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The Dead Do Not Improve: A Novel | [Jay Caspian Kang]

The Dead Do Not Improve: A Novel

On a residential Bay Area block struggling with the collision of gentrifier condos and longtime residents, stymied recent MFA grad Philip Kim is sleeping the night away when bullets fly through a window in his apartment building and end up killing one of his neighbors. But when Philip gets caught up in the investigation and becomes the focus of an elaborate, violent scheme, he will learn far more than he ever wanted to about his former four-eggs-at-a-time borrowing neighbor, Dolores Stone.
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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as The Awl's 2012 novel to anticipate, this glorious debut stars hippie detectives, a singular city, and an MFA student on the run.

On a residential Bay Area block struggling with the collision of gentrifier condos and longtime residents, stymied recent MFA grad Philip Kim is sleeping the night away when bullets fly through a window in his apartment building and end up killing one of his neighbors. Philip only learns about the murder the next day, when bored and Googling himself. But when he gets caught up in the investigation and becomes the focus of an elaborate, violent scheme, he will learn far more than he ever wanted to about his former four-eggs-at-a-time borrowing neighbor, Dolores Stone, aka "The Grey Beaver", and her shocking connections to an underworld only a city like this one could create.

Siddhartha “Sid” Finch, a homicide detective bitter about everything (except his gorgeous wife) and his phlegmatic, pock-marked partner Jim Kim land the case. Sid and Jim race after Philip through a menacing, unknowable San Francisco, fending off militant surfers, vaguely European cafe habitués, and aggressive Advanced Creative Writing students as they all try to figure out just who’s causing trouble in this city they love to hate.

Unique, pulsing with vigor and heart, and loaded with fierce, fresh language, The Dead Do Not Improve confirms Jay Caspian Kang as a true American original, as obsessed with surfing and surviving as with the power of unforgettable storytelling.

©2012 Jay Caspian Kang (P)2012 Random House

What the Critics Say

“The portrait of a city and its denizens so otherworldly strange is vivid, searing, and sometimes hilarious.” (Booklist)

The Dead Do Not Improve is basically the best thing I've read in a very, very long time. It’s seriously hilarious, heartbreakingly sentimental, and distressingly perceptive. If Joseph Heller and Raymond Chandler had once battled over who could write more like Tolstoy, then maybe there’d be something with which to compare this magnificent book.” (Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances)

“Self-hating-hipsters’ bible, hilarious decoding of our inanities and poses, joyful and romantic misanthropy, Proustian mining of emotion and thought in prose as fast and jumpy as thinking out loud, and these amazing insights on every page, and really funny, twisted, and unforgettable characters, infrarealist criminals and cops and overall weirdness, great surfing scenes, and Jay Caspian Kang’s own San Francisco, gifted to us, all of it, in this jaw-droppingly brilliant, original, and ‘totally mental’ novel. If I were young, I’d want to be this voice—even if it got me beat up a lot, which it would; it would bring me love and glory, too. The Dead Do Not Improve is the most thrilling novel I’ve read in ages.” (Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name)

What Members Say

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    D. Smith 09-17-12
    D. Smith 09-17-12

    Bwana

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    "Audible and Amazon have refused to help me"
    Would you try another book from Jay Caspian Kang and/or Feodor Chin?

    Now audible and amazon have asked me to "help" them by reviewing this book. I don't really feel like telling other customers anything about this book when my own basic needs as a customer have been ignored


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    Any additional comments?

    Do you treat all your customers so poorly???

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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