Chats with the Dead
Author: Shehan Karunatilaka
9780670093298 | HB | pp. 400 | 2020 | Penguin
A compulsively readable dark comedy of life, death and everything in between, Chats with the Dead by searingly exposes the plight of a country caught in the aftermath of civil war.
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Who is Malinda Albert Kabalana? How did he die?
Renegade war photographer Maali Almeida has to solve his own murder. Does that sound fun? It would be if there wasn’t so much bloody red-tape to get through. Oh and it’s not as though anyone alive actually seems to miss him, and it certainly doesn’t help that his girlfriend is related to his boyfriend. Worst of all, it’s all those goddamn memories of war, constantly interrupted by the overly chatty dead folks breezing through the afterlife. Besides, he’s so busy solving his ethical dilemmas that there’s barely any time to solve a murder-even if it’s his own.
A compulsively readable dark comedy of life, death and everything in between, Chats with the Dead searingly exposes the plight of a country caught in the aftermath of civil war. Its deliciously compelling absurdity holds you in thrall right from the very first page up to its startling denouement, constantly upending its own premise with its staggering humanity. Shehan Karunatilaka has delivered a classic whodunit with a brilliant twist.
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