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Coffin Humor: A Short Story [Kindle Edition]

John Brinling
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Noah awoke in a casket.
The casket was on display in a funeral parlor.
He awoke several times more in the same casket and each time had a conversation with the funeral services practitioner, a strange man named Jeremy Black.
During these exchanges, he became aware that his memory was seriously impaired.
Each time, however, he learned a little bit more about his past through a reliving of the last desperate few days.
He also learned that the recovery of his memory would lead to his death.
Problem was: It might already be too late.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 36 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V55VRW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,183,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I have been writing all of my life. I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. "Black Dawn." It dealt with segregation and the KKK. Whatever happened to it I don't know.
Since then, earning a living has preempted long periods of my life when I wrote very little. My wife and I are both in data processing (IT nowadays) and we usually work long hours when we are on a contract, which meant I spent little time writing fiction when gainfully employed. The birth of my daughter offered me another excuse for not writing, but that's what it was: an excuse. Writing is hard. But it's in my DNA and I keep returning to it, despite some part of me that prefers the lazy life. However, not writing is unthinkable, and I am constantly exploring ideas even when I'm not committing them to paper.
I lived and worked in Europe for seven years. I met my wife In Italy where we both worked for the same company, and were married in 1975. The contract we were working on ended that year and we took two years off to live in England, in a 300 year old farmhouse in Wiltshire. It was in that farmhouse that I wrote "The Ghost Of A Flea," as well as another book titled "Quarantine," which is a science fiction thriller.
"The Ghost" has a strong autobiographical component. I was a programmer/analyst. The office ambience in the novel is similar to life in my New York office, although the intrigues were of an entirely different nature. I had a good friend who lived in Sparta. I lived for a time near the George Washington Bridge. The building manager was an Irishman, who became a good friend, and an integral character in the book.
"Quarantine" is set in East Africa, where my wife and I vacationed, and I drew liberally on what we read, saw, and experienced.
I had an agent back then who marketed both books, and came very close to selling them to both Doubleday and St. Martins. Unfortunately he died before completing the sale and I put the books on a shelf and forgot about them for 35 years. Only this year did I resurrect them and publish them on Amazon's Kindle and Smashwords.
In 1977, my wife and I returned to the states and founded our IT consulting firm, Brinling Associates. For the next fifteen years we worked hard building our business. I wrote one novel during that time, a book titled "Alone," which dealt with a man in an irreversible coma who is aware of what is happening around him, but is unable to communicate with the real world. Unfortunately, most of that book is lost.
In 1990, during a down period in our business activities, I wrote several other novels which I am attempting to bring out of retirement. These novels were also put on the shelf when circumstances re-ignited our business opportunities. One book - "The Watcher," a horror thriller - is already self-published. The other is a much larger work, a rural mystery series, that I'm still working on.
As you can see, writing books is one thing, marketing quite another. I am perhaps the world's worst marketer, which helps explain why my writings have spent most of their lives on a shelf in my home in Vermont staring out at me asking "Why?"
For the past few years I have been writing screenplays, which are more bite-sized writing efforts. I have done fairly well in some contests, but am still waiting to be discovered. The small royalty check I earned from Amazon this quarter is the only money I've ever earned from my fiction writing.
My writing is pure escapism. When I sit down to write, I embark on an adventure. I let things happen and I let the characters be who they are. Since I strongly avoid outlines, I am as surprised by events as I hope the reader is. Pulling together loose ends is a subject for revision, which I do endlessly. This undoubtedly makes for more work and takes me longer to "finish" something, but it seems to be the best, the only, way for me. It is the candy bar just out of reach that keeps me at the keyboard.
My background illustrates my chaotic approach to life. I have been at different stages a pharmacist, a pharmacologist, a tech writer, a programmer/analyst, a business consultant, a business owner, a teacher, a novelist and a screenwriter. At one time I thought it perfectly acceptable, if not desirable, to change jobs/professions every year or so. I didn't worry about the future, assuming I would always find a way to muddle through.
I'm still muddling through.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by Read2Review 5 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This was an interesting short story in a `gotcha' format. The story opens with Noah waking up in a coffin in a funeral home. The funeral director discovers him lying there and an ongoing discussion results. Noah can't quite figure out how he ended up in the coffin or why he woke up. This is an imaginative and interesting short story with a cool twist. I don't want to go into too many details because of the nature of the story.

I like John Brinling's style. He keeps the reader entertained throughout and the story interesting. The only problem I had with the story was that I thought the wrap-up was too abrupt. It felt to me that there should be more, that the tension should build a bit higher before the reveal. I look forward to seeing more from John.

Nearly 4 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but so enjoyable!! 8 April 2011
By Sheryl Painter - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a great short story! John Brinling was able to pack a wonderful twisting and slightly dark story into something that just flowed and grew into a fabulously entertaining, yet surprising story. With just a few words Mr. Brinling was able to create two full-bodied characters, Noah - the coffin guy, and Jeremy - the "funeral service practitioner". Yet by the end of the story you'll wonder how these two characters changed in such a few words. Mr. Brinling grabbed me with the first few paragraphs and didn't let me go until the last word. I recommend this short story for anyone who loves a fun turn of words, witty come backs, and being twisted and turned as the story quickly moves along. Very good job Mr. Brinling!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars funereal humor at its best 5 April 2011
By Louise - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Coffin Humor is a very funny short story about a guy (Noah) and a funeral director (Jeremy) who face off with an hilarious exchange over choosing a casket for Noah's anticipated funeral when Jeremy finds Noah lying in a casket for a dry run in his funeral home. And Noah comes back to that funeral home and that casket more than once for more discussions with Jeremy. To make it even more fun, John Brinling does not disappoint and treats us to another of his unexpected twist endings.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fun read 8 July 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a short, funny, maybe little confusing story**.. lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming... great book.

(**a story that I didn't see the ending right off the bat)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't even smile! 7 Aug. 2011
By D. Clagg - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't get the humor in this book. I did not even smile while reading this book. I gave it 2 stars because maybe it is just not my sense of humor. But no, I did not like this story or think it was well written. Sorry.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best intro to Brinling... 26 Jan. 2012
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Brinling, <strong>Coffin Humor</strong> (Amazon Digital Services, no date given)

My first exposure to John Brinling. And, honestly, had I not downloaded a couple of other things at the same time (viz. review of the much-superior <em>A Memorable Weekend</em> elsewhere this ish), it probably would have been my last. My best guess is that this is meant to be a kind of sci-fi/mystery hybrid, and I think in the hands of someone with a bit more experience trying to pull that thing off, it might well have been a cracking little story. This, on the other hand, is barely coherent. My rating comes from looking at what could have been instead of what is. **
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