Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If a Machine Could Predict How You Would Die, Would You Want to Know? (Book Review)

Disclosure:  As a review for Readers' Favorite, I was sent the audio version of this book in order to listen to and share an honest review.  All thoughts shared are mine and mine alone.


"If a machine could predict how you would die, would you want to know? This is the tantalizing premise of This Is How You Die, the brilliant follow-up anthology to the self-published bestseller, Machine of Death.


The machines started popping up around the world. The offer was tempting: with a simple blood test, anyone could know how they would die. But the machines didn't give dates or specific circumstances-just a single word or phrase. DROWNED, CANCER, OLD AGE, CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. And though the predictions were always accurate, they were also often frustratingly vague. OLD AGE, it turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or being shot by an elderly, bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machines held onto that old-world sense of irony in death: you can know how it's going to happen, but you'll still be surprised when it does.

This addictive anthology--sinister, witty, existential, and fascinating--collects the best of the thousands of story submissions the editors received in the wake of the success of the first volume, and exceeds the first in every way."

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455529407
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc. 
  • Authors: Matthew Bennardo (Editor) , David Malki (Editor) , Ryan North


My Thoughts:

Would you ever want to know when and how you would die?  For me, after going through stage 2 cancer and seeing my life flash before my eyes, I no longer wish to know about the inevitable, but instead enjoy each new day that I am given, enjoying it with family and friends.  But, if you ever wondered about death, then you may be interested in reading "This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death" or even listening to the audio version.  Last month, I was sent a copy of the audio version to listen to.  Even though I don't wish to know when and how I will die, mainly because I am afraid it would have something to do with a recurrence or new cancer, and take me from this Earth too soon, without seeing my girls grow up, marry and start families of their own. the title "This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death" intrigued me. 

When my husband first saw this audio CD in the car, he wondered why I chose this of all books available to listen.  But, before I could listen to it, he had to take my car for a few days to work, while his was in the shop.  Needing something to listen to, to pass the time while driving, he put this CD in.  Surprising, he found this #1 Amazon bestseller to be intriguing to say the least.  The book is made up of short stories that center around death and a death machine.

Death is not something we like to talk about or even think about, but when presented with the opportunity to learn our inevitable fates, I am guessing many people would want to find out.  Maybe they will think they can cheat death, or chart a new course in life.  Or, maybe, just maybe, it will realize the uneasiness one feels as we get older, and inch closer and closer to the end.  With some many people dying in their 50's and 60's, maybe a death machine would help us live a more fulfilling life, and not sweat the small stuff or find ourselves neglecting our families, while we try to earn as much money as possible, in a dead end job that only makes us miserable.

After listening this this bestselling audio book, my husband couldn't stop talking about how good this book was, even though it talked about death.  Each and every story was intriguing and he found himself sitting in the parking lot or slowing down to get stuck in a red light, just to listen intently to these "death machine" stories.  His review and comments on this book made me want to listen to it.  So, one night after putting the girls to bed, I put this CD on and listened to it.  I got through the first few stories and had to stop.  While these stories are pure fiction, you can't help but stop and think about what you would do if given the chance to find out your fate.  I continued to listen the stories and found myself getting chills as the CD progressed.  The stories were told in such a way that I had to remind myself that there is no such thing as a "death machine."  Or, is there, and we just don't know about it? 

Even if death is not a topic you like to read about, once you pick up a copy of THIS IS HOW YOU DIE -- Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death, you will find a hard time putting it down.  And, once you are done, you will find yourself wondering what you would do if a "Death Machine" ever surfaced and presented you with the opportunity to find out how your story ends.  Truly a riveting, highly suspenseful book, that includes a bit of wit to lighten the heavy topic, while making it hard to put down or turn off if you are listening to the audio version.  This is definitely one book I am glad I had the opportunity to read, and have been recommending it to family and friends.

Disclosure:  As a review for Readers' Favorite, I was sent the audio version of this book in order to listen to and share an honest review.  All thoughts shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. I don't think I would want to know when I was going to die from a machine, but this book does sound interesting. I am so happy to hear that you are doing better now health wise.
    heather [email protected]