A 29-year-old professional meets an untimely end. Only it’s not the end.
In this dark comedy, the afterlife isn’t much different from regular life, as Marvin learns with the assistance of veteran deadheads. Mike is an old friend from college. And Tommy’s a chipper hippie. They take Marvin under their (non-angelic) wing, easing him into a regular routine of movie-going, deli breakfasts, and (live) people watching. But the fun and games take a sinister turn when Marvin decides that he can’t live without his girlfriend Jenna. He begins plotting her…shall we say….”transition”…unaware of the dark (and eternal) consequences.
Marvin has a strong voice. His sardonic wit adds a nice bite to the story. I wasn’t crazy about him or Jenna at first. They aren’t a warm-and-fuzzy couple. They’re hard-edged and tough on each other. Yet over the course of book, we see how truly attached they were to one another and how well matched they are. I didn’t want Jenna to die, but I was rooting for a happy ending.
Things morph from funny to creepy to outright scary as Marvin becomes more and more obsessed with having Jenna join him. He haunts her every move, interfering with her life and attempting to hasten her death. Even as his friends take a step back, he’s incapable of seeing how he’s endangering himself and everyone around him. I won’t spoil the ending, but the author found a clever way to resolve the seemingly unresolvable.
Other than a trip to Florida, which went on a few pages longer than it had to, (MARVIN’S) WORLD OF DEADHEADS kept me engaged from page one until its unexpected…and spirited…end.