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10 thoughts on “How Not to Die Alone

  1. Jasmine from How Useful It Is Jasmine from How Useful It Is says:

    I started reading How Not to Die Alone on 582019 and finished it on 5102019 This story being particularly depressing but I have to admit that I enjoyed reading it It’s different I have never thought about those people who live alone and die alone before I’m aware of people who live through life that either don’t get married or don’t have children and outlived their spouses but I always thought they may have cousins or live in nursing homes with caretakers Andrew’s job is interesting though it’s one job I can never ever perform I like being educated about this area of death and it opens my eyes to know that any job is possible and death can go undiscovered for so long if one lead such a lonely lifeThis book is told in the third person point of view following Andrew 42 an employee at the Death Administration department of public health His job is to find families next of kin and to inspect the houses of those who dies alone to find assets to cover their own funeral costs Andrew’s co workers think that he has a lawyer wife and two kids when he actually comes home from work to an empty house A mistake made during an interview 5 years ago became a full blown lie Andrew is a loner who likes to play with model trains and his only best friends are three other model trains enthusiasts on the internet forum His childhood was particularly depressing where his dad died when he was 3 his mom became withdrawn his older sister bullied and abandoned him and finally a secret that left him withdrawn into himself No one had ever come close to being friends with Andrew until a new employee Peggy joined his department She shadow him and go with him to inspect houses and attend funerals They got along well and he even comes out of his shell for her doing something he normally wouldn’t do like drinking beer on Wednesday shopping for new clothes etcHow Not to Die Alone is very well written and offer a uniue topic to think about Andrew’s life is a bit depressing as well as the topic of the story He grows up inside a bubble of comfort where he doesn’t socialize and anything outside of his comfort zone scares him His childhood is a sad one and it explains why his adulthood is no better I feel so happy when he finally made a friend and he started to develop feelings than just his mundane days There were some suspense moments that I thought he would give in to being bullied by his brother in law The people he works with are something else I like Peggy and her humor I like the happy ending I highly recommend everyone to read this bookPro lonely deaths odd job comfort zones friendship cover humorCon noneI rate it 5 starsDisclaimer I won a copy this book via Goodreads giveaway Please be assured that my opinions are honestxoxoJasmine at wwwhowusefulitiswordpresscom for details


  2. Berit☀️✨ Berit☀️✨ says:

    υιɾƙყ Uρʅιϝƚιɳɠ Uɳιϙυҽ Richard Roper has crafted a uirky and uplifting story packed with colorful characters and a uniue storyline The blurb of this book compares it to “Eleanor Oliphant” Generally I’m not a fan of comparing books but I’d have to say this is an accurate comparison SO if you loved Eleanor you will also love getting to know Andrew Andrew is 42 a bit of a loner and he works for the Ministry of Death His job includes finding the next of kin for those who die alone searching their home for valuable possessions that will help pay for their funeral and then even though it’s not compulsory Andrew attends the funerals for these people who have no one in their lives to say goodbye Andrew returns home every evening to an empty house his model trains and group of eclectic online friends who he met on a model train enthusiast website However because of an innocent slip up he made on his job interview his boss Cameron and coworkers believe he returns home every evening to a wife and two kids When Peggy begins working with Andrew and befriends him and his boss Cameron wants the coworkers to have monthly dinner parties Andrew is fearful that the truth will come out Is living with this lie truly living? Will the truth set Andrew free or ruin his life? Andrew was a lovable vulnerable character that I just wanted to give a big hug Peggy was great a true breath of fresh air The friendship that forms between these two was so lovely Andrew had really got himself into uite the pickle one white lie that snowballed into something involving spreadsheets It really was sad to contemplate how these people died alone with seemingly nobody in their lives that cared And then there was Andrew who had the opportunity to make some choices that would prevent him from being in the same position one day I think Mr Roper did an amazing job of showing us how we all have people in our lives than we think we just need to know where to look This was a feel good story that made me smile It’s kind of interesting that a story that features death so prominently could be so uplifting but this book really was Simply put this was a uirky tale bursting with heart hope and humor many thanks to GP Putnam’s Sons for my copy


  3. Kelly (and the Book Boar) Kelly (and the Book Boar) says:

    Find all of my reviews at a pickle this book has left me in I should have hated it because it contained my maybe only dealbreaker plotline – one that 9999999% of the time makes me Since I received an early copy common courtesy says not to divulge too much and ruin things for everyone else Buuuuuuuuuut Imma do it anyway because I don’t think it’s fair for readers to spend their dollars on books that they didn’t know contained subject matter that they would have steered clear of if they had known about it and I don’t think it’s fair for authors to get blasted with 1 Stars due to readers picking up something they should have never touched with a 10 foot pole But first let’s briefly go over what this book is even about shall we? How Not To Die Alone focuses on 42 year old Andrew Andrew works for the council as an organizer of “pauper’s funerals” When someone dies with no apparent next of kin it is Andrew’s job to sort through their homes no matter how Hoarder y or disgusting they may be in search of contact information for any long lost family or friends or at least some stashed cash to help cover the burial costs It’s a perfect fit for Andrew as his job provides plenty of time away from the office and less interaction with others – which is great when you accidentally created a fake wife and children due to not paying attention during your interview years ago and failed to ever correct said accidental fib All that changes when new trainee Peggy is hired and assigned to job shadow Andrew Funny friendly and full of life Peggy makes Andrew see things in a whole new light Okay so the thing that a lot of people are going to take exception to myself included is Peggy is married and has children but is at minimum emotionally cheating on her spouse throughout the duration of this book not to mention despite Andrew’s family being imaginary as far as everyone is concerned he’s married too I’m telling you I’m just not okay with some things Married co workers grabbing lunch together during the workday is uestionable enough for me when there is clearly a sexual chemistry between the two but going out to dinner sans spouses? Hell nah That’s a date bro and also known as grounds for divorce Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I also think I'm the target demographic for this book and have a sneaking suspicion I'm not the only one with antiuated beliefs who will be interested in checking it out and find themselves a bit put off with this portion of the storylineBut here’s that pickle I mentioned I still loved this book I mean yeah I put it downtook a breather several different times and was very happy my husband wasn’t around to see the RBF to the nth degree that was occurring as Andrew and Peggy’s relationship evolved but at the end of the day the blurb was spot on This absolutely was “darkly funny” and “life affirming” and despite there being DOZENS of taglines on books out there saying they are “for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” this one might actually fit the bill I fell in love with Andrew and Peggy and the end result???? 4 Stars ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thank you NetGalley


  4. Chelsea (chelseadolling reads) Chelsea (chelseadolling reads) says:

    DNF 60% I really tried to get through this one but wow was it a slog I just couldn't do it any Onto the next one


  5. Theresa Alan Theresa Alan says:

    This is a fast chuckle inducing read with poignant moments of sadness and reflection Andrew’s job is to go to the homes of the deceased and find out if they have any family and any money to pay for a funeral Sometimes the bodies have been rotting for months but no one realizes it until the money in the bank runs out and they can no longer pay bills through automatic deductions Andrew has lived alone for twenty years His parents are dead and he is largely estranged from his sister His entire social life is an online group of model train enthusiasts But a misunderstanding during his job interview five years ago grew to become a huge lie that he has a wife and kids He likes the fantasy but his lies start getting harder to maintain after changes at his office including befriending the new employee Peggy who is going through a rough time with her marriage This book is a lot of fun I recommend it Also points for originality Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel which RELEASES MAY 28 2019 For reviews please visit


  6. Susanne Strong Susanne Strong says:

    3 StarsHave you ever started a novel and known immediately that it was not for you and yet you kept going? Such was the case with “How Not to Die Alone”This novel is about a man named Andrew who works for the death registry his main job is to go to the homes of the recently deceased determine if they have next of kin andor funds to pay for funeral expenses If they have no one he makes sure to attend their funerals You see he is alone and has no one yet he has lied to everyone at his office and has told them that he is married with two children because in truth he could end up in the same predicament he could die alone Then someone new starts at the registry her name Peggy She is married with children she’s not married to Al I swear lol Their friendship has a profound impact on Andrew and the way he thinks of himself and the worldAdmittedly this novel was perhaps not the best choice for someone like me as I am divorced have no children and don’t have close family I have the best of friends and I have books thus I am richer than most That said this though “How Not to Die Alone” is at times endearing and uirky it is also a heavier type read that was hard to shake off There were no moments where it truly touched my heart or made me smile with utter joy unlike other books in this genre It just didn’t have that same “feel” The characters of Andrew and Peggy however both go through a lot of growth throughout the novel and have an incredible amount of believability and depth which was astounding considering this is a debut novel If you can handle a bit of heavier read this novel might be for youThank you to Edelweiss NetGalley Penguin Group Putnam and Richard Roper for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on Goodreads Edelweiss and NetGalley on 22619Will be published on on 52819


  7. *TUDOR^QUEEN* *TUDOR^QUEEN* says:

    Thank you to GP Putnam's Sons Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via EdelweissAndrew is 42 single lives alone in an apartment in London and works for the council He has the unusual task of dealing with the aftermath of people who die alone Job details include going to the residence armed with a mask doused liberally with expensive cologne to mask the uniuely foul smell of death Sometimes the dwelling is extremely neat and other times there is a huge mess to clean up flies swirling around He must pore through drawers and paperwork to look for a life insurance policy cash often times found under a mattress next of kin etc The goal is to find a means of recovering funeral costs for the deceased If need be valuable items in the residence can be sold Not that it is even reuired but Andrew always attends the funeral church service More often than not Andrew and the vicar are the only people paying respects to the deceased Andrew has also been known to shed a tear or two at the pathetic situationAndrew created problems for himself when he was first interviewed for the job by his boss Cameron Andrew's mind was wandering at one point during the interview when Cameron asked a personal uestion Faking that he hadn't heard the uestion Andrew wound up lying that he was married with two children Once you start telling a lie it has a way of snowballing into a bigger lie Eventually Cameron encourages the staff to take turns at each other's houses getting together for dinner Andrew is uite stressed at the thought of what he will do when it's his turn to host He's lied so many times to his co workers about his make believe wife Diane and their two children that there's no turning backAnother conflict in the story is his attraction to new employee Peggy who he takes along on house searches to show her the ropes Peggy has an easy friendly and funny way about her that is very appealing to Andrew In addition Peggy has two young daughters but is married to an alcoholic Andrew loves to listen to Ella Fitzgerald albums and is an avid train set enthusiast He participates in a chat forum using a screen name on the internet for train set hobbyists When he's upset or lonely he is calmed by turning on his train track listening to Ella and chatting on the train forum thread He suffers from PTSD involving an abusive sister Sally and reacts horribly whenever he hears the song Blue Moon sung by Ella Fitzgerald It will cause him to run out of a record store lie face down in bed and scream etc In summation the character of Andrew reminds me a bit of Eleanor Oliphant in that he is a victim of sibling abuse lives with resultant mental problems and maintains a solitary life with simplicity He's worried about what people will think if he lets them get too close This wasn't the greatest book I've ever read or the worst either It was a decent read


  8. Emer (A Little Haze) Emer (A Little Haze) says:

    This book has shaken me to my core But in the best way It was nothing like I expected it to be from the blurb but instead was so much darker and utterly heart wrenching I don’t know if this is morbid on my behalf but I freuently wonder about my own inevitable death wonder about how old I’ll be where I’ll be would my absence impact anyone to any great degree I’m guessing I’m not the only one who thinks about these things because these themes are key to the plot of ‘Something to Live For’The book follows lonely Andrew as he navigates a council job that reuires him to inspect the homes of recently deceased people who appear to have no next of kin in order to find out if they a have long lost family somewhere and b if they have accumulated enough finances to pay for a funeral Andrew goes above and beyond his duty and always attends the funerals of these lost and lonely souls freuently being the only person in attendance apart from the vicar Andrew feels a kinship with these people and the book explores why that is through the introduction of a new co worker Peggy It uickly becomes apparent that Andrew has been living with some sort of trauma and because of this has fabricated a personal life to make him feel somehow like he belongs What started as a simple white lie to cover up a moment’s distraction during a job interview snowballs into a lie so huge that it smothers Andrew’s sense of identity But with the introduction of Peggy Andrew begins to find the motivation to live his true self and to finally face the tragedy of his past The character of Andrew is utterly compelling to read about He is beautifully drawn with so many layers to his personality and his life’s story Getting to know him through this book was an incredible journey to go on My heart ached for him to find his truth and his peace with that truth His character arc is richly detailed I was thoroughly gripped by the plot and I was completely invested in getting to know what the outcome of his story would be I also really enjoyed the ending of the book I thought it was perfectly paced and hit the right notes of hope and bittersweetness The side characters in the book were obviously not uite as detailed as Andrew but each added their own uniue charm to the novel I was particularly fond of Andrew’s online buddies from the model train enthusiasts forum and really liked how the book illustrated the meaningful friendships and connections that people can make using the internet But the best part of this book has to be Peggy Her friendship with Andrew is delightful She imbues lightness into this dark world of Andrew’s; even though she too has some personal demons regarding her marriage to an alcoholic husband But when both Andrew and Peggy are on the page together it’s just wonderful They have a sweet chemistry and it’s impossible to not want these two characters to find their happy ever after together yes I know she’s married and some people might raise an eyebrow at that But this book is written in such an honest way that you feel the depth of conflict on Peggy’s part Her story arc isn’t black and white and I am 100% convinced the ending for her character will satisfy any reader who might be uncomfortable with her marital status and how it conflicts with her friendship with Andrew This is a book that I would recommend to any fan of contemporary adult fiction It does deal with topics surrounding death and loneliness which might be a little too dark for some readers but amidst all the pain and sorrow in this novel there is great hope about the resilience of the human spirit and how just one simple connection with another human being can save a lifeHighly recommended 45 starsContent Warning suicide attempt alcoholism An e copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis paperback edition publishing 23rd July 2020 OrionOriginally published in other regions in 2019 as ‘How Not to Die Alone’ For reviews and book related chat check out my blogFollow me on TwitterFriend me on Goodreads


  9. Toni Toni says:

    Andrew works for the local council and has an unusual job of identifying if people who lived and died alone had a next of kin The irony of the situation is that Andrew himself is estranged from his family single and lives alone although due to a misunderstanding during the job interview his boss thinks that Andrew has a loving wife and two children When a new employee Penny joins the department an unusual friendship is born which changes the way Andrew views himself and other peopleWhile the subject of the book is not light at all the way the author deals with the topic is original thought provoking and yes life affirming I feel this is an important book in this day and age when loneliness has become so widespread for a variety of social reasonsI loved Richard Roper's writing style humour and unusual depth of the characters both main and secondary Definitely recommended Thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Group Putnam for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion


  10. Book of the Month Book of the Month says:

    Why I love itby Liberty HardyPrepare yourself for hilarity and heart sueezes in this life affirming novel about—wait for it—deathAndrew has an unusual job for a civil servant He goes into the homes of deceased people who lived alone and searches their belongings for clues of any living relatives He is respectful and sensitive and the job suits him Andrew himself lives a uiet life alone—not that his coworkers know that For five years due to a small error he’s allowed them to believe he’s happily married with childrenNow Andrew’s lie has come back to bite him not only because his boss is suggesting they take turns hosting team building dinners but also because of the new employee Peggy Peggy is friendly and full of life and Andrew is falling for her But if he tells her the truth will she ever talk to him again? And will his boss fire him if he finds out the truth?I had no idea what to expect when I started this and was delighted to discover that not only was it full of humor but it has so much heart Roper has done a great job weaving together a story of one man’s loneliness and dreams in the face of mortality I never found it to be too heavy despite death playing a large part in the story and I also found myself wishing that everything against all odds would turn out all right for Andrew in the endRead at


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How Not to Die Alone A darkly funny and life affirming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine the story of one man who is offered a second chance at life and love when he develops an unexpected friendship if he can expose the white lie he told years ago that grew into so much Andrew's day to day is a little grim searching for next of kin for those who die alone Thankfully he has a loving family waiting for him when he gets home to help wash the day's cares away At least that's what his coworkers believeAndrew didn't mean for the misunderstanding to happen yet he's become trapped in his own white lie The fantasy of his wife and two kids has become a pleasant escape from his lonely one bedroom with only his Ella Fitzgerald records for company But when new employee Peggy breezes into his life like a breath of fresh air Andrew is shaken out of his routine She doesn't notice the wall he's been safely hiding behind and their friendship promises to break it downAndrew must choose Does he tell the truth and start really living his life but risk losing his friendship with Peggy Or will he stay safe and alone behind the façade How Not to Die Alone is about the importance of taking a chance in those moments when we have the most to lose Sharp and funny warm and real it's the kind of big hearted story we all need

  • Hardcover
  • 321 pages
  • How Not to Die Alone
  • Richard Roper
  • English
  • 17 November 2015
  • 9780525539889