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Dead Astronauts (MCD 2019) is as poetic as it is trippy. This is a novel that makes you work for your understanding of the characters and the worlds they live within. It’s also a novel that forces you to accept that you won’t come out with a full understanding of, well, pretty much anything within its pages. Due to its playful typography, the book is shorter than it appears, and I binged it all in one afternoon.
Mysteries related to characters and setting unraveled slowly, and that is what made this book for me. It’s set in a dystopian future where three heroes battle against themselves and the all-powerful Company that made them who and what they are. The fate of our world and worlds not entirely our own rest in their hands (when they have hands). The rest you will have to figure out for yourself.
Fans of experimental works like House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski or S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst will almost certainly enjoy Dead Astronauts.
Reviewed by Danielle Creech, head of Preservation and Digitization at Washington University Libraries.