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Better Dead   By: (1860-1937)

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Better Dead by J. M. Barrie is a captivating novel that takes readers on an unexpected and thought-provoking journey. Set in the early 20th century, the story follows the intriguing life of protagonist John Enderby, a successful playwright who mysteriously disappears.

Barrie's writing style is elegant and immersive, allowing readers to be completely engrossed in the narrative from the very beginning. The author's ability to intricately weave together the elements of mystery, romance, and social commentary is commendable. The plot unfolds effortlessly, revealing surprising twists and turns that kept me eagerly turning the pages.

One of the strongest aspects of Better Dead is Barrie's character development. The characters are wonderfully crafted, each with their own distinct personality traits and motivations. John Enderby, in particular, is a complex and enigmatic protagonist. Barrie expertly portrays his internal struggles, making him relatable and sympathetic to readers.

Moreover, the novel delves into deeper themes such as the price of success, the pursuit of happiness, and the impact of societal expectations. Barrie cleverly explores these themes through the lens of the characters' experiences, sparking introspection and inviting readers to reflect on their own lives and choices.

Another aspect that stands out in Better Dead is Barrie's ability to transport readers to the vividly depicted settings. The descriptions are vivid and evocative, immersing readers in the sights and sounds of early twentieth-century London. From the bustling streets to the grand theaters, the ambiance is palpable, enhancing the overall reading experience.

While Better Dead is a compelling and beautifully written novel, it may not appeal to everyone. The pacing, at times, feels slow, which might deter readers who prefer more fast-paced narratives. Additionally, the plot could have been further developed in certain areas to elevate the story's impact.

In conclusion, Better Dead is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that showcases J. M. Barrie's storytelling prowess. With its intriguing plot, well-developed characters, and exploration of profound themes, the book is an engaging read for those who appreciate a mix of mystery, romance, and social commentary.

First Page:

[Frontispiece: Photograph of J. M. Barrie]



[Transcriber's note: This volume from which this e book was created contained originally the two books, "Auld Licht Idylls" and "Better Dead." The Introduction (below) discusses both books.]





Copyright, 1896, by CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.




This is the only American edition of my books produced with my sanction, and I have special reasons for thanking Messrs. Scribner for its publication; they let it be seen, by this edition, what are my books, for I know not how many volumes purporting to be by me, are in circulation in America which are no books of mine. I have seen several of these, bearing such titles as "Two of Them," "An Auld Licht Manse," "A Tillyloss Scandal," and some of them announce themselves as author's editions, or published by arrangement with the author. They consist of scraps collected and published without my knowledge, and I entirely disown them. I have written no books save those that appear in this edition.

I am asked to write a few lines on the front page of each of these volumes, to say something, as I take it, about how they came into being... Continue reading book >>

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