The Deaths of Henry King

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Henry King has died. In fact, Henry King has died over and over again in all sorts of ways. Every page, a new death. Every page, a new Henry king. Some deaths are funny, some are whimsically inventive (like the folk song leading to a case of mistaken identity), and some are borderline incoherent. But one thing is certain: Henry King will die as you turn every single page.

The Deaths of Henry King is a peculiar reading experience. Each death is a vignette, a tiny glimpse of one version of Henry King and how he came to an end. We don’t have time to learn much about each individual Henry King before he goes, though. You’re simply skipping across various ends as fast as you can read them. It’s jarring and dark and humorous all at once.

The art only adds to the effect. It feels ancient, evoking the simplicity and solemnness of cave paintings and hieroglyphics, making Henry King feel like a mythic figure (rather than like the endlessly reincarnated Agrajag from the Hitchhiker’s Guide series).

And yet, the book does feel complete, as if the litany of deaths reaches a satisfying crescendo. It’s hard to explain. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.

Reviewed By:

Author Brian Evenson • Jesse Ball • Lilli Carré, Illustrator
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 160 pages
Publisher Uncivilized Books
Publish Date 2017-Oct-31
ISBN 9781941250204 Buy this Book
Issue May 2018
Category Modern Literature


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