How Not to Die Alone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

3 Stars.

Have you ever started a novel and known immediately that it was not for you and yet you kept going?  Such was the case with “How Not to Die Alone.”

This novel is about a man named Andrew, who works for the death registry - his main job is to go to the homes of the recently deceased, determine if they have next of kin and/or funds to pay for funeral expenses.  If they have no one, he makes sure to attend their funerals.  You see, he is alone and has no one, yet he has lied to everyone at his office and has told them that he is married with two children because, in truth he could end up in the same predicament, he could die alone. 

Then someone new starts at the registry, her name Peggy.  She is married with children (she’s not married to Al, I swear, lol).  Their friendship has a profound impact on Andrew and the way he thinks of himself and the world.

Admittedly, this novel was perhaps not the best choice for someone like me, as I am divorced, have no children and don’t have close family (I have the best of friends and I have books thus I am richer than most).  That said, this though “How Not to Die Alone” is, at times endearing and quirky, it is also a heavier type read that was hard to shake off.  There were no moments where it truly touched my heart or made me smile with utter joy unlike other books in this genre.  It just didn’t have that same “feel.”  The characters of Andrew and Peggy however both go through a lot of growth throughout the novel and have an incredible amount of believability and depth which was astounding considering this is a debut novel.  If you can handle a bit of heavier read, this novel might be for you.

Thank you to Edelweiss, NetGalley, Penguin Group Putnam and Richard Roper for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.  

Published on Goodreads, Edelweiss and NetGalley on 2.26.19.
*Will be published on Amazon on 5.28.19.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really good book!  I loved the main character and wanted everything to be okay for him.  He was flawed, but so lovable.  I don't need a sequel, because this story was complete enough for me.
Was this review helpful?
Here is a book that is in turns heartbreaking and hilarious. Andrew's public persona hides a sparse and secluded life which in turn hides a string of tragedies. The layers of defense produce situations awkward and appalling. Layering his personal life with a profession which forces him to search for people connected to solitary corpses was a stroke of genius. This is a very funny book. It is also thought provoking, heart warming, and ultimately glorious.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Andrew is an eccentric man who lives in a fantasy world.  His idiosyncrasies are bizarre, but the final explanation pulls everything together and it becomes easy to empathize with the reasons for his actions.

I loved the book.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately this book didn’t do it for me. While it is written well and I felt happy that Andrew finally found a sense of purpose and peace, it defied logic for me too many times to be able to enjoy it. Why is a lie about someone’s personal life detrimental to their career? Why is it material for blackmail? The whole premise was too flawed for me to enjoy the book
Was this review helpful?
Andrew's job is not one that would have me going to work looking forward to the coming day. He works in public health and his job entails going to the homes of people who have died alone and sorting through their belongings looking for living relatives or friends. He has a good heart, a loving family, and a beautiful home, so why do these strangers 'follow' him home every night?
Andrew's home life doesn't exactly mirror the picture he has painted to his coworkers. A lie and Andrew's own personal demons have enabled him to live a fantasy life, but when a new employee Peggy joins the team, his carefully constructed life feels much less appealing. If he wants a better future, one that won't end with him all alone, he'll have to confront his past and choose to live.
This was definitely a sad story on many levels. All the people who died alone and all the various reasons that brought each of them to that place made me wonder how often this happens. Andrew's choices arose from events in his past, but unlike those who seemingly have no one who cares, he gets the chance to decide how to live the rest of his life. Don't get me wrong, I thought this was beautifully written and this book is also full of hope. I won't spoil it for anyone by saying any more about Andrew, except that I was rooting for him to come out of his shell and embrace life. 
I enjoyed my reading time with How Not to Die Alone and it really made me consider what I could do in my community for those who might be living in isolation.
Was this review helpful?
I love a good character!  Although at times I admit to wondering how Andrew could be quite so pathetic, his sense of humor and his particular charm definitely had me rooting for him the entire time.  I also have to admit that I did not see the true story behind his lie coming.
Was this review helpful?
This book has a good amount of witty/dark humor, and i found it entertaining.  The main character wove a large lie in his life and he's face with having to either unravel the lies, or keep up the charade.  Entertaining but also touching.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting book with very witty dialogues. It provides an insight into the increasing isolation of people and the compassion humanity needs to regenerate. I read it in one sitting and if a book can hold one’s interest unwaveringly then it is definitely worth reading. Simple, poignant and relevant. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review 

The idea sounded great, and they were many parts of this book that felt clever and winsome, But in many ways this book felt disjointed and never really got 1000% off the ground, to be fair this may have been exacerbated by the very distracting layout of the galley,  and I may choose to re-read it after it has been published in proper form to give it another chance. But this copy in this form really never did it for me
Was this review helpful?
::I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work!:: 

Today I read #HowNotToDieAlone by #RichardRoper. This story is about a lonely man named Andrew who spends his days sorting out the affairs of people who have died alone. You'd think this book is incredibly depressing by that opener, but it actually has a lot of heart. Our hero has told a whopper of a lie and his reasons for deception are holding him back from finding joy in his life. Roper is very wise in his writing because he doesn't paint loneliness with a single brush. He understands that behind it lies regret, grief, and heartbreak. Isolation doesn't just happen, it's a retreat and a reprieve from the rollercoaster of life. This book contains a lot of the same themes and humor as  #EleanorOliphantIsCompletelyFine . If you're the type of person who is comfortable with a little gallows humor, or can find a silver lining on the worst of days then I recommend this book for you. Oh! and I must include a trigger warning for suicidal ideations in the back half of this book.
Was this review helpful?