25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$6.50
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Being Dead

by

Being Dead Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. Yet there remains something touching about the scene, with Joseph's hand curving lightly around his wife's leg, quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet.

Their bodies had expired, but anyone could tell--just look at them--that Joseph and Celice were still devoted. For while his hand was touching her, curved round her shin, the couple seemed to have achieved that peace the world denies, a period of grace, defying even murder. Anyone who found them there, so wickedly disfigured, would nevertheless be bound to see that something of their love had survived the death of cells. The corpses were surrendered to the weather and the earth, but they were still a man and wife, quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet.

From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths. In other chapters the narrative moves forward. Celice and Joseph are on vacation and nobody misses them until they do not return. Thus, it is six days before their bodies are found. Crace describes in minute detail their gradual return to the land with the help of crabs, birds, and the numerous insects that attack the body and gently and not so gently prepare it for the dust-to-dust phase of death.

Jim Crace is the author of seven novels, including Quarantine, which won the 1997 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction. His novels have been translated into eighteen languages. He lives with his wife and children in Birmingham, England.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle AwardShortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Prize Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. Yet there remains something touching about the scene, with Joseph's hand curving lightly around his wife's leg:

Their bodies had expired, but anyone could tell--just look at them--that Joseph and Celice were still devoted. For while his hand was touching her, curved round her shin, the couple seemed to have achieved that peace the world denies, a period of grace, defying even murder. Anyone who found them there, so wickedly disfigured, would nevertheless be bound to see that something of their love had survived the death of cells. The corpses were surrendered to the weather and the earth, but they were still a man and wife, quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet.

From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths. In other chapters the narrative moves forward. Celice and Joseph are on vacation and nobody misses them until they do not return. Thus, it is six days before their bodies are found. Crace describes in minute detail their gradual return to the land with the help of crabs, birds, and the numerous insects that attack the body and gently and not so gently prepare it for the dust-to-dust phase of death.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

Jim Crace's work grows more compelling and brilliant with each new novel . . . Being Dead will undoubtedly stand out as one of the literary masterpieces of the early 21st century.--Greg Burkman, The Seattle Times

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.--Jim Shepard, The New York Times Book Review

Jim Crace's work grows more compelling and brilliant with each new novel . . . Being Dead will undoubtedly stand out as one of the literary masterpieces of the early 21st century.--Greg Burkman, The Seattle Times

Crace archly explores life and death and the effect of chance upon the two . . . He] pulls off a remarkable fusion of chaos theory and natural order in telling this story.--Frank Caso, Booklist

An extraordinary work of imagination, witty, precise, immaculately written, and full of scientific detail, all of it convincing, none of it true.--Times Literary Supplement

Sumptuously exact . . . The naked daring of Crace's subject matter seems to have produced prose more majestic and assured than any of his previous novels . . . This story's terse, drumming, iambic utterances often come close to verse, and its wit matches the best of any of Crace's contemporaries . . . But] this is the particular miracle of Being Dead. These lives at first appear too unremarkable to claim our attention, and the physical facts of their end too repulsive to allow us to care, yet we are intensely involved in the drama . . . Our caring, as Crace makes clear, is a tribute to life itself.--Carey Harrison, The San Francisco Chronicle

A triumph. What Crace, with

Review:

"Being Dead... is a triumph. What Crace, with dazzling originality, has done is to log the death of two natural scientists from an appropriately physical point of view. No detail is spared, yet the effect is strangely poetic and even reassuring... In that spare story a universe of poetry and observation is contained. This is a work of near-genius." The Literary Review

Review:

"What a stylist Crace is, and what a vision... Crace has the rare gift of seeing the splendor under the grass. In his 'everending' vision, death and romance are inextricably entwined... [A] tour de force from one of Britain's best novelists." Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Synopsis:

On Baritone Bay, mid-afternoon, Joseph and Celice, married for almost 30 years, lie murdered in the dunes. The shocking particulars of their passing make up the arc of this courageous and haunting novel of life, mortality and love.

Synopsis:

Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. Yet there remains something touching about the scene, with Joseph's hand curving lightly around his wife's leg, "quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet."

"Their bodies had expired, but anyone could tell—just look at them—that Joseph and Celice were still devoted. For while his hand was touching her, curved round her shin, the couple seemed to have achieved that peace the world denies, a period of grace, defying even murder. Anyone who found them there, so wickedly disfigured, would nevertheless be bound to see that something of their love had survived the death of cells. The corpses were surrendered to the weather and the earth, but they were still a man and wife, quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet."

From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths. In other chapters the narrative moves forward. Celice and Joseph are on vacation and nobody misses them until they do not return. Thus, it is six days before their bodies are found. Crace describes in minute detail their gradual return to the land with the help of crabs, birds, and the numerous insects that attack the body and gently and not so gently prepare it for the dust-to-dust phase of death.

About the Author

Jim Crace is the author of seven novels, including Quarantine, which won the 1997 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction. His novels have been translated into eighteen languages. He lives with his wife and children in Birmingham, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

tracey lyman, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by tracey lyman)
I first read Jim Crace based on a recommendation on NPR for his book "Quarantine." Enthralled with this tale of Jesus' 40 days in the desert, I knew I had to read more. "Being Dead" is not the most uplifting title, and certainly one would not expect to enjoy a book that starts with a murder of a middle-aged couple. But Crace's kinetic, nonlinear style creates a reading experience that at once makes us appreciate our lives and the speed with which they can be over, without our even anticipating the proximity of death. From the thoughts of the killer during the murders to the couple's activities hours prior to their murders to the manner in which they'd met decades before, each page builds a complex and infinitely readable story that comes to a satisfying conclusion, rather than resolution. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books written in a nontraditional style.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312275426
Author:
Crace, Jim
Publisher:
St. Martins Press-3pl
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Married people
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
11372
Publication Date:
20010331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.31 x 5.47 x 0.48 in

Other books you might like

  1. Ship Fever: Stories Used Trade Paper $3.95
  2. First Light Used Trade Paper $2.50
  3. Assorted Fire Events: Stories Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. The Blue Flower
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier &...
    Used Book Club Paperback $4.50
  6. Women in Their Beds: New and... Used Trade Paper $2.95

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Being Dead Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages MACMILLAN PUBLISHING SERVICES - English 9780312275426 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Being Dead... is a triumph. What Crace, with dazzling originality, has done is to log the death of two natural scientists from an appropriately physical point of view. No detail is spared, yet the effect is strangely poetic and even reassuring... In that spare story a universe of poetry and observation is contained. This is a work of near-genius."
"Review" by , "What a stylist Crace is, and what a vision... Crace has the rare gift of seeing the splendor under the grass. In his 'everending' vision, death and romance are inextricably entwined... [A] tour de force from one of Britain's best novelists."
"Synopsis" by , On Baritone Bay, mid-afternoon, Joseph and Celice, married for almost 30 years, lie murdered in the dunes. The shocking particulars of their passing make up the arc of this courageous and haunting novel of life, mortality and love.
"Synopsis" by ,
Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. Yet there remains something touching about the scene, with Joseph's hand curving lightly around his wife's leg, "quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet."

"Their bodies had expired, but anyone could tell—just look at them—that Joseph and Celice were still devoted. For while his hand was touching her, curved round her shin, the couple seemed to have achieved that peace the world denies, a period of grace, defying even murder. Anyone who found them there, so wickedly disfigured, would nevertheless be bound to see that something of their love had survived the death of cells. The corpses were surrendered to the weather and the earth, but they were still a man and wife, quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet."

From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths. In other chapters the narrative moves forward. Celice and Joseph are on vacation and nobody misses them until they do not return. Thus, it is six days before their bodies are found. Crace describes in minute detail their gradual return to the land with the help of crabs, birds, and the numerous insects that attack the body and gently and not so gently prepare it for the dust-to-dust phase of death.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.