its imagery, Being Dead is a provocative examination of mortality. A middle-aged couple, Joseph and Celice, are murdered on a remote East Coast sand dune. They are not discovered for six days. Both doctors of zoology, Joseph and Celice would recognize what is happening to their decomposing bodies if they could have watched. They are dead, but they remain part of the living for a while as they become food, shelter, icons, and sources of emotional catharsis. As Jim Crace examines the various facets of these two people's lives and deaths, he creates an extraordinary journey through haunting physical, scientific, and philosophical landscapes. Narrator Virginia Leishman provides the perfect tones for Crace's remarkable, lyrical text.

©1999 Jim Crace; (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Crace is a brilliant British writer whose novels are always varied in historical setting, voice, theme and writing style, and are surprising in content....This latest, sixth effort, a stunning look at two people at the moment of their deaths, is the riskiest of his works, the most mesmerizing, and the most deeply felt....His finesse in drawing character is matched by the depth of his knowledge and imagination, and the honesty of his bleak vision." (Publishers Weekly)
"It's not clear to me why Jim Crace isn't world famous. Few novels are as unsparing as this one in presenting the ephemerality of love given the implacability of death, and few are as moving in depicting the undiminished achievement love nevertheless represents." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A brilliant, astonishing novel." (The Times [London])

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (168 )
5 star
 (38)
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 (50)
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3.7 (33 )
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Story
3.8 (38 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tory Brush Prairie, WA, USA 06-08-07
    Tory Brush Prairie, WA, USA 06-08-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    67
    5
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    Overall
    "well-written, but..."

    ...it's a bit of a snoozer. The premise is good, but by the end I just wanted it to be over. I was a bit tired of hearing about the ordinary characters and the scientific details of their deaths.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chelsea Lepley 04-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    108
    4
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    Story
    "Not as profound as I'd hoped"

    I got the impression this would be more about the couples' lives post mortem, but actually most of the book is flashbacks to the couple's "origin story." A fine read, but actually less macabre than I'd hoped, and less thought-provoking than I'd expected from other reviews here. It's fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianna ANNAPOLIS, MD, United States 12-07-12
    Marianna ANNAPOLIS, MD, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
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    15
    13
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    Story
    "Strange, Compelling Story"
    Any additional comments?

    I would have liked this better if I had not been so busy. It's kind of wonderful, but you have to be in a somewhat meditative state to appreciate it, and my state has been generally frantic. I think I will listen to it again though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Ellis Austin, Texas United States 03-21-09
    Paula Ellis Austin, Texas United States 03-21-09 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    Overall
    "An odd, but enjoyable journey"

    I too, was attracted to the prose. I liked the voice of the reader, but I'm a sucker for an english accent. The first reviewer states that this book "defies genre" and I agree. I like odd things and I liked this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn E. Graham Pflugerville, TX USA 02-14-08
    Glenn E. Graham Pflugerville, TX USA 02-14-08 Member Since 2002

    Glenn Earl

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "I wish everyone died"

    Sorry I hated this book. The technical imagery of the rotting corpses was good, but not enough to save the fact that there is really no story here and the people are one dimensional and boring. I had trouble not dieing myself while trying to complete this book.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krisjs1767 Mercer Island, WA USA 09-05-08
    krisjs1767 Mercer Island, WA USA 09-05-08 Member Since 2012

    krisjs1767

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    20
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    Overall
    "Too much"

    Got about one hour into this one and then just couldn't take it anymore. Graphic descriptions of decomposing bodies are not my bag. Would probably make better reading for a forensic or autopsy class.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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