How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper

Title: How Not to Die Alone, Author: Richard Roper How Not To Die Alone. Finished 3-22-10, 3.5/5 stars, fiction, pub. 2019

Unabridged audio, 7 CDs

Andrew’s day-to-day is a little grim, searching for next of kin for those who die alone. Thankfully, he has a loving family waiting for him when he gets home, to help wash the day’s cares away. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe.

Andrew didn’t mean for the misunderstanding to happen, yet he’s become trapped in his own white lie. The fantasy of his wife and two kids has become a pleasant escape from his lonely one bedroom with only his Ella Fitzgerald records for company. But when new employee Peggy breezes into his life like a breath of fresh air, Andrew is shaken out of his routine. She doesn’t notice the wall he’s been safely hiding behind and their friendship promises to break it down.   from Goodreads

I loved the quirkiness of Andrew and this book as a whole.  His job was to go in to homes of people who died alone when the next of kin was not obvious.  He goes into their homes and through their personal things to find information about who to notify or barring that, money to pay for their burial.  I have no idea if the system in the US works the same way.  It was both morbid and fascinating.

Andrew is 42, never been married and lives in an apartment overrun by his model train set up (not too far off what I pictured for Gage’s future during his model trains years).  The only problem is that Andrew has been making up a family and home life for years.  His boss and co-workers think they know all about his family and look forward to meeting them at an upcoming work function.  Add to that mix Peggy, a new office mate who he has a bit of a crush on.

I did get frustrated with Andrew (how could you not?) and found the middle of the book a little too meandering, but the characters were fun and Andrew’s life from beginning to end was one worth rooting for.  I’m glad I listened to this one.