Blog Tour: The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

Thanks for dropping by our blog for The Dead I Know blog tour.

The Dead I Know reminds me a bit of I Am Not a Serial Killer.  Both are young men working in a mortuary with the dead.  Both are lonely, troubled youth, though with different problems.  Both have peculiar home lives.  Neither was what I expected, and for both books that's where the problem lies.  I expected a bit of supernatural story in this one.

Aaron feels like he doesn't quite fit in the world.  He lives in a trailer park with Mam, but wakes up in random places.  He has terrible, recurring nightmares.  And now, he has a job in a mortuary. But with the owner and caretaker John showing him the ropes and helping him get through the stress of dealing with mourning families, Aaron gradually finds that he likes the work, and even comes to discover that maybe he doesn't have to bury his personal life so deeply.

Ultimately, it's hard to tell what this book is about.  For me, it was a story about overcoming your past and finding your place in the world despite that past.  Aaron suffered terribly, and never really had a chance to deal with it emotionally.  The nature of his early experiences are really terrible, though, and that's what confused me about the story.  For the sake of the story being told, did it need to be so rough?

Having said all that, the nature of working with the dead as a funeral director is a good draw.  There's the potential for gruesome imagery and the possibility of some morbid humor.  Whether it actually happens or not is irrelevant; the mere possibility is a selling point, especially for young guys who might otherwise avoid a story like this one about emotional self-discovery.

The Dead I Know is well-suited for book reports.  It's not too long, has a troubled character, and a dark secret that stays secret to the even the reader deep into the story.

Thank you Penguin Canada for providing us with the preview copy of The Dead I Know.
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