Being Dead

Crace, Jim

Edité par Viking, 1999
ISBN 10: 0670856983 / ISBN 13: 9780670856985
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Description :

First British (and true first) Edition (first printing). The sixth novel by the author of QUARANTINE, the story of a couple married almost thirty years who lie murdered in the dunes of Baritone Bay. Winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award. Fine/Fine. Signed by Crace on the title page. N° de réf. du libraire

A propos du livre :

Book ratings provided by Goodreads) :
3,7 note moyenne
(3 881 avis)

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.

Review: Penzler Pick, June 2000: It begins with a murder. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. They are reliving their first amorous encounter in the sand dunes when they are set upon by the murderer who beats them to death with a rock and steals their watches, their jewelry, and even their meager lunch. From that moment forward, this remarkably written book by Jim Crace 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. Eventually we learn about their first meeting, and that this is not the first time tragedy has struck them in this idyllic setting.

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. Celice and Joseph would have been delighted with the description: she was a zoologist and he was an oceanographer, and they spent their lives with their eyes to the microscope, observing the phenomena of life and death. Some readers might find this gruesome, but the facts of death are told in such glorious prose that these descriptions in no way detract from the enjoyment of the book.

After her parents do not return home, their daughter, Syl, must search the morgues and follow up John and Jane Doe reports until she is finally asked to make an identification of the remains in the dunes. We then discover that the reader has had a more intimate relationship with them in death than Syl ever had with them in life. This small gem of a book, not really a mystery in the usual sense, will stay with you long after you finish. --Otto Penzler

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Being Dead
Éditeur : Viking
Date d'édition : 1999
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat du livre : Fine
Edition : 1st Edition.

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Crace, Jim
Edité par Viking (1999)
ISBN 10 : 0670856983 ISBN 13 : 9780670856985
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Crace, Jim
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Description du livre Viking, 1999. Hardcover. État : Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your book case after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. N° de réf. du libraire mon0002090368

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Jim Crace
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Description du livre Viking, 1999. Hardcover. État : Good. Signed. SIGNED BY AUTHOR. A slight tan to the page edges. Good condition book. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. N° de réf. du libraire mon0007197966

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Description du livre Viking 02/09/1999, 1999. État : Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. N° de réf. du libraire 2341-9780670856985

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Description du livre Viking 02/09/1999, 1999. État : Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. N° de réf. du libraire 9053-9780670856985

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Description du livre Viking, 1999. Hardcover. État : Very Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. N° de réf. du libraire mon0000825371

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Description du livre Viking 02/09/1999, 1999. État : Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . N° de réf. du libraire 7719-9780670856985

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