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A Happy Death by Michael Fowler

   

 

Mike, the perfectly healthy first-person narrator of A Happy Death, a comic novel, wants to die. Thanks to modern medicine and diet control and a life spent safely sitting down, he will likely live to the ripe eighties or beyond to the overripe nineties, but heíd be happy to end before then. Well before then. Mike decides his current age of fifty-something is advanced enough. Heís seen his marriage fail, his daughter grow up into a shrew, and his retirement from The Aspirin Institute after a career of twenty-six years soured by regret and emptiness. Thereís nothing more to live for. But thereís a surprise catch: Things to live for keep turning up. 

Odd things, such as buying shoes for the strange women he drives across the country in a van he calls his woody as they write up his blog The Driverís Journal. A history buff and come-lately patriot, Mike also accumulates a van-load of American-made souvenirs on his journeys that he conveys with him to his final dwelling, a shack on the Ohio River, displaying them in a room he calls his Kitsch Museum. He hopes that the shack, an affordable place on a river he loves, and his collection of oddities, and his handyman Bill, and his nearness to two genuine historical sites, US Grantís birthplace and the Underground Railroad, will amuse him until he dies.

 

 
 

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