It seems to me that I live in a state of eternal conflict when it comes to the books I read I haven t read a single five star book in all of 2019 And most of the books I like are books that are equally as interesting as they are flawed.This was one such but and I don t know how to feel about it.First, let me just out there that objectively speaking, this is actually a decent, well written book.Now let me admit that subjectively speaking, this book was not the one for me.I don t know what I had expected when I picked up a book about a man whose job revolves around working with dead people, but it wasn t this This book is a lot darker and heavier than I expected, and not just because of the whole looming topic of life and death, but because the we delve into the story, the we find out about our main character Andrew s lonely and tragic past.Andrew is a little odd when you first meet him He s likable but strange, the kind of man who invented an entire family in the eyes of his coworkers because he didn t know how to get out of an awkward situation, and then perpetuated the lie because he liked the idea of belonging to a family.This is not as goofy as it at first seems after we get to see how he was raised with a sick and neglectful and an equally neglectful and abusive older sister.The characters in this book are well written and interesting The writing is quite good The story itself is thoughtful and enjoyable if you can get into it Sadly, for the life of me, I couldn t engage with the story I was bored I was distracted I wanted to dive in and I could barely dip my toe into it and I am genuinely disappointed in myself for it because I think the story deserves a chance.There have been a lot of people that have really liked this so far and I don t doubt that many of you will like it as well I am not one of those people.Keep in mind that this book deals with many serious topics such as death, abuse, alcoholism and the like I don t have much else to say.I hope you enjoy it if you do get to itI received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own Follow Me Here Too My Blog Twitter Bloglovin Instagram Tumblr Pinterest This is a fast, chuckle inducing read with poignant moments of sadness and reflection Andrew s job is to go to the homes of the deceased and find out if they have any family and any money to pay for a funeral Sometimes the bodies have been rotting for months but no one realizes it until the money in the bank runs out and they can no longer pay bills through automatic deductions Andrew has lived alone for twenty years His parents are dead and he is largely estranged from his sister His entire social life is an online group of model train enthusiasts But a misunderstanding during his job interview five years ago grew to become a huge lie that he has a wife and kids He likes the fantasy, but his lies start getting harder to maintain after changes at his office, including befriending the new employee Peggy, who is going through a rough time with her marriage This book is a lot of fun I recommend it Also, points for originality Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MAY 28, 2019 For reviews, please visit I started reading How Not to Die Alone on 5 8 2019 and finished it on 5 10 2019 This story being particularly depressing, but I have to admit that I enjoyed reading it It s different I have never thought about those people who live alone and die alone before I m aware of people who live through life that either don t get married or don t have children and outlived their spouses but I always thought they may have cousins or live in nursing homes with caretakers Andrew s job is interesting, though it s one job I can never ever perform I like being educated about this area of death and it opens my eyes to know that any job is possible and death can go undiscovered for so long if one lead such a lonely life.This book is told in the third person point of view following Andrew, 42, an employee at the Death Administration department of public health His job is to find families next of kin and to inspect the houses of those who dies alone to find assets to cover their own funeral costs Andrew s co workers think that he has a lawyer wife and two kids when he actually comes home from work to an empty house A mistake made during an interview 5 years ago became a full blown lie Andrew is a loner who likes to play with model trains and his only best friends are three other model trains enthusiasts on the internet forum His childhood was particularly depressing where his dad died when he was 3, his mom became withdrawn, his older sister bullied and abandoned him, and finally a secret that left him withdrawn into himself No one had ever come close to being friends with Andrew until a new employee Peggy joined his department She shadow him and go with him to inspect houses and attend funerals They got along well and he even comes out of his shell for her, doing something he normally wouldn t do like drinking beer on Wednesday, shopping for new clothes, etc.How Not to Die Alone is very well written and offer a unique topic to think about Andrew s life is a bit depressing as well as the topic of the story He grows up inside a bubble of comfort where he doesn t socialize and anything outside of his comfort zone scares him His childhood is a sad one and it explains why his adulthood is no better I feel so happy when he finally made a friend and he started to develop feelings than just his mundane days There were some suspense moments that I thought he would give in to being bullied by his brother in law The people he works with are something else I like Peggy and her humor I like the happy ending I highly recommend everyone to read this book Pro lonely deaths, odd job, comfort zones, friendship, cover, humorCon noneI rate it 5 stars Disclaimer I won a copy this book via Goodreads giveaway Please be assured that my opinions are honest.xoxo,Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for details Thank you to G.P Putnam s Sons Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.Andrew is 42, single, lives alone in an apartment in London, and works for the council He has the unusual task of dealing with the aftermath of people who die alone Job details include going to the residence armed with a mask doused liberally with expensive cologne to mask the uniquely foul smell of death Sometimes the dwelling is extremely neat, and other times there is a huge mess to clean up, flies swirling around He must pore through drawers and paperwork to look for a life insurance policy, cash often times found under a mattress , next of kin, etc The goal is to find a means of recovering funeral costs for the deceased If need be, valuable items in the residence can be sold Not that it is even required, but Andrew always attends the funeral church service More often than not, Andrew and the vicar are the only people paying respects to the deceased Andrew has also been known to shed a tear or two at the pathetic situation.Andrew created problems for himself when he was first interviewed for the job by his boss Cameron Andrew s mind was wandering at one point during the interview when Cameron asked a personal question Faking that he hadn t heard the question, Andrew wound up lying that he was married with two children Once you start telling a lie it has a way of snowballing into a bigger lie Eventually, Cameron encourages the staff to take turns at each other s houses getting together for dinner Andrew is quite stressed at the thought of what he will do when it s his turn to host He s lied so many times to his co workers about his make believe wife Diane and their two children that there s no turning back.Another conflict in the story is his attraction to new employee Peggy who he takes along on house searches to show her the ropes Peggy has an easy, friendly and funny way about her that is very appealing to Andrew In addition, Peggy has two young daughters, but is married to an alcoholic Andrew loves to listen to Ella Fitzgerald albums and is an avid train set enthusiast He participates in a chat forum using a screen name on the internet for train set hobbyists When he s upset or lonely, he is calmed by turning on his train track, listening to Ella and chatting on the train forum thread He suffers from PTSD involving an abusive sister Sally, and reacts horribly whenever he hears the song Blue Moon sung by Ella Fitzgerald It will cause him to run out of a record store, lie face down in bed and scream, etc In summation, the character of Andrew reminds me a bit of Eleanor Oliphant in that he is a victim of sibling abuse, lives with resultant mental problems, and maintains a solitary life with simplicity He s worried about what people will think if he lets them get too close This wasn t the greatest book I ve ever read or the worst either It was a decent read. Andrew works for the local council and has an unusual job of identifying if people who lived and died alone had a next of kin The irony of the situation is that Andrew himself is estranged from his family, single and lives alone, although due to a misunderstanding during the job interview his boss thinks that Andrew has a loving wife and two children When a new employee Penny joins the department, an unusual friendship is born, which changes the way Andrew views himself and other people.While the subject of the book is not light at all, the way the author deals with the topic is original, thought provoking, and yes, life affirming I feel this is an important book in this day and age when loneliness has become so widespread for a variety of social reasons.I loved Richard Roper s writing style, humour and unusual depth of the characters, both main and secondary Definitely recommended Thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Group Putnam for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion. 3 Stars.Have you ever started a novel and known immediately that it was not for you and yet you kept going Such was the case with How Not to Die Alone This novel is about a man named Andrew, who works for the death registry his main job is to go to the homes of the recently deceased, determine if they have next of kin and or funds to pay for funeral expenses If they have no one, he makes sure to attend their funerals You see, he is alone and has no one, yet he has lied to everyone at his office and has told them that he is married with two children because, in truth he could end up in the same predicament, he could die alone Then someone new starts at the registry, her name Peggy She is married with children she s not married to Al, I swear, lol Their friendship has a profound impact on Andrew and the way he thinks of himself and the world.Admittedly, this novel was perhaps not the best choice for someone like me, as I am divorced, have no children and don t have close family I have the best of friends and I have books thus I am richer than most That said, this though How Not to Die Alone is, at times endearing and quirky, it is also a heavier type read that was hard to shake off There were no moments where it truly touched my heart or made me smile with utter joy unlike other books in this genre It just didn t have that same feel The characters of Andrew and Peggy however both go through a lot of growth throughout the novel and have an incredible amount of believability and depth which was astounding considering this is a debut novel If you can handle a bit of heavier read, this novel might be for you.Thank you to Edelweiss, NetGalley, Penguin Group Putnam and Richard Roper for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on Goodreads, Edelweiss and NetGalley on 2.26.19 Will be published on on 5.28.19. 4 Quirky Stars 5 I have to admit that the beginning of this novel was a little slow for me I had a hard time getting into it and I was getting a little bored However, at around 40% something clicked for me, and I was in love with Andrew s character Andrew became this quirky, funny, and unique character that will stay with me for a long while I truly felt his need for human company, and his desire for having his own family became my own obsession I wanted him to finally find someone to settle down with and to find his own happinessto see Peggy rushing towards him like that, for him to be needed, to be an active participant in someone else s life, to think that maybe he was than just a lump of carbon being slowly ushered toward an unvarnished coffin the feeling was one of pure, almost painful happiness, like a desperate embrace squeezing air from his lungs, and it was then that the realization hit him he might not know what the future held pain and loneliness and fear might still yet grind him into dust but simply feeling the possibility that things could change for him was a start, like feeling the first hint of warmth from kindling rubbed together, the first wisp of smoke This book is being compared to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and I must say that I do see some similarities I would even go as far as call Andrew a male equivalent of Eleanor And who does not love Eleanor Maybe this story had a slow start and was a little dull at the beginning but it quickly became one of my favorite feel good novels to go to unique, funny, quirky, emotional, heart warming story of how we can find ourselves feeling lonely in this world full of people, and what it takes to finally find our own spot in this crazy and busy world.Thank you Edelweiss, G P Putnam s Sons, and the author, Richard Roper for giving me an opportunity to read a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. Why I love itby Liberty HardyPrepare yourself for hilarity and heart squeezes in this life affirming novel about wait for it death Andrew has an unusual job for a civil servant He goes into the homes of deceased people who lived alone and searches their belongings for clues of any living relatives He is respectful and sensitive, and the job suits him Andrew himself lives a quiet life alone not that his coworkers know that For five years, due to a small error, he s allowed them to believe he s happily married with children.Now Andrew s lie has come back to bite him, not only because his boss is suggesting they take turns hosting team building dinners, but also because of the new employee, Peggy Peggy is friendly and full of life, and Andrew is falling for her But if he tells her the truth, will she ever talk to him again And will his boss fire him if he finds out the truth I had no idea what to expect when I started this, and was delighted to discover that not only was it full of humor, but it has so much heart Roper has done a great job weaving together a story of one man s loneliness and dreams in the face of mortality I never found it to be too heavy, despite death playing a large part in the story, and I also found myself wishing that everything, against all odds, would turn out all right for Andrew in the end.Read at Q U U Richard Roper has crafted a quirky and uplifting story packed with colorful characters and a unique storyline The blurb of this book compares it to Eleanor Oliphant , Generally I m not a fan of comparing books but I d have to say this is an accurate comparison SO if you loved Eleanor you will also love getting to know Andrew Andrew is 42, a bit of a loner, and he works for the Ministry of Death His job includes finding the next of kin for those who die alone, searching their home for valuable possessions that will help pay for their funeral, and then even though it s not compulsory Andrew attends the funerals for these people who have no one in their lives to say goodbye Andrew returns home every evening to an empty house, his model trains, and group of eclectic online friends who he met on a model train enthusiast website However, because of an innocent slip up he made on his job interview his boss Cameron and coworkers believe he returns home every evening to a wife and two kids When Peggy begins working with Andrew and befriends him and his boss Cameron wants the coworkers to have monthly dinner parties, Andrew is fearful that the truth will come out Is living with this lie truly living Will the truth set Andrew free or ruin his life Andrew was a lovable vulnerable character that I just wanted to give a big hug Peggy was great a true breath of fresh air The friendship that forms between these two was so lovely Andrew had really got himself into quite the pickle, one white lie that snowballed into something involving spreadsheets It really was sad to contemplate how these people died alone with seemingly nobody in their lives that cared And then there was Andrew who had the opportunity to make some choices that would prevent him from being in the same position one day I think Mr Roper did an amazing job of showing us how we all have people in our lives than we think, we just need to know where to look This was a feel good story that made me smile It s kind of interesting that a story that features death so prominently could be so uplifting, but this book really was Simply put this was a quirky tale bursting with heart, hope, and humor many thanks to GP Putnam s Sons for my copy A Darkly Funny And Life Affirming Debut Novel For Readers Of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine 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 MuchAndrew S Day To Day Is A Little Grim, Searching For Next Of Kin For Those Who Die Alone Thankfully, He Has A Loving Family Waiting For Him When He Gets Home, To Help Wash The Day S Cares Away At Least, That S What His Coworkers BelieveAndrew Didn T Mean For The Misunderstanding To Happen, Yet He S Become Trapped In His Own White Lie The Fantasy Of His Wife And Two Kids Has Become A Pleasant Escape From His Lonely One Bedroom With Only His Ella Fitzgerald Records For Company But When New Employee Peggy Breezes Into His Life Like A Breath Of Fresh Air, Andrew Is Shaken Out Of His Routine She Doesn T Notice The Wall He S Been Safely Hiding Behind And Their Friendship Promises To Break It DownAndrew Must Choose Does He Tell The Truth And Start Really Living His Life, But Risk Losing His Friendship With Peggy Or Will He Stay Safe And Alone, Behind The Fa Ade How Not To Die Alone Is About The Importance Of Taking A Chance In Those Moments When We Have The Most To Lose Sharp And Funny, Warm And Real, It S The Kind Of Big Hearted Story We All Need
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- 321 pages
- How Not to Die Alone
- Richard Roper
- 15 June 2018 Richard Roper