Being Dead by Jim Crace
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Given the age of the book, I wondered if Christopher Nolan got the idea for the structure of "Momento" from Crace. We start with two dead bodies, Joseph and Celice, and what the last few moments of their lives were like (Celice's last half-minute, Joseph's last half-hour) following their murder by "persons unknown". From there we keep flashing backwards through their final day, their lives together and forwards to the decomposition of their bodies and the police discovery, as well as their daughter's arrival. That might sound confusing, but it's not: it's clear which timeline we're in and what's going on.
The writing is a little florrid, but it's also precise. What I mean is, there is detail that could have been excised but it's not detail for detail's sake. This is not a mystery, no detective looking for whodunnit or police investigation into the murder. Rather, it's an exploration of who Joseph and Celice were from their meeting through their deaths, and after.