Friday, April 24, 2015

Postcards from a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber

I'd never heard of Postcards from a Dead Girl (P.S.) when I stumbled on it in the stacks at Powell's. I liked the cover, and how it started...

"The postcard is everything, but looks like nothing. An inconsequential sheet of pressed pulp decorated with a few drops of ink, it barely exists in the physical realm. But this one has got hold of something inside me that feels like forever. I follow the looping lines that make up Zoe's penmanship, the soaring arcs and inky swirls. I try to understand the true implications of her words, the hidden message behind the surface one. What a ridiculous phrase: wish you were here."


Sid is receiving postcards in the mail from his dead girlfriend, Zoe. The postcards arrive from all over the world, and come months after she died. Sid alternately loves getting them, and is confused and frustrated by them. How is it that he is even receiving them?

He has no idea. Sid spends time, the goodwill of friends and relatives, and money - money he doesn't have - trying to find out.

We start out with Sid and the postcards. As we read on, we find out that he's a guy with a job at Wanderlust, a call center selling travel packages. He is a bit of a hypochondriac. He has a dog named Zero. He talks to his dead mother in a wine bottle.

I love how Sid sees the world, notwithstanding the dead mother in the wine bottle and the postcards from the dead girlfriend. Here he is at the doctor having one of his hypochondriac fantasies explored...

"The doctor searches my eyes back and forth, back and forth, like the manic expressions of soap opera actors on Univision just before they shed tears. He talks softly then, but forcefully, 'Let's not worry about anything until we see what we've got, okay? It might be nothing at all.' His face changes then, possibly into what he feels is a compassionate smile, but it comes off as slight dental discomfort."

And I knew exactly what kind of expression was on the doctor's face.

I really liked Sid. I wanted him to figure out his life and stop making bad decisions. He's likable, but no one in his world knows it because he's being kind of a jerk. Because he misses Zoe. Which, even when he's making bad decisions, is endearing. Will Sid figure it out? You should read it and see.

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