EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 16, 2014

'The Last Time I Died' hooks readers with darkness, desperation


Angry, and filled with more questions than answers, Christian knew he had to die again. But repeated suicide attempts would raise red flags and he knew he was playing with a sick kind of fire. He couldn’t take the chance that he would die and not come back. He needed someone – a rogue doctor, maybe? - to kill him again and again until the memories all returned.

But there was one thing he never considered: what if remembering was worse than death?

Reading “The Last Time I Died” is a lesson in patience. It’s scattered (on purpose, as it turns out) and initially somewhat hard to follow, filled with frustration, drollness and words that may send you scrambling for the dictionary.

And yet – you just can’t look away.

Once you get past the first few pages, in fact, author Joe Nelms’s got you. He’ll let you believe that his main character, Christian, is an unredeemable (though wounded) first-class jerk. Christian is downright unlikeable, actually, but there’s something about this story that makes us stick around, knowing we’ll get a pay-off – and we do.

Fans of darkness and desperation will eat this book up, as will anyone who cherishes a story with hints of the iconoclastic. If that’s you, then I know “The Last Time I Died” is a book you won’t mind spending a few hours with.

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