Love and Other Near-Death Experiences

[openbook booknumber=”0812973488″]


Hello. My name is Robert, and I haven’t been dead for sixty-three days now.”

That’s the opening line of Love and Other Near-Death Experiences. The story of a guy named Rob and his attempts to get around a new found phobia about making decisions, since one made by chance happened to save his life. His fiance gives him an ultimatum to either get his life figured out or she wouldn’t marry him. So he put his job on the line one night as a late night Jazz DJ to talk about his problems on the air, pouring out his feelings about his near death experience and his issues now even being able to choose what clothes to wear in the morning or whether to walk left or right around obstacles in his path, as who knew what choice would result in life or what one death?

In the end his late night admission opened a can of worms with internet bloggers grabbing the audio recording of the show and running with it, the radio station forums overflowing with supporters and bashers alike, and with other near-death survivors coming out of the wood work. Soon he finds himself in the middle of a crazy plot with fellow near-death survivors and trying to find out answers and make correct choices before time runs out.

Just think of Emily Bronte, for example: psychotically bookish – but was there ever a woman screaming out so loudly for a good fucking? I even suspect that’s why Wuthering Heights carries on decades too long rather than sensibly drawing the curtains a little after Cathy’s death. It was Bronte saying, ‘Look – I’m simply going to keep on writing this stuff until someone comes and shags me raw.'”

I personally find the book absolutely hilarious, as it’s intended to be. Lots of dry British wit, some admittedly funny jabs at Americans, and plenty of irony and humor to make this near-death tale have plenty of levity to keep you laughing all the way through, even while you are on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Also, you can’t help but like the main character juxtaposed against the American character. I thought they made a great and humorous team and you couldn’t help rooting for both of them throughout the book.

The two things I didn’t like about this book was, one the infidelity that played a main part in the book, but I think the fact that I got past it is proof enough that it was written in such a way as to be easy to swallow, and you end up being happy for everyone involved. The other thing was, as I was reading it aloud to my husband, I had to watch where I read this book to him as it had a LOT of swearing, as one of the characters liked to use “all of the English language” to express herself and did so to great, and comedic, effect. Sometimes I thought it was a bit of overkill, but if you can get around that, and if you enjoy British humor, you will enjoy this book.

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