How Not to Die Alone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

This book reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant.  The male character, Andrew, has a somewhat different job and life that are at times quirky, sad, and full of wry humor.  It was a heartfelt, surprising read -- the kind of book to dive into while snuggled deep in the covers.  However, be sure to come up for air!  At times, the book can weigh you down.  The book’s theme was about taking chances and the unexpected outcomes that may result.  Also, like Eleanor Oliphant, the connections made between characters were interesting and illustrated a basic human need -- relationships, which is also alluded to in the title, How Not to Die Alone.
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I’m not sure that this book was written for someone like me. I went into this expecting it to have a lighter tone, but it was definitely a heavier read than I wanted it to be. I did enjoy Peggy and Andrew as our main characters though, and I thought they both went through a lot of growth throughout the book.
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Is it weird to say a book that leans so much on the subject of death was one of the most fun things I've read this year?

Andrew is kind of in the "business of death" - he works to find next of kin for those who have died alone. You know - those people who's bodies are found in their apartments 6 months after they've died and only because the rent checks weren't being paid? It's a grim job - I expect there's always someone who has to do it. But Andrew is pretty good at it. Although he did have to tell one teeny tiny white lie to get the job.

Nothing too crazy - just a fake wife, and fake kids, and a fake house in a posh neighborhood. In order to look (and feel) like less of a "loser" he makes up a whole family and continues the ruse for years... until someone special finally enters his life and he's faced with exposure.

This book is fun and quirky and sweet. But it's also equally sad and uplifting and like no other story I've read. And boy was it FUN! I loved following Andrew and Peggy along to their home visits, as I've always been fascinated by death, and the business of it, and it was an interesting side angle to the story. 

I was rooting for Andrew throughout. To finally find happiness and curious to find what went down in his past that made him feel like he needed to fake it to make it. But also to come clean, and embrace a brighter future, and finally get the happiness he deserves

The story is funny and warm and a breath of fresh air. Highly reccommend!
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This was a feel-good story that made me smile but at times the story could be particularly depressing.  I enjoyed reading the story and it was different to others I have read. Simply put this was a quirky tale bursting with heart, hope, and humor!  Thanks to NetGalley for my Advanced copy.
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Loved this read in the beginning Andrew's character didn't do it for me, but towards the second half of the novel you just want him to win at life. The character development and overall arch moves the narrative in a way you want to keep reading. If Eleanor Oliphant had a male counter-part Andrew is it, even shining light on heavier topics Roper does well. Great read.
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I liked the book but didn't love it. I felt like the relationship between Andy and Peggy didn't ever evolve as much as I would have liked, and lacked a certain amount of chemistry. I also didn't love how it started with Peggy still being married and living with her husband, albeit an alcoholic.  It was billed as 'darkly funny' and the humor was missed on me, their concept behind their careers is depressing and sad, and the state of Andy's life is sad.  I appreciated the twist at the ending and felt like that made the book better and Andy more relatable, but not enough to change my overall opinion of the book.
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G.P. Putnam's Sons and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of How Not To Die Alone. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Andrew works for the council, tasked with the unenviable job of finding the next of kin for individuals in their district who die alone. When he initially interviewed for the position, a misunderstanding as to his personal situation turned into a cascade of lies. This fact did not bother Andrew until Peggy is hired and their ensuing friendship changes the way that the man thinks about his life. As Andrew starts to realize that his carefully built house has cracks, will he find a way out that leaves the best parts of his life intact?

How Not To Die Alone reminds me of the works of Fredrik Backman, with a serious undertone to the plot that is lightened up by the quirky characters. Andrew is a good example as to how a small lie can become the thing that overtakes your life. His life parallels those for whom he seeks to help, giving readers a perspective early on that Andrew himself is not able to see. I like the fact that the story does not have a quick and easy conclusion because true life can be messy. Readers who like Fredrik Backman will definitely like Richard Roper's How Not To Die Alone and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.
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This booked was billed as another Eleanor Oliphant but outside of the main character Andrew being awkward and living a false life it ended there. Eleanor Oliphant was great, this was just mediocre.
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How Not to Die Alone is a quiet, simple, and (despite what the title may lead you to think) wonderfully  uplifting book.  Andrew has been living a lie-his entire work community thinks that he has a wife in kids at home when, in fact, he lives alone.  But, a new office employee and his bosses' decision to host family dinner parties make him regret his decision and leads to funny and heartwarming events.  This book is a great read for fans of book like A Man Called Ove.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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First, what a horrible, sad job to have! I mean Bless his heart, y'all. He looks for family of people who died.. Alone. Both him and the deceased. Oh my goodness. That will make you think. But it's not sad (well maybe a little). It's fun and sweet and relatable. I enjoyed reading How Not to Die Alone.
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I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Andrew works as a public health employee in London, searching for next of kin for people who die alone, trying not to think about the fact that someday, he will be the one dying alone.  His co-workers don't know that, though, as he pretended to have a wife and two kids during his interview and has kept the lie going these past few years.  In Andrew's mind, this fantasy brings him happiness.  When Peggy joins his department, though, he feels a connection to her and begins to think of having an actual friendship/relationship with someone.  Can he find the courage to take that step?

Andrew's decisions to keep up the ruse kept making me cringe; I wanted to be able to shake his shoulders and tell him to let the truth out to quell his anxiety, though it was expected given the blurb. It wasn't just that, though; Peggy was married.  I did enjoy reading about Andrew's job; what happens when people die alone wasn't something I had thought about prior to this book.  It wasn't a bad book, but it's not among my favorites of the year so far.

Trigger warning for suicidal thoughts, abuse, and alcoholism
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A charming read, but not my favorite.  I didn’t connect to the story, but I definitely think others would like it. It’s quirky and fun!
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This book was quirky, sad and absolutely lovely. It's a portrait of a man named Andrew who (sometimes to his knowledge and sometimes not) yearns for a better life, works a very sad job and is extremely lonely. Then he meets Peggy, and his world turns upside down in good ways and bad. I was expecting this to be a love story, but it's so much more -- it's a story of resilience, owning up to your mistakes and facing life's problems head on. A great read!
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Andrew is a 40-something UK government employment whose job it is to go into the homes of deceased people who died alone (and, in many cases, weren’t found for days, weeks or even months) to look for any evidence of family or friends and finances to cover the cost of the funeral. If that weren’t depressing enough, he’s also living a lie: that he has a wife and kids at home in a lovely townhouse. His reality is that he lives alone in a shabby walk-up flat with only his model trains, fellow online enthusiasts, and Ella Fitzgerald recordings for company. When new employee Peggy joins him on his visits, a friendship develops with stirrings of romantic feelings, but Andrew will need to decide if he will perpetuate the lie or risk losing Peggy’s affection by telling the truth. 

This is truly a dark comedy with gallows humor and central themes of death, PTSD, loneliness, emotional abuse, and deceit. Although depression makes it exceedingly difficult, Andrew learns that there are potential friends all around if he is willing and able to reach out to them. The ending was rather abrupt, and the mystery of Andrew’s downstairs female neighbor with the lovely perfume is inconclusive which will leave readers to wonder why she’s even present in the book. Triggers: depression, death, and PTSD.

I received a complimentary ARC of this book from G. P. Putnam's Sons through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
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A very quirky but a bit sad book. I normally don't read books by or about men but this one had a lot of well-developed characters and the women seemed to be actual people. The book was darker and heavier than I felt like the cover and description suggested.
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Thanks for my copy of How Not to Die Alone! 

I initially had a hard time getting into the book. It was initially difficult understanding the office dynamics, employees, and the character development of the protagonist, Andrew. 

Once the new employee Peggy was hired, we start to learn the heartache that Andrew has been carrying with him. We also eventually learn why Andrew made up his imaginary family and why he longs to have the connection of a real family.

Between the grief, there were many laughs and moments of joy that made this book stand out among others.

I would definitely recommend this book to others!
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I thought this was a cute book. It was definitely funny, which was cool since Andrew's job was so grim. I couldn't really understand some of the choices Andrew made, but I think he definitely evolved as a character throughout the book. It was a fun read.
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I absolutely ADORED everything about this book. The gist of this is that Andrew has a job that is not the most uplifting, he searches for the next of kin for those who die alone. Oftentimes that means going into the home when the body is still in there and it’s not pretty. Andrew’s personal life has been kind of a mess as well, really since he was a kid, and for once he just wanted to seem normal. So, when he was interviewing for this job, and the interviewer asked about his family, the words just came out and he might have accidentally made one up. As in, he made up a wife and kids when there are none.

Haven’t we all been there to some extent? I get that it’s maybe not to this extreme, but when someone puts us on the spot, we might say something unexpected. A white lie if you will.  But my gosh, Andrew goes all in with this, because when he is prepared to start this job and tell his boss he didn’t know what he was thinking, events spiral and he just goes with it, thinking eh, personal and professional worlds won’t ever cross. Right? Riggghhht. WELL, IN COMES PEGGY. And OH MYLANTA she is as quirky as he is, and she rocks Andrews world. They become fast friends, and he starts feeling supes guilty for this tangled web he has woven but doesn’t know how to possibly get out of it. Peggy has her own issues as well, but this pair, I could not love them more!

Andrew grows so much as a person throughout this book as he deals with his current situation, as well as his past, and getting to watch that journey is BEYOND endearing. On the surface, this all probably sounds like what in the heck is going on, but I promise it is the sweetest, most heartfelt thing you could read. I literally wanted to put Andrew in my pocket the entire time. 

This just came out in late May, and I do not think it has gotten the attention it deserves, but I will go so far as to say this will be a top 10 read for me this year. Ok, I will stop raving, but really, add this one to your list!!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Putnam books for the free copy to review. All opinions above are my own.
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Unique story. Well written with well fleshed out characters that seemed real and likeable, even the ones that you first dislike. Andrew’s transition throughout the book was extremely relatable.
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Have you ever been stuck in a situation by your own white lie?

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper is about Andrew, a middle aged man who searches for the next of kin of the recently deceased. He spends most of his time alone with his Ella Fitzgerald records. Andrew has told his co-workers that he is married with two children and it's getting harder to maintain the lie. When a new co-worker, Peggy, enters his life, Andrew has to decide whether he going to tell the truth about his imaginary family.

Andrew seems like a decent guy who got mixed up in telling this weird lie. I really wanted him to be able to move on and have a relationship with Peggy. Peggy also has an alcoholic husband. So there's another hurdle that Andrew needs to clear before he can even think about dating Peggy.

I wondered how the office would deal with the situation. Would he be fired for making up a family? Is Andrew's lie worse than the co-worker with terrible hygiene and manners? It probably isn't. 

If you've ever had a co-worker with bad hygiene or manners- body odor, terrible breath, licking their fingers while eating etc. -  then you know.  (Licking your fingers while eating might not be bad manners, just irritating. So gross.) Lies are terrible but smelling bad in close quarters with other people is something difficult to deal with. 

This book was funny and also had some more poignant moments. Once I got past the part with the finger licking co-worker, it was worth the read.
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