For years, Andrew's worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that's what his coworkers believe. Then he meets his new coworker, Peggy, and she makes Andrew feel truly alive for the first time in decades.
[A] winning debut novel ... Like many funny novels, How Not to Die Alone is influenced by the adage that humor equals tragedy plus time. We root for Andrew to come clean and connect, as much for his benefit as our entertainment ... when Roper makes it work, the payoff is tremendous ... Roper’s unbridled compassion for his characters is the book’s greatest strength. He doesn’t judge or patronize, even when they act foolishly. It’s this generosity of spirit that allowed me to forgive, if not ignore, the novel’s shortcomings ... I loved this novel with my whole heart.
...slight but charming ... Gentle comedy and these characters’ innately kind natures enriches what might have been starkly sad moments ... The charming-verging-on-wacky Andrew might remind readers of Bridget Jones, as he gets himself in and out of romantic scrapes. There are few surprises in the unwinding of the story’s outcome ... an overall enjoyable read.
How Not to Die Alone might have a macabre-sounding title, but debut author Richard Roper somehow wove bleak subject matter together with a charming (if not bumbling) hero ... I do have to warn readers right away that where the hero’s job was to inspect people’s homes, sometimes months after they had died, the vivid descriptions of the messes inside might be too much for some ... I thoroughly enjoyed his coworker Peggy and found her to be a refreshing addition to his life who turned things upside down for our hero. The friendship between them was sweet and absolutely lovely ... Introspective, poignant and superbly written, How Not to Die Alone was the type of novel to make you think, reflect on your life and even on how you interact with others.