Utterly Heartless


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Utterly heartless he plans to break inside - this is not pretty

She presents herself for in-processing to the afterlife and is assigned to the Realm of Hades on account of having no religious affiliation except for a bit of scholarly work on ancient Romans in the era of the Republic. Unwilling to spend eternity in Hades on the basis of two essays published in Antiquities Studies Journal, Professor Nil sets out to get herself transferred to a more satisfactory Paradise.

The story switches back and forth between the points of view of several characters whose lives are intertwined by their association with the university and complicated by acts of workaday heartlessness. The writing is full of clever word play. Fans of off-beat humor, and anyone who likes the show Portlandia, will get a kick out of this light-hearted read. Sep 28, DeLys rated it liked it. Since I am an academic in the Pacific Northwest who has worked both as a professor and an administrator, there was much about this book that resonated with me.

I found the names of the buildings and the administrative titles to be particularly clever. And the image of canoes instead of cars during the rainy season was priceless. However, there were components of the academic setting that rang untrue -- not quirky or satirical -- to me. I cannot conceive of an institution with sizeable French and Since I am an academic in the Pacific Northwest who has worked both as a professor and an administrator, there was much about this book that resonated with me. I cannot conceive of an institution with sizeable French and Classics Departments in which the chairs would share an office.

Nor would a department chair be the rallying force behind unionizing the faculty, as chairs are administrators. The notion of choosing an afterlife is intriguing. But I admit to being confused by the after-death depiction of Linnea -- for example, the fact that she could transport tangible objects without a body.

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I read this book electronically, which I did not enjoy. I did enjoy the book, though. Oct 29, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. Set in the fictional northwest town of Bridges, this story intertwines the lives of a group of struggling college students, Dori Amore and Linnea Nil, Humanities professors at Middlebridge College. The professors are office mates, friends, and colleagues.


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They are forced to deal with what most professors often do; budget cuts, reduced staffing, and union woes. Lin Set in the fictional northwest town of Bridges, this story intertwines the lives of a group of struggling college students, Dori Amore and Linnea Nil, Humanities professors at Middlebridge College.

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Linnea wakes up on the city bus with no memory of the murder itself, and finds herself struggling with decisions regarding the afterlife. Extremely well written, engaging, and almost up the alley of a murder mystery, this novel is simply fantastic.

Jan Underwood is an amazing fiction writer, and this book exemplifies her fabulous imagination. Sep 15, Janet rated it it was amazing Shelves: , fiction , pacificnorthwest. The book is inspired by Portland—though it pretends to be set somewhere nearby—so there are strip clubs, bicycles, rain and crows. Meanwhile, Professor Linnea E. Nil finds herself not merely murdered, but facing a real problem with the afterlife.


  • Utterly Heartless by Jan Underwood (2013, Paperback).
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Nov 13, Stephanie rated it really liked it. This otherworldly whodunit is set in the language department on a college campus and rain-soaked town tweaked by someone who has a tongue in cheek appreciation of Portland, Oregon. The voice is charming and linguistic prowess is admirable. Underwood good-naturedly pulls out the stops on college politics, upper left coast weather and environmental right-on-ness.

Cleverness may be taken a step too far and the resolution of the mystery may be a bit too pat, but the narrative warmth and strong dialo This otherworldly whodunit is set in the language department on a college campus and rain-soaked town tweaked by someone who has a tongue in cheek appreciation of Portland, Oregon. Cleverness may be taken a step too far and the resolution of the mystery may be a bit too pat, but the narrative warmth and strong dialogue make this such a satisfying read. Sep 16, R. Jan 10, Beth rated it liked it. I love the author's quirky, word-nerd style and I think she writes with a delightfully unique and fun voice.

The story is creative and the names of things are great. As someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest I could related to the concept of putting on galoshes and getting into boats just to get to class. I really loved day-shift werewolf and though this book was just a bit less polished than it could be, I think Jan Underwood is an author to watch. Sep 18, Thor Kristensen rated it it was ok. Nice, easy prose and some memorable latin quotes.

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But the promise of a sinister novel with bad crows and scary ghosts is not fulfilled. Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Follow My Gambling Picks! You won't regret it, unless you do. Like DudeYouCrazy.

Utterly Heartless

Since October 1,, Fools have been here. Blog at WordPress. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! She applies to other afterlives, but gaining admittance proves difficult. Linnea seeks the help of the poet Vergil and learns that her missing heart may be her ticket to redemption--unless the goon squad from Hades reaches her first. Dori Amore is reeling after her best friend's murder. She's even more taken aback when Linnea asks Dori to track down the missing heart.

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Can the heart put her friend's soul to rest? Does the task put Dori herself in mortal danger? And can she get something going with the cute guy who works in the morgue? Jan Underwood's funny second novel is a murder mystery, a satire on academia, and a love-song to the Romance languages.

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