The Dead & the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

2007
12.09

dead and goneIn this companion book to Pfeffer’s phenomenal Life As We Knew It, seventeen-year-old Alex Morales deals with the day-to-day drudgery of the apocalypse in New York City. An asteroid has struck the moon, nudging it closer to Earth and upsetting the balance of the tides. This causes tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, bringing civilization to a standstill worldwide. Alex, who lives on the upper West side of Manhattan, is trying to take care of his two younger sisters on his own, as his Mami stuck in Queens and his Papi is away in Puerto Rico. Like Miranda from LAWKI, Alex must make some tough choices as the new head of the family in order to make sure that he and his sisters survive, including breaking into other apartments in his building to forage for canned goods, and “body shopping” with his friend Kevin—which consists of picking over the ever growing number of corpses that litter the city streets for goods they can trade for food. Even as his life grows more and more surreal, Alex and his sisters cling to their Catholic faith and school to provide structure in a world gone completely mad. Will the siblings make it out of NYC alive? And if they do, what kind of world is waiting for them on the mainland? While I throughly enjoyed this novel, I have to admit that it didn’t strike the same chord in my heart as LAWKI. It may have something to do with the fact that in LAWKI, Miranda’s story is told in first person (“I said, I did”) and in TD&TG, Alex’s story is told in third person (“He said, he did.”) And maybe it strikes a little too close to home–living in NYC, it’s not fun imagining myself in Alex’s shoes and having to scavenge in my neighbor’s abandoned apartments for food! However, I still recommend you go out and get it a.s.a.p. Just keep a good supply of peanut M&M’s and bottled water handy…

4 Responses to “The Dead & the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer”

  1. Morgan says:

    I’m jealous, jealous, jealous.

    The reason I liked Life as We Knew It so much is that it really MOVED me, ya know? I felt like running out to the store and stocking up on string beans (and I don’t even LIKE string beans).

    I’m sure The Dead and The Gone is good that way too.

  2. Ha. I know someone named Alex Morales. Pretty weird.\

    But this book sounds really good! I’ve been wanting to read Life as We Knew It for a while.

  3. Amanda says:

    I loved Life as We Knew it, but I didn’t like The Dead and the Gone as much. It was still good, but the first one was best. This one was more morbid and depressing. Writing about New York was an interesting take, but I think it was too much. She should have stopped with book one. This book is gross and disturbing. It didn’t add any more information or expand on the idea anymore. If she were going to write a sequel she should have written it after the fact. Let us know what happened next. The first book hinted about what happened in New York so I don’t think we needed another book that tells the same story with a different protaganist.

  4. Maxine says:

    I suggest that you read The Dead and the Gone again, but this time, as a unique novel. Life As We Knew It moved you, and, as with all stories in which the characters are beautifully developed, one is averse to letting them go. And remember, these are not a trilogy. Since the book was released to the public on June 1, it has found a fine readership. Give The Dead and the Gone its own time.

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