Afterlife by Ian O'Neill

This has been an excellent, fast-paced, I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened, laugh out loud book. I enjoyed it from the moment I picked it up to the very last page.

David Henderson is dead. Death by sofabed. Sounds like fun, eh? And all he wanted to do was catch his bus. His story really starts just after he dies and he meets Nigel, his caseworker (and a dead ringer for 007!). From there he has to take many, many trips throughout space and time to get to his next Afterlife. His main focus is finding Paula, his wife who died of cancer. While meeting interesting people along the way (Abby Zee, a former model; Tricky Dicky, a former porn star; Fred, a former gym owner; Cancer; Barry Jones, a designer and in effect God; Ernest Hemmingway), he still struggles to find his wife, who is either still in the afterlife, or who has been born back into the world.

It is a light-hearted look at life after death, and no matter your views on the subject, it’s still a good read. There are very poignant parts where David has to face his wife’s death, and where Abby reveals how and why she died, not to mention seeing the “innocents”, and Abby’s class with them.

Each person has to go through a series of challenges to help them learn about themselves and learn how to be better people. After that happens, the either get reborn into the AfterAfterlife, or they get sent to The Grinder. Barry Jones goes into a bit of detail, explaining why this happens, and to what purpose. He goes into a bit of detail, and it’s quite interesting and logical. I think that Mr. O’Neill did a really great job of describing his/our universe and how it works through captive speaking, rather than just explaining it. I liked this device, as it was more interesting then launching into a narrative about why stuff happens. It also makes more sense, as the protagonist doesn’t really know the whys and hows.

This book has great scenes, from a memorable Mr. Wiggles scene, to a fantastic (but not graphic) and embarrassing S&M scene, as well as different games, different challenges, and all sorts of relatable circumstances.

The chapters have great titles too, like “I don’t care if you’re God, I’m still kicking your ass” and other such funny sentences.

I would rate this book as mature (16 +), due to sexuality (only one sex scene, but many sexual references) and language, as well as general adult themes. I think that younger people could read this book if they chose, but they might not get as much out of it.

Over all, great humour, great story line, great characters. I would recommend this book to just about anyone.