Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free, bite-sized book/magazine reviews.
If there's anything that caught my eye in Living With the Dead, it's the bizarreness of the atmosphere that makes Darrel Schweitzer seem like the spiritual successor to Franz Kafka. Much of the events is an enigma with only the barest hints of an explanation combined with the pervasive clash of hope and futility. Characterization and plot takes a back seat as at the forefront is Schweitzer's imaginative setting and vivid descriptions.
There's a lot going for this Living With the Dead, from black humor to compelling unpredictability. Various threads are woven together and points of view shift as one progresses through the chapters, bearing similarities to a mosaic novel albeit one with a tighter thread and theme. Nothing is random and every detail has a purpose, although what this purpose is isn't always clear to the reader.
Suffice to say, this book was an enjoyable read that has to be applauded for its weirdness and daring. Those expecting a more conventional story will be disappointed but those that are brave enough to take a dip into the waters of Schweitzer's cerebral prose will be in for the ride of their life.