Making Light of Death

Ambling through a park this morning I overheard someone employ the phrase ‘making light of death’. My thoughts turned, with inevitable haste, to Koira Jupczek’s excellent novel, Death Charts, one of the funniest books about suicide you’ll ever read (including Victor Pawski’s Two Thousand Tractors).

Jupczek’s novel is set in a private school somewhere in central Europe, the pupils and alumni of which are renowned for ending their lives in mysterious and amusing ways. The whole novel, of course, makes light of death, but it also features a character who aims to literally make light of death. Kisirov, a talented Russian student, is working on a contraption which will ‘turn his death rattle into energy: enough, he hopes, to power a small lightbulb’.


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