Experimentation is essential to being a writer, and hence writes go to great limits to include a wide variety of eccentric characters in their novels. One of ways they can do this is to include dead characters who narrate the story. Not only does this add an element of suspense because you don’t know how they died or what happened after, but also makes the book interesting. Today, we’ve compiled a list of the best books where dead characters narrate the story, adding a new dimension to it.
List of Best Books Where Dead Characters Narrate The Story:
- Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
- Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
- Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder
- If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
- My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
- Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
This book follows our protagonist Eddie, an 83 year old war veteran who is killed in a car crash. Now he goes to heaven, and finds that heaven isn’t a place, but the event of narration of your life by five people – strangers or acquaintances or best of friends. As Eddie meets his share, he tries to piece together the meaning of his otherwise uninspiring life.
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
This sci-fi novel features a dead narrator, who claims that afterlife is similar to getting superpowers. It’s a biting satire that is set in a futuristic world where only a small race of humans from the Galapagos Islands has survived to pass on its genes. Our narrator is Leon Trout, a dead man who was involved in building a cruise ship for the island.
Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
This novel follows the American Bibi Chen. Chen isa connoisseur of arts as she plans a trip for eleven friends on the Burma Road. However, she dies under mysterious circumstances. Now a ghost, Bibi watches as the tourists delve into unlikely situations and disappear. This book is compelling and original – a masterpiece of Asian literature.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book doesn’t feature a dead character – it features Death itself as a character. Death narrates the story, following Liesel as the Hubermanm family adopts her and harbours a Jewish fugitive amidst the WW2.
Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder
This book is the screenplay of the 1950 classic Hollywood film of the same name – but worry not, it is as enjoyable as the movie, due to its verbal wisdom. It follows a famous actress who is suffering from the decline of her career, and hires a young screenwriter to write a script for her. This snowballs into death, madness and passion.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
This book follows Mia who meets with a devastating car accident. When she finally awakens, the memory of the accident has been replaced and doctors are trying their best to bring her to life. Now she must make a crucial choice – for which she needs to review her life in flashbacks. The writing in this out of body experience will give you the chills.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This book is narrated by the dead adolescent girl Susie who was raped and killed by her neighbour. As a ghost, she now observes the passage of time for earthly beings and tries to make sense of her time on earth as a human.
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
Set in a small town in America, this book follows the residents of a graveyard as they recite their epitaphs and explain their life and the manner of their death. This is an eccentric book which will blow your mind.
My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Pamuk’s Nobel prize winning work is set in Turkey and told by various narrators like Satan, a coin, dervishes and the colour Red. It also features a dead narrator – a murdered artist (a miniaturist hired by the Sultan). In this book, Pamuk weaves a story of the philosophical setting of 16th Century Istanbul while also creating a murder mystery.
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
The narrator of this book is a mother, who is in a coma with her 17 year old daughter. Now her soul, or spirit, is in limbo between life and death, and she must make up her mind about whether she wants to return, or stay in the netherworld. For now, she must reconcile with all the events, and people, of her life.