Austin, TX (PRWEB) August 6, 2007
"Bizarre," "thought-provoking" and "entertaining" are just a few ways reviewers have described Owen Egerton's new book, "How Best to Avoid Dying" (ISBN 9780974070377, Dalton Publishing, 2007), a collection containing 18 short stories ranging in subject-matter from a deadly spelling bee, to a talking penis, to a modern-day retelling of the biblical story of Lazarus. The eclectic stories are tied together by a running theme about the mysteries and myths of death.
Though death is the book's central theme, Egerton doesn't characterize "How Best to Avoid Dying" as a morbid book. Instead of depressing readers, he aims to make them laugh and develop a relationship with the strange unknowns that surround death.
"How we define death defines how we see life," Egerton says. "I believe laughter can carry us deeper into stories, laughter brings down barriers, surprises us, and twists our perspective just enough to see things as we never have before."
"How Best to Avoid Dying" begins with a satirical story about a spelling bee where children who misspell words are dropped though a trap door to their death. Egerton argues that in a nation where American Idol updates spark more passion than events happening in Iraq, it doesn't take much to imagine a world only slightly more twisted, where international conflicts are decided by spelling bees to the death. The story also functions as a metaphor for life -- everyone can choose to play the game however he or she wants, but no matter what, sooner or later, the trap door will open.
"How Best to Avoid Dying" revolves around the idea that no one knows for sure what death is, whether it's something to be feared, something to welcome, or what, if any, kind of life exists after death. Rather than provide answers to these questions, Egerton seeks to cultivate the mystery. Above all, "How Best to Avoid Dying" strives to make readers laugh and reflect upon how strange, yet beautiful it is to be human.
About the Author
Owen Egerton resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He holds a master's degree in creative writing from Texas State University. His comedy album, "Big Thick Wooden Board" played on VH1 and "The Doctor Demento Show." In 2000, Egerton co-founded "The Sinus Show" at the Alamo Drafthouse, the most popular comedy show in Austin history. He has also written scripts for film, television and stage, and he is a commentator for NPR-affiliated stations.
"How Best to Avoid Dying" (ISBN 9780974070377, Dalton Publishing, 2007) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit Owen's social media newsroom at http://owenegerton.socialmediapower.com. Publicity contact: http://www.readerviews.com. Review copies available upon request.