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Very Bad Deaths by Spider Robinson August 27, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Books, Brilliant words.
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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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