“Born with the Dead” – Robert Silverberg, 1974

I’ve just finished re-reading Robert Silverberg’s 1974 novella ‘Born with the Dead’ and loved it all over again…


I first read this story in the early ’80s and it really stuck with me. I’ve probably given away around a thousand books over the past 30 years, including this one. However, Silverberg was my favourite sci-fi author all those years again and I eventually had to get another copy of this one!

At its heart this is a love story. Jorge Klein’s wife has died young and then been “rekindled” and brougt back as one of “the dead”. She is ‘alive’ in her rekindled body but the love they shared has died within her. It seems that the dead have completely different feelings about the world and people around, which they perceive through a lens of almost comic, unattached irony.

Klein chases his rekindled wife, Sybil, around the world, deserate to see her again. She is no longer interested in him though, and his chasing eventually leads her dead friends to kill & rekindle him. The rekindled Klein finds that he is no longer interested in Sybil… his love has not carried over from when he was alive.

A love stories that explore the intersections between Love, Faith and Adversity, and this tale has all three! Great writing from a Grand Master – 10/10.


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