Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Death of an Ordinary Man [Paperback]

Glen Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 11.56  
Paperback, 4 April 2005 --  

Book Description

4 April 2005
Nathan's gravestone offers a short and hopeful summary: At rest. But Nathan is not at rest, and knows he won't be until he can find out how and why he died. A spectral spectator throughout the day of the wake, he listens to his wife, son, daughter, father and best friend, getting to know them like he has never known them before. But there are two things he can't understand: a strange young couple on the fringes of the wake, whose presence fills him with dread; and a room in his house he never knew existed, with a door he feels compelled to open. A door that he knows will lead to a terrifying secret.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (4 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743252284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743252287
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


'A virtuoso variation on a theme...a novel of force and eloquence' -- Sunday Telegraph

'An appallingly intelligent writer...a dense, subtle, sensitive, perfectly shaped fiction' -- Guardian

'Unsparing brilliance' -- Metro

'What he is doing is wonderful, extraordinarily dark, and yes, important. It is important because he is a major writer' -- Independent on Sunday --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Glen Duncan is the critically-acclaimed author of six previous novels, including I, Lucifer and The Bloodstone Papers. He was the first of his Anglo-Indian family to be born in Britain. He lives in South London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying horror 30 Aug 2004
Has anyone ever read a single scary horror book? I have, Glen Duncan wrote it, and you're reading my review of it right now.
How can I put this eloquently, yet convey my emotion for this book? I loathe and detest it. I hope never, ever to be forced to read a single page of it ever again.
So you may be asking, why did I give it such a high rating? The answer is simple, Duncan is a master wordsmith. The tempo of the sentences match the mood of the book, confused at the start, gradually becoming more understandable as Nathan begins to understand. This is also the reason why it did not get five stars, because it is incredibly hard to get into. Duncan's other books that I have read (I, lucifer and Weathercock) I could not put down for days at a time, but this book took me weeks to read through it. Nevertheless, the thoughts it inspired me with as I gradually got through it were well worth the effort, and I would recommend anyone to read it.
So in summary, this book is bleak, bleaker even than anything by Chuck Palahniuk, but it's a work of genious of words.
This is a book of two horrors (in Duncan's own words):
The first horror is that there is horror, and the second horror is that you can live through it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding tale 1 May 2007
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
We hear about Nathan, who is dead but definitely not at peace. He needs to find out how and why he died and hovers over his own funeral listening in to everyone's conversations. At his wake there are two people he doesn't recognise - who are they and why are they in his house? Also, Nathan needs to find out why his youngest daughter is dead and it's a heartbreaking revelation when he remembers the circumstances that ended her young life. As he begins to get close to remembering his own death the tension is unbearable and absolutely heart wrenching.

Duncan has a great mastery of words and had me spellbound all the way through this book. He did an incredible job in showing the reader the complexities of our relationships and forces us into facing up to unthinkable scenarios and wondering how we would cope with them. The way that he gets under the skin of a bereaved family is astounding and painfully accurate. This book is shocking and at times harrowing, but exquisitely written and I was captivated by it. If you enjoyed Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones then this is one I would highly recommend to you.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, poignant, unsentimental & brilliant. 15 Oct 2006
By Susan
I had never read anything by this author before and I found this book absolutely fascinating. There are moments of stream-of-consciousness and disjointedness to contend with, but I did not have a problem with it because the overall narrative is the experience of a dead man, so I didn't expect it to follow a linear plot structure anyway. What we do have are dreams, memories, sensations and profound emotion all mixed up with some elements of real-time narrative. To say it is a roller-coaster ride would be to demean it with a cliche, but that is what it's like. I defy anyone, particularly if they are a parent, to come away from this book unmoved. Glen Duncan seems able to express the unexpressable in terms of grief, loss and love without becoming maudlin or sentimental. A fabulous book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glen Duncan's least sinister novel... 18 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Glen Duncan is the master of writing the nitty gritty of those thoughts which most of us are embarrassed to think, or even verbalise. This book puts us directly into the heads of every one of its characters (bar one, whom we never actually meet, but who casts a shadow into the story). It tells the story of Nathan, who is a ghost at his own funeral, dipping into and out of the minds of the attendees, his family, and into and out of their memories. There is a door with a scary attraction, and two mysterious strangers.

Duncan is at his best when writing the secret thoughts and memories of people. If the human mind really thinks of sex once every 7 minutes, then his is probably slightly ahead of the curve - and yet it feels entirely authentic, the way thoughts meander casually into and out of little flashes of sexuality. He is a magnificent writer, and this book is entirely convincing, compelling and captivating throughout.

The reason it only gets 4 stars, rather than 5, is that for me, the mystery of the death was overplayed at the start, and resolved without the climactic sense of catastrophe I'd been expecting. A lot of anticipation, then never quite paid off. Perhaps that was the point, in some ways, but I could not help feeling slightly disappointed.

Still, I'd highly recommend this as perhaps Duncan's least sinister novel I've read so far...
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think I enjoyed it! 3 Jun 2005
I think that any book that provokes a reaction is a worthy read. The stronger the reaction, the better the writing. What Glen Duncan has done is to produce an amazing piece of literature. It captivated, appalled, shocked and effected me. The author shows directness with uneasy subjects in equal measure with compassion for his characters. There are some genuinely amazing moments where I was physically cringeing and some truly electrifying moments which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (just wait for the moment when Nathan and Claire are alone). The pace is good and the mysteries unravel at a satisfying pace.
Did I enjoy it? I think so but more from an appreciation of the art of the literature rather than the story itself.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category