The American Book of the Dead

Rated 5.00/5 based on 6 reviews
Eugene Myers is working on a novel about the end of the world. Meanwhile, he discovers his daughter doing porn online and his marriage is coming to an end. When he begins dreaming about people who turn out to be real, he wonders if his novel is real as well. Eugene Myers may just be the one to stop the apocalypse.

Best Fiction at the DIY Book Festival & The Gold IPPY Award for Visionary Fiction.

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About Henry Baum

Henry Baum is the author of the novels The Golden Calf, God's Wife, North of Sunset, and The American Book of the Dead, and has published work in anthologies with Another Sky Press and 3 AM Magazine, as well as stories in Scarecrow, Identity Theory, Purple Prose, Storyglossia, and others. He lives in Los Angeles.

Also by This Author


Review by: Kevin Basil on March 08, 2012 :
This novel is INCREDIBLE! I couldn't stop reading it. The plot is very original, surprises are abundant, and the ending is not predictable at all. More importantly, the plot is incredibly believable. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ray Mullen on Dec. 16, 2011 :
I like dystopian stories. I found this to be excellent. It has a unique plot. It has a high "believe ability "quotient. A well witten adventure to loose yourself in.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bekki Lynn on Aug. 15, 2011 : (no rating)
Mmm, no .pdf format available -- it's the only format I download and this sounded like a good story.
(review of free book)

Review by: Joseph M on July 24, 2011 :
very good story
(review of free book)

Review by: Michelle de Villiers on May 17, 2010 :
Brilliant;gritty and disturbing. Original, brave, strange- not an easy read. Made me recall Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, even though it's been years since I've read that. Imagine Midas, where what's touched turns into dreams instead of gold/ or what's dreamt turns into reality. This book deserves to be very successful.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Steve Anderson on Feb. 15, 2010 :
Novels tagged as apocalyptic sci-fi are usually not my bag, but I gave this one a chance and I'm glad I did. Part apocalyptic sci-fi and part psychological thriller with elements of more accessible literary novels and even neo-noir, this is a deep story that transcends genres. It feels like others' books, with influences ranging from Pynchon to Delillo to Philip K. Dick and more, but it also felt original -- always a good sign.

It started a little slow for me, as Baum has a lot to set up, but then it really took off as the end of society as we know it looms and chapters alternate between the wary hero, writer Eugene Myers, and a childish and deluded American president, Charles Winchell. Without giving too much away, both men believe -- and fear -- they are transforming into a new type of human that the post-apocalyptic future will depend on. Who wins out (or do they?) will tell the reader a lot about where we might be heading. As a line in the book states (I'm paraphrasing), the best sci-fi takes present themes and exaggerates them almost beyond recognition. I know they got me thinking. Baum also manages to avoid getting hung up on religion and politics, choosing to focus on the human nature that binds us all. The revolution is not just societal but evolutional.

My complaints are few. Some narrative and even dialogue had to be expositional in spots owing to the wide-reaching story and context, but Baum does well to blend it all in. The story could've begun closer to the world war that engulfs the planet and wouldn't have suffered too much. But that's more niggling than it sounds. The quality was there in the beginning to carry us along. Baum creates worlds and lives and psychology with the small details, showing us and not telling us in ways that keep the reader involved -- not something we get enough of in books from any sized publisher. The editing was also first-rate with far fewer typos than I've seen from big publishers charging far more for their books.

A book from an independent writer outshines those from the big establishment publishers. As a fellow independent writer (who doesn't know Baum, by the way) that's definitely a revolution I like to see.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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