Death Ain’t But A Word: A Supernatural Hot Mess

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When the first sentence of a book is “The hooker came up out of the ditch,” you know you’re in for something interesting. When the following two pages manage to be sad, heartfelt, and intriguing, you know you have found something special.

Following Wilkin, a crackhead who can see – and feel the emotions of – dead people, as he finds his childhood friend’s skull and tries to protect it from his murderer, Death Ain’t But A Word deals with some pretty dark subjects. However, it never feels gritty. For Wilkin, the fact that he is a homeless man who likes to get high is not lamentable or awful or horrifying; it just… is. Though dealing with a seedier side of humanity, the book never delves into pity or stereotyping. Every character is written with respect and understanding. Some of the best moments come from finding humor in these darker situations. When another character told Wilkin that he is a poor excuse for a crackhead, I absolutely lost it. Full of humor and honesty, this story is completely refreshing.

It also offers a unique take on an old genre. At the beginning of the tale, Wilkin can see ghosts in mirrors and feel their presence in his gut. As his story progresses, so does his ability, until it becomes something much more than a “gift.” Because of this talent, he is able to protect his friend Humphrey’s remains (though the bad guy does make that very hard on him), and he is able to help his friend in a much more significant way. This is a ghost story that isn’t about being scared but is rather about our obligation to help others and the idea that, just because you’re dead – physically or emotionally – doesn’t mean that you’re done growing.

Death Ain’t But A Word is a fast-paced, thrilling book that is both hilarious and heartwarming. I absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for an off-the-wall book that is impossible to put down and impossible not to love.


Reviewed By:

Author Zander Marks
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 318 pages
Publisher Yardwalker Press
Publish Date 15-Nov-2012
ISBN 9780988548510
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2013
Category Horror
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