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Book Title: Being Dead|
The author of the book: Jim Crace
Date of issue: 2004
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.71 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2301 times
Reader ratings: 4.4
ISBN 13: 9780670856985
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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.
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Read information about the authorJames "Jim" Crace is an award-winning English writer. His novel Quarantine, won the Whitbread Novel award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Harvest won the International Impac Dublin Literary Award, James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Crace grew up in Forty Hill, an area at the far northern point of Greater London, close to Enfield where Crace attended Enfield Grammar School. He studied for a degree at the Birmingham College of Commerce (now part of Birmingham City University), where he was enrolled as an external student of the University of London. After securing a BA (Hons) in English Literature in 1968, he travelled overseas with the UK organization Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), working in Sudan. Two years later he returned to the UK, and worked with the BBC, writing educational programmes. From 1976 to 1987 he worked as a freelance journalist for The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers.
In 1986 Crace published Continent. Continent won the Whitbread First Novel of the Year Award, the David Higham Prize for Fiction and the Guardian Fiction Prize. This work was followed by The Gift of Stones, Arcadia, Signals of Distress, Quarantine, Being Dead and Six. His most recent novel, The Pesthouse, was published in the UK in March 2007.
Despite living in Britain, Crace is more successful in the United States, as evidenced by the award of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999.
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