book cover of Rules for Being Dead
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Rules for Being Dead

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
“Kim Powers's haunting and spellbinding novel Rules for Being Dead reads like an intoxicating blend of the best of Shirley Jackson, Alice Sebold and Fannie Flagg." —STARRED Review, Shelf Awareness

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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"It's time well spent with the Perkins family, though the father should be locked up, one son should be disarmed, and the mother who might fix everything can't?because unfortunately she's a ghost. Unorthodox, quirky, funny and heartbreaking, Powers' love letter to difficult families (and 1960s film classics!) is a blast." - Wilton Barnhardt

"In a story that's both cagey and unfailingly entertaining, Powers explores life's deepest questions and most profound mysteries. Only a writer this in touch with his own humanity could populate a novel with characters who, despite their flaws, failures, and eccentricities, are humane and good." - Wally Lamb

"Rules for Being Dead offers a startlingly original perspective on misapprehension, forgiveness, and love and delivers its vision with a punch. I picked up the book and could not put it down." - Elaine Neil Orr

"A tour de force in voice and structure, this uniquely heartbreaking novel?literary fiction meets boy detective?is somehow adorable and sinister at the same time. The brilliantly talented Kim Powers has created a poignant and remarkable story." - Hank Phillippi Ryan

"Tenderhearted and touching, Rules for Being Dead is imbued with the imagination and emotion of such beloved books as The Lovely Bones and Ellen Foster. The narrative is laced with nostalgic references (from Elvis movies to mentions of Don Knotts and TV shows like Family Affair) that bring to life a forgotten time. All these elements come together to create a vibrant backdrop to the story of one family’s unexpected loss and journey toward healing." - John Searles

"Kim Powers writes a glorious novel about a boy and his journey to feel whole after the mysterious death of his mother. Mr. Powers’ prose is artful and searing as Clarke's story unfolds in a Texas town so vivid, the reader is there. Secrets are revealed, hope is lost and found, and redemption awaits in this beautifully rendered tale about love and loss, and the courage to face the truth with an open heart." - Adriana Trigiani


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Used availability for Kim Powers's Rules for Being Dead

Hardback Editions

May 2020 : USA Hardback
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Title: Rules for Being Dead
Author(s): Kim Powers
ISBN: 1-949467-35-X / 978-1-949467-35-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blair
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

August 2020 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Rules for Being Dead
Author(s): Kim Powers
Publisher: Blair
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU