The american book of the dead henry baum

the american book of the dead henry baum

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He's bored and depressed and his wife doesn't really love him and he doesn't necessarily love her back. The year is and the world has gone to hell.

Random acts of violence are the norm, and there's little to be done about them. Sex is everywhere, with people copulating on prime time television and not a soul cares.

All around him Eugene sees his world and its problems and he writes about his lifeless marriage and whatever he can think of. One afternoon he discovers an online sex video of his daughter.

This straw breaks the camel's back, so to speak, and it begins the strange journey of Eugene Myers. Paralleling Eugene's life is President Charles Winchell.

Charles is a Christian Extremist who is bent on destroying the world so that he can rebuild it and enjoy the peace that is prophesied in the book of Revelation.

Charles won his presidency on promises that he would save the world, and that's exactly what he intends to do.

The man quotes scripture and takes the bible's words a fair bit out of context. That would be The American Book of the Dead in a nutshell.

Baum's writing is smooth and engaging. His story is thought-provoking and provocative. I felt the message was rather heavy handed at times and possibly fueled by conspiracy theories, but never downright offensive.

The book progressively grew more surreal, to its advantage, and I never once got bored with the story. However, for all its praise, the tone of the novel was rather matter-of-fact, which took away a lot of the suspense.

I'm not saying that there was no suspense, because there was, but I think there could have been more.

Henry Baum's book provided a surreal reading experience, as many things that jump into the Meta tend to do. However, by and large, I think Baum kept a deft hand on the plot, driving it forward with building momentum.

Personally I would have enjoyed seeing more of the world and more of its characters, especially in the latter part of the novel.

Instead, The American Book of the Dead is a tight, character-centered book that has some urgency in its message. Because Baum's frightening future is something that could easily happen, barring the magical-like things that happen.

If you're in a reading slump and curious to try something bizarre, check out The American Book of the Dead. Even though I would have liked more development with some of the characters and settings, it still was a fun romp through genre-defying madness.

And if you've read and enjoyed some Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five particularly comes to mind , you should definitely give this a try.

I received this book for free from Mr Henry Baum himself. Not in person, mind you, but through a machine of different people it did eventually arrive at my house, autographed and lustrous.

Mr Baum did not hypnotize me and force me to write a flattering or positive review, and the opinions reflected here are solely my own.

Furthermore, Mr Baum did not include any sort of cookies with my book, so I was under no Cookie Clause, either. Top rated Most recent Top rated.

All reviewers Verified purchase only All reviewers All stars 5 star only 4 star only 3 star only 2 star only 1 star only All positive All critical All stars All formats Format: Paperback All formats Text, image, video Image and video reviews only Text, image, video.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.

There was a problem loading comments right now. I struggled with determining how many stars to give this book. I enjoyed reading it a great deal, but also felt it had some deep flaws.

The enjoyment tipped me into the four star range. The simplest way to put it is that this is a novel telling the story of a man living in the events he wrote about in - only he doesn't remember writing them.

The overlapping nature of the narrative isn't nearly the problem you'd think it would be. Baum is a clear writer and he makes the internal life of Gene Myers vivid.

Unfortunately, it's really the only thing that I found vivid and realistic in the story, almost like a diamond had been mounted on a cardboard ring.

A Christian fundamentalist president, backed by his father and a mysterious cabal of global playmakers, decides the best way to fix the earth's problems is to wipe out virtually everybody and start over.

While the cabal plans to reveal the reality of aliens and various reptilian overlord-type conspiracies post-apocalypse, President Winchell plans to rule as the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The supposedly violent and amoral world of is supposed to make people more amenable to the early part of this plan, but other than referring to public shootings and a pornographic primetime network show, the world Baum describes isn't that much different from our own.

It's just kind of. The president and those surrounding him are caricatures of fundamentalists. I was utterly unconvinced that these people would agree to cause the deaths of most of the people on the planet.

The ending was very disappointing to me also. Not really post-apocalyptic, not really political, more like a subjective tale from the point of view of Gene Myers.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It's still free and I recommend it to you too. The flaws are more apparent because the author reached for so much, which is a welcome relief from authors reaching for too little.

If this book had made the future horrors more palpable, if the political situation had been more plausible, the political antagonists drawn more carefully, this could have been a great book.

Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. You see, he contacted me early last year about his book, thinking that it might be something that I would enjoy.

I agreed to review the book, but told him that our first child was due soon and that it might be a while before I got to the book.

Undeterred, he went on and mailed me a signed copy, scribbling a note on a card wishing me the best of luck with my soon-to-be daughter and that there was "no rush.

Finally, at the end of March, I picked up Mr. I vaguely remembered that the book was some sort of apocalyptic tale about a struggling author and some strange happenings.

As long as it took me to start the book, had I known that I would finish it so quickly I would have started much sooner. It's an easy enough read to finish in a long afternoon sitting, if you're so inclined, as the book weighs in at just shy of pages.

It is difficult to describe The American Book of the Dead. The first word I think of is "Meta. It's post-apocalyptic, pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, suspense, religious, satire, and a host of other things.

It reminded me a lot of Kurt Vonnegut, though maybe not as deep, nor as funny. A blurb on the book says it's very much like Philip K.

Dick, too, though I've not read any of his stuff, so I cannot attest to that. Eugene Myers is a struggling writer in his 50s. He's making do by teaching a class at a local college.

He's bored and depressed and his wife doesn't really love him and he doesn't necessarily love her back. The year is and the world has gone to hell.

Random acts of violence are the norm, and there's little to be done about them. Sex is everywhere, with people copulating on prime time television and not a soul cares.

All around him Eugene sees his world and its problems and he writes about his lifeless marriage and whatever he can think of. One afternoon he discovers an online sex video of his daughter.

This straw breaks the camel's back, so to speak, and it begins the strange journey of Eugene Myers. Paralleling Eugene's life is President Charles Winchell.

Charles is a Christian Extremist who is bent on destroying the world so that he can rebuild it and enjoy the peace that is prophesied in the book of Revelation.

Charles won his presidency on promises that he would save the world, and that's exactly what he intends to do.

The man quotes scripture and takes the bible's words a fair bit out of context. That would be The American Book of the Dead in a nutshell.

Baum's writing is smooth and engaging. His story is thought-provoking and provocative. I felt the message was rather heavy handed at times and possibly fueled by conspiracy theories, but never downright offensive.

The book progressively grew more surreal, to its advantage, and I never once got bored with the story. However, for all its praise, the tone of the novel was rather matter-of-fact, which took away a lot of the suspense.

I'm not saying that there was no suspense, because there was, but I think there could have been more.

Henry Baum's book provided a surreal reading experience, as many things that jump into the Meta tend to do. However, by and large, I think Baum kept a deft hand on the plot, driving it forward with building momentum.

Personally I would have enjoyed seeing more of the world and more of its characters, especially in the latter part of the novel.

Instead, The American Book of the Dead is a tight, character-centered book that has some urgency in its message. Because Baum's frightening future is something that could easily happen, barring the magical-like things that happen.

If you're in a reading slump and curious to try something bizarre, check out The American Book of the Dead.

Even though I would have liked more development with some of the characters and settings, it still was a fun romp through genre-defying madness.

All of us were the product of self-perception and the perception of others--watched and read by beings of our own invention, some of the stories tragic, some uplifting.

We were the universe's entertainment" Mungkin disamping menunjukan kepada para pembaca betapa bobrok dan gilanya dunia saat ini, salah satu yang ingin disampaikan penulisnya tampaknya adalah All of us were the product of self-perception and the perception of others.

Saya membaca buku ini dengan presepsi, menulis review ini dengan presepsi. Yah, saya tidak mau menulis akhir kisah bukunya.

Karena mungkin anda sudah punya presepsi sendiri Aug 05, Kevin Armstrong rated it really liked it. I first discovered this book through the author's postings on RealitySandwich.

This novel makes an apocalyptic thrust with measured humaneness and a good deal of wistful irony through it's narrator: Co-mingling psychic interventions with 'realist' style is never easy to pull off.

Baum handles it with real aplomb in terms I first discovered this book through the author's postings on RealitySandwich. Baum handles it with real aplomb in terms of voice and character.

The plot tracks well, indeed he seems to rush things a bit toward the grand finale -- which I enjoyed with a silent hat-tip to Vonnegut.

However, if Baum had settled into the smoking carnage of his creation, I think we both might have extracted more emotive resonance and had a little more visceral fun.

There are however, several bon mots en route, among my favorites being: But I was confident, a renewed romance for life, as if it loved me back.

What will likely scare away skittish book-clubers is the first chapter's bluish dream-sequence and narrator's discovery of his daughter engaged in on-line porn.

Baum knew this was a risk -- and he did not care, an I love him for that. So if you are among that crew, please realize that Baum's not a misogynist, just a dude depicting dad-like issues honestly and for that matter, tellingly via a reliable if fraught 1st person POV.

He also makes up for it later although for the story's benefit, not his chances at political office. As for the PSI and manifest dreams depicted, ultimately people either 'swing' that way or they don't.

So, while not flawless, I give major kudos to this book for a reach that exceeds it's grasp while offering up some beautiful touches during the ride, if slightly fewer than i think Baum is capable of.

Apparently he has a sequel or two planned. Given his ending here, I have no idea how he aims to pull this off, but I look forward to reading how -- and paying for that privilege.

Oct 14, Nathan rated it it was amazing. This was an amazing read. I think this gets comparisons with The Illuminatus Trilogy!

This had a great feel throughout the book, a building sense of something great, just like Rushdie does. And I think like SV, some people may find the ending abrupt.

If you need resolutions to look all tidy, this isn't the book for you. But if you have the type of This was an amazing read. But if you have the type of aesthetic that appreciated the end of SV, this ending is has the same "natural" quality, like it's the only way things could have worked out.

I finished this last night and waited until almost a day later to review this because of the ending. At first I was annoyed, saying "Are you kidding me?

I loved this book: The unique way it was written, the main character, Eugene with his view of the world, and how easily worldwide destruction could occur and is realistic!

This one will stick with me for a long time - isn't that what Interesting. This one will stick with me for a long time - isn't that what a good book should do?

Apr 11, Richard Barnes rated it really liked it. This book is mad. Well written, with an engaging if frequently whinging and complaining narrator character, but still pretty mad.

A book that tells the story of the book as it is being written while the worlds ends. It reminds me of something like Heinlen's Stranger in a Strange Land - this book rambles all over the place, but ultimately, it's an interesting place to be.

And - what's more, it was free. Download it to your ereader now and give it a go. Dec 04, Lenox Parker rated it it was amazing.

Jul 21, kent rated it really liked it. Sep 04, Andrea rated it it was amazing. One of the best books I have read in a long time.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The idea is interesting, a writer's book cones true, and worse he is predicting the apocalypse.

Sadly it is poorly executed, I struggled to like the writer character, there were many inappropriate uses of the word rape, there were no lifelike characters, for example, one character's daughter dies and he seems to care little, has no funeral, etc, just walks away.

The ending is rushed, unearned and uninteresting. Such a waste of time. I really thought I would enjoy this, but it just wasn't The idea is interesting, a writer's book cones true, and worse he is predicting the apocalypse.

I really thought I would enjoy this, but it just wasn't good. May 22, Ron Fritsch rated it it was amazing. As I read Henry Baum's The American Book of the Dead, I couldn't help but wonder if it was science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, dystopian fiction, or some other kind of non-realistic fiction.

Early on, the narrator insists it's none of the above. Ultimately, I decided there was no need to answer the question.

For me, the most intriguing characters in this story are Charles Winchell, the President of the United States, his controlling or not father Benjamin, and the President's wife, A As I read Henry Baum's The American Book of the Dead, I couldn't help but wonder if it was science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, dystopian fiction, or some other kind of non-realistic fiction.

For me, the most intriguing characters in this story are Charles Winchell, the President of the United States, his controlling or not father Benjamin, and the President's wife, Amy, who more than once refers to her husband as an idiot.

For those of us who lived through the first decade of the 21st century, Charles, Benjamin, and Amy might very well seem to be public figures we already know.

They might also remind those of us who were raised as Christians of the father-and-son-but-really-one contortion at the heart of the religion, as well as the apparent mother and wife of them both.

In any event, this father and son agree, with their secret followers around the world, that the only way to save humanity is to kill off all but a tiny fraction of the human species in a magnificent World War III—in which even England and Canada see fit to drop bombs on America—and to begin civilization anew with the survivors in an area of Los Angeles north of Sunset Boulevard purposefully protected from the ravages of the war.

Charles, though, wishes to go beyond his publicly taking on the role of the Anti-Christ to herald the Second Coming of Christ and start the war.

Charles, defying his father, imagines the roles of the Anti-Christ and the returning Messiah as one. How else can he justify giving the horrific orders to wipe out billions of human beings?

What I especially enjoyed about Baum's novel was the question raised throughout I would've said "on every page" if I hadn't read the digital version as to the reliability of the narrator.

He tells us he's a hopelessly unsuccessful novelist who is writing a novel in that turns out to be the one we're reading, The American Book of the Dead.

The story becomes true as he writes it, almost as if he's a god. And yet, since the past, present, and future are all the same, when the action he's writing about takes place in , he has already finished writing the novel.

Some of the characters read it and therefore know how it ends and what happens to themselves even as they play their parts in it like actors in a drama.

They wisely, though, don't give away the ending to readers such as myself. Baum is delightfully playing with the very idea of telling a story.

Nobody ever told one without pretending to be a god. That's what a god does. Jul 29, Pam rated it it was ok. I really did have to push myself to finish this book, and when I finally, at long last, got through it, I felt cheated.

The ending, in my opinion, jumps the shark. Basically, this guy, Eugene Myers, writes a book that is somehow published before he finishes it.

I didn't like the narrator at all. He came across as self-serving and egotistical. Oh, and the author needs to go look up the word "evolve" in a dictionary.

Any old dictionary will do. Cause he misused that word pretty much throughout the I really did have to push myself to finish this book, and when I finally, at long last, got through it, I felt cheated.

Cause he misused that word pretty much throughout the book, which I found really irritating. The author has a bad habit of repeating the same ideas ad nauseum using different wording.

Such needless repetition is typical of an author who lacks confidence in their own writing to get the point across the first time or of an author who doesn't believe his audience will understand it the first time around.

Either way, I found it both irritating and frustrating. I'm hard pressed to come up with a single thing I really enjoyed about the book. Honestly, the only reason I even finished it was because I hate to leave books unfinished you never know -- the ending could be amazing!

But I definitely wish I hadn't read this one to start with, as it was a trite story that didn't offer much in the way of either entertainment or education.

One could argue that there are layers to the book, that it's a look at the impact of religion and politics on the modern world while simultaneously offering a glimpse into the mind of a writer.

I would, however, argue that both of those concepts have been handled much better by other authors many, many times already, and this book brings nothing new to either discussion except maybe, MAYBE, a clearer sense of the megalomania some authors find in their control over the material.

Overall, I really wouldn't recommend this book. It didn't offer me anything entertaining or thought-provoking, and it was more of a slog than anything.

Nov 26, David Major rated it liked it. This book developed and changed as it went on, in ways that kept me thoroughly engaged. Intelligent and thoughtful, while at the same becoming increasingly surreal and worthy of a Dali painting.

SF meets some very strange headspaces here. I like that kind of thing. We start with a father discovering his daughter starring on a porn site, then take off into a political and psychological voyage through a World War started by a fundamentalist president whose father is the archetype of all elitist new This book developed and changed as it went on, in ways that kept me thoroughly engaged.

We start with a father discovering his daughter starring on a porn site, then take off into a political and psychological voyage through a World War started by a fundamentalist president whose father is the archetype of all elitist new-world-order patriachs.

We see the world depopulated by a planned war so it can be saved, and the central character, who is in a very real sense the author of the novel, becomes a central player in the increasingly surreal drama that unfolds.

To help matters along, the novel itself becomes a central part of the plot. I understand that the author has a sequel in the works.

Definitely recommended if you like your SF with a healthy dose of the unusual and bizarre, and frequent allusion to contemporary conspiracy theories.

Read on an iPod Touch, in epub format, in Stanza, which worked just fine. Oct 11, Rachel rated it liked it Shelves:

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