Postcards from a Dead Girl is a gripping and stunning debut novel from Kirk Farber, a newly transplanted Coloradan.
Open the first page and enter Sid's world. Bam! You are now in Sid's head, and it's a very strange place. Thus begins a
story that is engaging, compelling, tragic and comic.
Sid may be experiencing a schism in his life brought on by the apparent disappearance of his girlfriend, Zoe. She
seems to have been gone for six months, but as the story opens Sid starts receiving postcards from exotic locations.
These cards are postmarked the year before.
If this all this sounds confusing, it is. One of the mysteries in this novel is just what is real and what lies in
Sid's very active and vivid imagination. Sid lives alone with his dog, Zero. His parents are dead; in fact his mother
died literally at his feet. His doctor sister, Natalie, is married and pregnant, and is perhaps his best and only tie
to reality. But her current emotional state is not always receptive to her brother's needs.
Sid is employed by Wanderlust Inc. as a salesman offering bargain vacation packages over the phone, read
telemarketer. One upside of the job is the opportunity for spontaneous and cheap trips. Sid's boss, Steve, monitors
all the workers over their headsets and frequently breaks into the conversations to give advice to secure sales.
Hearing another voice in his head is not the best situation for Sid.
Finally, unable to resist the urge to explore the places depicted on the postcards from Zoe, and possibly locate her, Sid picks up and leaves on a frantic journey to Europe. Before he leaves though, he goes to the local post office and
tries to find an explanation for the very tardy postcards. There he meets Gerald, the Post Office Guy," which
eventually leads to a curious friendship.
Farber writes with bountiful imagery, his phrases conjuring surreal pictures in the readers' mind. He depicts Sid's
profound confusion and other times his crystal clarity of thought in vivid detail.
As James Thurber puts it, Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness." Sid
thinks all the time, and the reader is right there listening to how far and wide his musings range. Sid's mind is a
very unusual and busy place.
Outside in the real world things are not going well for Sid either. In an attempt to cope, Sid spends way too much
time doing laps in the local automated car wash. He also learns about spa mud baths, which leads to a disturbing hole
in his back yard after his charge cards are maxed out. At the same time bill collectors are calling, and his job
performance is failing, making his hold on interpersonal relationships and life tenable at best.
When Sid meets with Melanie, a friend of his sister, Farber writes, I have an uncontrollable urge to talk about
everything. I can feel it rising in me like an unstoppable tide - a slow but steady surge of intimate details and
boring stories and memories and - oh God no - philosophies on life."
Postcards has humor, pathos, endurance, mystery and ultimately hope about surviving the unthinkable. This new book is
an addicting page-turner and a welcome warm read for grey, dingy days.
Leslie Doran is a local freelance writer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.