What do the dead do when they can't leave...and don't know why?
The afterlife doesn't come with a manual. In fact, Hart and Bowler (two ordinary but dead men) have had to work out the rules of their new existence for themselves. It's that fact (along with being unable to leave the boundaries of their city center, unable to communicate with the other lost souls, unable to rest in case The Beast catches up with them) that makes getting out of their situation a priority. But Hart and Bowler don't know why they're there in the first place; if they ever want to leave, they will have to find all the answers to be able to understand the physics of the dead.
What are the strange, glowing objects that pass across the sky? Who are the living people surrounded by a blue glow? What are their physical limitations in that place, and have they fully explored the possibilities of what they can do?
Time is running out. Their afterlife was never supposed to be this way, and if they don't make it out soon, they're destined to end up like the others. Insane, and alone forever....
In this creepy, mysterious debut novel from the author of the Amazon number-one best seller The Stone Man, the richly-built world of The Physics of the Dead will slowly draw you in with an icy grip until you are left gasping.
©2011 Luke Smitherd (P)2016 Luke Smitherd
I can almost guarantee there is no other book like, "Physics of the Dead". On the surface, it is a story of two men trapped in an afterlife they don't understand. Where are they? Why are they there? Most importantly, is there any chance they can get out?
Beneath that story is the true brilliance of this book. You learn about these men. You feel what they feel--bored, lost, sad, scared, and alone. They only have each other to help pass the time and how long will that be? Forever? They don't know and neither do we.
There is an incredibly written story about a train ride that will make you understand the utter desperation of these men. It may also make you ache with compassion and wince at the agony felt by the man on the train. This train ride puts you into the mind and body of the man and you will feel his pain as he tries to hold on just a little longer.
This is a story of friendship. It is also a mystery of sorts, as they try to figure out where they are and if there is any way out. There are agonizing moments in this book, but there are also beautiful, life-affirming moments that show us what it really means to be human--even if you're dead.
I highly recommend this book. It tells us there are always consequences to our actions, but, more importantly, there is always hope to change and rise above our circumstances. And, whether you are alive or dead, having a friend who understands and loves you is priceless.
A great story, if you are dead, can you die? If you are trapped in a city center, is there a way out? Finally, if you have a friend can you hold on to that friendship to keep out the insanity that is a constant threat?
Smitherd is good at setting up impossible puzzles and then showing how people react to them and solve them. This is a mystery story with an escape from an eternal prison as the mystery to be solved.
The Physics of the Dead was absolutely spellbinding. Smitherd creates characters you come to know and love, and although this book starts off more slowly than his others, it was completely worth the wait.
Although many authors should stay away from narrating their own books, Smitherd does it beautifully. He's mastered the pacing and emotion of each scene, and his production quality is top-notch. This was nine hours of my time that was very well spent and I am now going through a sad withdrawal period because it's over. :(
I was warned before I started this book that it had a bit of a slower start than those of Smitherd's other books, but "stick with it". It was true. It doesn't explode in your face right off but rather offers you a proverbial "drink" as you settle in for a great ride. As always, Smitherd's ability to develop a realistic life for his characters is simply amazing.
It's the little details that make his characters become alive!
Not only would I, I actually have. This is one of my favorites of Luke's work. It is an amazing story that ultimately gets you thinking about the incredible things we miss when we are pursuing things that really don't matter.
I liked Hart by the end, simply because I ultimately identified with him, but early on I identified with Bowler. The book really got me to thinking of how I put on a Bowler kind of persona, but really am more reserved like Hart, holding back because of the fear of taking risks.
I think he did a great job with Bowler. I loved hearing that character come alive through Luke's voice (as I actual read the book before listening to it).
Where do we go from here?
One of my very favorites of Luke's books, Not only is TPOTD an intriguing, unique concept, but Luke really does an incredible job of character development. Because of Luke's incredible dive into the intrinsic make up of each character, I was truly sad when I finished the book, as I felt I was leaving friends behind. Not only that, but the book really gets you to thinking about what matters in the grand scheme.
The Physics of the Dead is the story that will answer all your questions and prepare you for what comes next, or, it's an entertaining work full of horror, humor and action. You decide.
This story impressed me not only with its uniqueness, but with the author's lack of dumbing down for the reader. I enjoyed that many aspects of this story were left to the reader's imagination to understand the why of it all. The ending wasn't handed to you on a silver platter. Like many great stories, you are given just enough to let your mind create the scenario you envision for the lead character(s). Lovely twists, perfect pace and heartwarming characters.
Intriguing plot and sub-plots. I enjoyed how many of the mysteries are partially solved and slow the reader to come to their own conclusion. Enjoyable twist at the end.
"There is Simply no Formula for Luke Smitherd!"
Every so often an author comes along who has the gift of original thought. I don't mean the kind of author that comes up with a single great idea and then proceeds to develop it across a number of books. I mean one that can produce an excellent and original book and then come up with something equally good in a "And now for something completely different" kind of way. There's no formula for what Smitherd does, just quality ideas put into quality writing.
This book is a case in point. The characters are the story, so much so that the plot almost creeps up on both them and the reader, at first unnoticed. The quality of this book is underlined by the fact that it's hard to describe, it's a story of desperation, friendship, characters, discovery and so much more.
Smitherd does a very decent job of narration. Normally I'd say having the author do the narration is not the greatest idea. Authors write but narration requires a reader's mind. However, he seems to strike a tone that simply fits. How irritating it must to be for his friends to know someone who seems to be so good at everything!
I'm not going to include spoilers because this is original, it is compelling and it will take you to unexpected places. In all honesty it's not my usual kind of book and I can imagine that not everyone will take to it in the same way. However, it's one that I'd urge everyone to read because it is so very different to much of what is out there.
"I could write loads about...."
....how any book that makes you think, makes you feel, makes you laugh, makes you squirm uncomfortably, makes you empathise, makes you sympathise, makes you think, makes you remember, shocks you, surprises you, answers questions, puts a lump your throat and makes you cry, makes you not want to stop listening and ensures you won't forget it in a hurry... is well worth your time. Just take it all as read.
Luke Smitherd narrates this himself and does very well. Having now listened to all his audiobooks I'm convinced he's a major UK talent. Coventry should be renamed New Derry.....
"Next time you visit Coventry...."
...you'll find yourself wondering about the characters and locations Luke describes so vividly in the book.
Read it, listen to it, buy it for someone else you knows loves an intelligent read.
Can't remember where I first found this author but since that day I've read everything he has published.
The story is unusual and exciting and also a lot of fun.
This is a great book
"Another superb book and read from Smitherd!"
I don't know what it is about Luke's reading but he has the ability to take you on a journey in which the road goes on for miles and you want to just keep driving. I listen to audio books as I drive a lot and the journeys are never long enough!! So exciting, so enthralling, so exhilarating! Another stunning listen!
"Addictive, suspenseful piece of genius!!"
Amazing story brought to life by fantastic reading. It's a gem to find such a fascinating and cleverly constructed piece of writing and even better to have it narrated by the author himself. It is such a unique and complex story and I highly recommend it even if you think this isn't your thing, it will grab your attention and pull you right in until you can't let go!
Without wishing to be a cop out I honestly can't choose! They are all complex and fascinating, it's like trying to choose a favourite child!!
The author knows the story inside out, he has lived and breathed the characters so who better to bring them to life.
Definitely, so much mystery and clever dentil that I didn't want to stop listening to it.
If this is the first book you come across by Luke Smitherd then you are on the start of a fantastic journey, read/listen to more of his books, they are all individual but all addictive and so cleverly written.
"Dead characters come alive"
Excellent listen, couldn't get enough of it. Good tale told with twists and turns, benifitting from creative characters interactions. Loved it.
"Thought provoking and interesting."
Particularly enjoyed that this is read by the author- whose performance of his own work was very enjoyable.
"its the afterlife but not as we know it"
If you like your books out of the ordinary give this a try - refreshing new idea with multiple twists and turns
without giving too much away the realisation of the way out
There were many poignant moments in this book - some funny but many sad
an unusual premise which reveals the answers little by little
Another great port into the world of audio. I've already read this title but it adds another dimension when you listen to it in this way.
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