How Not to Die Alone

How Not to Die Alone

Large Print - 2019 | Large print edition
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'How Not to Die Alone' is a darkly funny and life-affirming debut novel for readers of 'Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' that is the story of one man who is offered a second chance at life and love when he develops an unexpected friendship - if he can expose the white lie he told years ago that grew into so much more.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2019]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780593104316
Branch Call Number: LP FIC ROP
Characteristics: 420 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
large print.,rda

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i
Inner_Typewriter
Oct 11, 2019

This is a real heart warming, funny first novel. A real gem. I loved it.

i
ISBNreading
Oct 10, 2019

A heartwarmingly funny look at overcoming grief and the universal need to love and be loved.

o
ownedbydoxies
Oct 08, 2019

So very funny, and also touching at times. This is a book somewhat similar in theme to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which is one I've recommended many times to friends, but in this case the main character is male, albeit equally hilarious in his reactions and equally susceptible and unable to deal with normal life as Eleanor was. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and hope the author comes up with more.

m
midori_hon
Sep 30, 2019

this story has a vibe similar to eleanor oliphant is completely fine or educating rita. I almost DNF but it had its charming/quirky moments

k
krisk03
Sep 30, 2019

This book begins with a dark premise -- a man who makes arrangements for people who die alone -- and a protagonist who is deeply troubled. The author made me really feel the pain of his daily existence, but deftly led the character through a realistic reawakening and healing. The story is funny and entertaining while examining some pretty existential questions. I loved it.

k
KlayDyer
Sep 14, 2019

A great premise (who does look after people who die alone?), exceptionally well written, and without the maudlin or overly romantic/optimistic overtones that dull the sharp edges.

c
CarpeBooksKirkland
Aug 22, 2019

I really wanted to like this book but it reminded me too much of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and A Man Called Ove with a quirky character that we are supposed to root for and find a solution for. The one thing is that this book has a better ending. It was "Meh"

d
DM_kcls
Aug 14, 2019

"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!" - Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - The Gospel of John 8:32

The cover has a remark by author Eleanor Brown regarding 'How Not to Die Alone' saying: "Wryly funny and quirkily charming"

I did not find that to be true.

I found 'How Not to Die Alone'to be a sad story of a sad man living a sad life, with a sad job and a sad outlook. That is not to say the book is not compelling, for it is and it does push you forward to read more. I just never found much humor, neither wry nor quirky. Then again, I doubt many would want to read 'How Not to Die Alone' if the blurb said 'Great story full of melancholy and sadness'... That said, and even knowing some Brits well, there is also a very great chance that I am utterly unappreciative of British humor in as much as I'm not entirely sure such a thing actually exists or is, at best, a very private secret the Brits keep only to themselves!

One aspect that left me a bit annoyed is why a certain song caused him so much physical, emotional and mental pain, leaving him utterly devastated in the aftermath of even thinking about it. The song plays a huge part in his life, in the plot, but we are left far too long without knowing why.

There are a few plot lines that you may feel unnecessary to the story but the author, Richard Roper, does a masterful job of surprising with their relevance.

There are two quotes that capture the book:
"As the vicar asked them to join him in reciting the Lord's Prayer, the realization suddenly came to Andrew that he hadn't been crying for Alan, or even for Beryl, but for the future version of himself, his death unmourned at a service in a drafty church with only the walls to receive the perfunctory words."
and
"He had to stop to wipe his eyes with his coat sleeve, smoothing his hand along the stone again. He stayed there, quiet now, feeling a pure and strangely joyful pain wash over him, knowing that as much as it hurt, it was something he had to accept, a winter before the spring, letting its ice freeze and fracture his heart before it could heal."

And with those quotes from the book, I refer back to the quotes with which I began, as they all four perfectly encapsulate 'How Not to Die Alone'.

4 stars

JessicaGma Jul 23, 2019

It's a really sweet novel featuring Andrew, who is quite content being a model train enthusiast and civil servant with a fake family until he get to know his new co-worker Pat, and feels like he can get out of his rut, and be more! It felt like something that was almost sit-com-esque, but also true to life as you find out why Andrew went along with this charade for so long.....a great story!

r
rsmunoz
Jul 15, 2019

I like Brit writers. I like them because they write the way ordinary people live, think, and speak. Roper uses a deft hand introducing an under-the-radar, lonely, 40-something Andrew with ISSUES, who's earning a living in some obscure job setting to rights the affairs of people who've died alone. On the surface this may seem unexciting, but don't be fooled. Not only do still waters run deep, and despite his solitary lifestyle, Andrew is complex yet still manages to be absolutely lovable. His story is entertaining as he navigates his barely tolerable work mates while soliciting advice from his online train forum pals, and is eye-opening in an I-get-life sort of way. This debut novel is definitely worth reading. 4 stars.

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KlayDyer
Sep 14, 2019

"Hippies, it turned out, didn't age well."

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