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Rules for Being Dead
by Kim Powers




Overview -


It's the late 1960s in McKinney, Texas.

At the downtown theater and the local drive-in, movies--James Bond, My Fair Lady, Alfie, and Dr. Zhivago--feed the dreams and obsessions of a ten-year-old Clarke who loves Audrey, Elvis, his family, and the handsome boy in the projector booth. Then Clarke loses his beloved mother, and no one will tell him how she died. No one will tell her either. She is floating above the trees and movie screens of McKinney, trapped between life and death, searching for a glimpse of her final moments on this earth. Clarke must find the shattering truth, which haunts this darkly humorous and incredibly moving novel.

Publisher Weekly Review

A son and the ghost of his mother share narrative duties as they both try to solve the puzzle of her death in Powers’s evocative coming-of-age tale (after Dig Two Graves) set in 1960s Texas. Clarke, 10, is crushed by his mother’s death and exasperated that no one will tell him the cause. Creola, his mother, hovers in a ghostly state, “treading air” between life and death. She can’t rest until the cause of her death is found, which becomes Clarke’s sole focus as Powers’s engrossing and entertaining story delicately unfolds through multiple narrative layers and perspectives. Clarke’s father reflects on his infidelity with shoe peddler Rita Cobb, whose own story adds depth, intrigue, and emotion. Woven throughout are threads of nostalgia in the form of classic ’60s films and television programs. The story really begins to churn when the characters’ intentions and histories are revealed. Details and differing motives commingle, including Creola’s simmering rage at her cheating husband, her close friendship with a gay janitor from Clarke’s school, and Clarke’s obsession with stockpiling evidence, such as Creola’s funeral register and a photo of Rita. Amid Clarke’s frothy kid-detective sleuthing, he looks up to a 10th-grade boy who runs the drive-in’s projector, and their sexually charged friendship is handled beautifully. Blending late-’60s nostalgia with a supernatural mystery, Powers’s emotionally complex tale gets the job done just right.

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More About Rules for Being Dead by Kim Powers

 
 
 

Overview



It's the late 1960s in McKinney, Texas.

At the downtown theater and the local drive-in, movies--James Bond, My Fair Lady, Alfie, and Dr. Zhivago--feed the dreams and obsessions of a ten-year-old Clarke who loves Audrey, Elvis, his family, and the handsome boy in the projector booth. Then Clarke loses his beloved mother, and no one will tell him how she died. No one will tell her either. She is floating above the trees and movie screens of McKinney, trapped between life and death, searching for a glimpse of her final moments on this earth. Clarke must find the shattering truth, which haunts this darkly humorous and incredibly moving novel.

Publisher Weekly Review

A son and the ghost of his mother share narrative duties as they both try to solve the puzzle of her death in Powers’s evocative coming-of-age tale (after Dig Two Graves) set in 1960s Texas. Clarke, 10, is crushed by his mother’s death and exasperated that no one will tell him the cause. Creola, his mother, hovers in a ghostly state, “treading air” between life and death. She can’t rest until the cause of her death is found, which becomes Clarke’s sole focus as Powers’s engrossing and entertaining story delicately unfolds through multiple narrative layers and perspectives. Clarke’s father reflects on his infidelity with shoe peddler Rita Cobb, whose own story adds depth, intrigue, and emotion. Woven throughout are threads of nostalgia in the form of classic ’60s films and television programs. The story really begins to churn when the characters’ intentions and histories are revealed. Details and differing motives commingle, including Creola’s simmering rage at her cheating husband, her close friendship with a gay janitor from Clarke’s school, and Clarke’s obsession with stockpiling evidence, such as Creola’s funeral register and a photo of Rita. Amid Clarke’s frothy kid-detective sleuthing, he looks up to a 10th-grade boy who runs the drive-in’s projector, and their sexually charged friendship is handled beautifully. Blending late-’60s nostalgia with a supernatural mystery, Powers’s emotionally complex tale gets the job done just right.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781949467352
  • ISBN-10: 194946735X
  • Publisher: Blair
  • Publish Date: August 2020
  • Page Count: 312
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


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