The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand

Gregory Galloway. Dutton, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-525-42565-6
In this introspective novel from adult author Galloway (As Simple as Snow), a teenager’s longing for death is thwarted by his inability to die. Adam Strand is a suicidal 17-year-old who returns from the dead after every attempt to take his own life, whether from jumping from a bridge, drowning, taking poison, or hanging. His friends are tolerant, his family frustrated, his neighbors annoyed, and his therapist useless. Over a summer, Adam contemplates his role in the world, confronts his lack of motivation, hangs out with his friends, and tries to connect to others. It’s a bleak, provocative, and almost nihilistic story in which very little actually happens. The narrative has a tendency to backtrack, meander, or come to a halt—there’s an inertia to the novel that mirrors Adam’s disinterest in existence, though he gains an appreciation of life in a resolution that’s neat but not overly rosy. Readers may see something of themselves in Adam’s confusion and dark impulses, in which case his message is clear: “I am moving forward, inch by inch some days.” Ages 14–up. Agent: David Halpern, the Robbins Office. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 02/21/2013
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-59298-4
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-0-14-242531-2
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