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Very Bad Deaths by Spider Robinson August 27, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Books, Brilliant words.

One of Spider Robinson’s most interesting stories, Very Bad Deaths has the author reading his own creation (and, what sounds a lot like his life story), the story of a man on the edge of suicide after the death of his wife from cancer who receives a visit from a ghost—not his wife but his college roommate, a guy who smelled so bad everyone avoided him.

It turns out Smelly had a reason for his hygiene choices.

Smelly (also known as Zander) is a telepath, but listening to other minds is distance-sensitive and very, very painful so he adopted a coping strategy.  He’s dropped in on Russell (protagonist and persona of the narrator) to enlist his help finding a serial killer.

Yeah, that got my attention, too.  Interesting introspection, divergent and even tangential thoughts and/or vignettes and self-description are sometimes the hallmark of great writer, and I think Robinson is one of them.  I certainly enjoyed listening to his podcasts when I was subscribed to them (a while back).  This book has some truly chilling moments and heart-warming ones as well; a good read by my admittedly peculiar lights.

There is a sequel of sorts called Very Hard Choices which I may review when I have the energy.  It’s also pretty good.


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