Death of an Ordinary Man

by Glen Duncan
Release date: 2004
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

With Death of an Ordinary Man, Glen Duncan continues his penetrating and innovative exploration of the supernatural with a novel that is far and away his most powerful and accomplished yet. Nathan Clark's gravestone offers a short and hopeful summary: At rest. But Nathan is not at rest, and knows he won't be until he finds out why he died. Privy now to the innermost thoughts and feelings of his family and friends — confessions that are raw, brutal, and unexpected — Nathan spends the day of his wake getting to know the living as he has never known them before: His father struggles with a legacy of family tragedy; his wife with the baggage of a doomed affair; his older daughter with her burgeoning sexuality and adolescent confusion. But why isn't Nathan's young daughter Lois at the wake? Who are the two strangers at the funeral, and why does their presence fill him with dread?

Part detective story, part family portrait, Death of an Ordinary Man is an unflinching look at the margins of human experience, where the boundaries of fundamental feelings — love, grief, desire, shame, and hope — meet and mingle, and no motivation is as simple as it seems.

(updated 2017-01-30)

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