13 Oct 2017

THE THINGS WE LEARN WHEN WE'RE DEAD.

THE THINGS WE LEARN WHEN WE'RE DEAD by CHARLIE LAIDLAW.

BACK COVER BLURB (May contain what is considered spoilers, please scroll over darkened text should you wish to read the synopsis. TT) On the way home from a dinner party she didn't want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.

It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…

FIRST SENTENCE {END}: At the end of her Edinburgh street, where it joined a busier road, was a security camera perched high on a metal pole.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 135}: In her short acquaintance with God, Lorna could hardly have described him as cantankerous.

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

READ FOR: Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS: Way behind with my reading ... to say nothing of my reviewing of books ... I very nearly said thank you but no thank you when I was approached by the author but must admit to being intrigued by his email which stated ...


'Essentially it’s a modern reworking for an adult readership of The Wizard of Oz – how a young woman in tragic circumstances looks back at her life.'

Hmm, interesting! 

Personally, I'm not sure how well I made the connection between The Things We Learn When We're Dead and The Wizard of Oz and I certainly struggled to equate the Wizard of Oz's Dorothy with this books heroine, Lorna Love, a character who seemed almost masculine to the point where I did occasionally find myself wondering if perhaps the novel might have worked that bit better for me with a male protagonist.

Enough of my musings though.

The story of what happens when a young woman is killed after stepping out in front of a car only to find herself in what she first thinks to be Heaven.

Despite my worrying I was overthinking the connection re the book and The Wizard Of Oz; that there was something about the novel I just wasn't getting, despite a time line that jumped back and forth between earth and 'Heaven', despite the fact the chapters were in no sort of chronological order to the point where I did on occasion find myself, err, slightly losing the plot, essentially I thought it an enjoyable enough read ...

Quirky (what I'd describe as a hybrid of fantasy and sci-fi with a notable nod towards the Star Wars franchise), thought provoking (I did find myself wondering what those with more of a grasp on theology made of it) AND with some humour of the actual laugh out loud variety which isn't something I often find myself doing ... to say nothing of the hamsters.


8 comments:

Kelly said...

This sounds so intriguingly odd and different that I might have to put it on my wish list. Every time you mentioned something that put me off it, you'd come right back with something that drew me in. I skipped the hidden parts of the blurb in case I do get it. I hate spoilers.

Good review!

Suko said...

The title of this book, as well as the contents, sound unique. I'm glad you found this "laugh out loud" funny at times. Wonderfully written review, as usual.

Brian Joseph said...

It sounds like a lot of imagination went into this book. It also sounds like the author took some chances.

Based on your commentary it seems like some of the innovation did work out well and some of it did not. This does sound interesting.

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
It is an interesting and thought provoking
premise. And your excellent review has piqued
my curiosity. I will add the book to my list.
Raven

So many books, so little time said...

I think with everything this week this isn't one for me at this moment in time , will check it out at another date xxx

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Like yourself, I am way behind with my reading and even further adrift with my reviews, so anything which doesn't have instant pull and appeal, is falling by the wayside I'm afraid and that includes this one I am sorry to say!

I managed to track down a slightly longer premise on one of the sites and I have to say that, that together with the unappealing cover art, has sealed its fate for me.

I really like the format of your review, which travels back and forth, for and against, as you clarify your thoughts whilst writing.

Thanks for sharing :)

Yvonne

Gina R said...

Hmm, I certainly get the quirky part from the synopsis...isn't it amazing what our imaginations can create? ^-^ Glad to hear it was enjoyable in the end!

Karen Alderman said...

This sounds pretty quirky - in a good way!

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