The Last Time I Died

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Christian Franco had a rough childhood. His father murdered his mother in their home when he was eight years old. He bounced around neglectful and sometimes abusive foster parents. Now in his thirties, his wife has left him, and he’s about to lose his job as a high-powered attorney at a top Manhattan law firm. And he doesn’t care. He spends his evenings getting drunk and picking fights with strangers in bars, because he’s discovered that getting beaten up gives him a meditative calm. Until he discovers that close scrapes with death reveal hidden memories from his past, leading him to attempts to die to learn those secrets.

It is clear that the author was inspired by the voice of Chuck Palahniuk — the tone and voice of the characters are dark, brooding, and often very compelling. But as a first novel, the author would have benefited from a heavier editorial hand: Occasionally the story is put on hold in order to allow for some clever wordsmanship, and I had to read the ending twice to try to understand what had happened, worried that my book was missing pages. Nelms is a talented writer, and I’ll look forward to his second novel.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Tyrus Books
Publish Date 2014-Jan-18
ISBN 9781440571800 Buy this Book
Issue May 2014
Category Popular Fiction


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