A Brief History of Living Forever has an electric start, but after about 80 pages I wanted to slide it under a pile of magazines ... Kalfar’s dystopia feels thirdhand. Happily, he has other things to work with ... He has a Kurt Vonnegut-like satirical touch, at his best, as well as Vonnegut’s interest in science. He also has an old-world melancholy, beneath the humor ... The rest of the novel combines flashbacks to Adela’s past... with scenes of her two children trying to rescue her body from a black-ops warehouse in Florida, in order to give it a proper burial. There are bad guys with guns, and suddenly we’re in a Jason Statham movie. Kalfar’s wit has burned off entirely.
With piercing insights into human nature and the way we live now, Kalfar paints a compelling and convincing portrait of a near future rife with dangerous nationalism and perilous technological advances.
Ingenious ... Kalfař draws many funny and chilling connections between Cold War era communist secret police and his imagined future fascist America ... With a perceptive satirical slant, sharp humor, and convincing emotion, Kalfař builds a plausibly terrifying world.
Kalfař brings his characters to life with almost formal eloquence. Although he tends to overstate and repeat his moral condemnations, he makes the potential power of technology and artificial intelligence a frightening prospect.