Afterlife by Guy Smith

Afterlife
Guy Smith
G3 Media, 2008
104 pages

I think I just found one of the best works of fiction I’ve been sent since I started this review blog–and I’ve reviewed everything from self-published works to mass-marketed offerings from major publishing houses. In just over 100 pages, Guy Smith managed to captivate me with a story that grabbed me more firmly than most of the novels I’ve read–and that takes talent.

What happens when you die? In Afterlife, you either go to the Light, or you hang around here if you have a compelling enough reason. The story follows one soul who had that reason, and through his eyes I got to find out the intricacies of the afterlife imagined by Smith. The nature and experience of being a ghost, the limitations being dead gives you in this world, and even pondering what the true nature of the Light in this fictional Universe is, are all explored in the context of a fast-paced, gripping plotline. Make no mistake–it’s a highly streamlined book, and every word counts for a lot. I read it in less than an hour, but it was definitely time well spent.

I think where the author has his greatest strength is in the running commentary that his first-person protagonist offers. Dialogue in general can be really tough to make believable, but Smith hits it dead-on, if you’ll forgive the pun. Not only was I emotionally engaged in the travails and experiences of a snarky dead guy, but the ending just wrenched the hell out of my heart. This writer’s good at what he does, let me tell you. (Though I’ll admit I got a little green around the gills when he described the effects of a car wreck in detail!)

If you want a brief break in your day to day routine to have a good read, or if you want something to really make you appreciate being alive, or you simply appreciate a well-written piece of fiction, then I would strongly recommend Afterlife. It has a lot going for it on multiple levels of awesome.

Five pawprints out of five.

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