The View from the Seventh Layer

by Kevin Brockmeier
Release date: 2008
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, mainstream, short stories

Kevin Brockmeier - award-winning author of The Brief History of the Dead - has been widely praised for the richness of his imagination, the lyrical grace and playfulness of his language, and the empathic emotional complexity of his storytelling. And this dazzling collection once again affirms his place as one of the most creative and compassionate writers of his generation.

In the haunting title story, a young, asocial woman remembers the oddly honest things she wrote in her high school classmates' yearbooks and contemplates her scarred life, imagining an escape with an apparition she calls the Entity. In "Father John Melby and the Ghost of Amy Elizabeth," a formerly dull and turgid pastor is touched by a spirit that turns his sermons into crowd-pleasers - that is, until he discovers his inspiration is a little less than divine. "The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device" is a gorgeous homage to the classic, young readers' choose-your-own-adventure novels. But this one is for grown-ups who can navigate through imagery and dead ends, and toward a resolution that only Kevin Brockmeier could have invented. From the fantastical to the concrete, the range of this collection is breathtaking. It moves fluidly, finding beauty in the quiet, often overlooked corners of the world.

By turns daring and moving, The View from the Seventh Layer is crafted with the remarkable voice and vision that have become hallmarks of Brockmeier's acclaimed fiction.


  • A Fable with a Photograph of a Glass Mobile on the Wall
  • A Fable Ending in the Sound of a Thousand Parakeets
  • A Fable Containing a Reflection the Size of a Match Head in Its Pupil
  • A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from Its Pockets
  • Andrea Is Changing Her Name
  • Father John Melby and the Ghost of Amy Elizabeth
  • Home Videos
  • The Air Is Full of Little Holes
  • The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device: A Choose-Your-Own Adventure Story
  • The Lady with the Pet Tribble
  • The Lives of the Philosophers
  • The View from the Seventh Layer
  • The Year of Silence
updated 2012-12-06

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