The Life We Bury

The Life We Bury

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same.Carl is a dying Vietnam vete...

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Title:The Life We Bury
Author:Allen Eskens
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Life We Bury Reviews

  • Annet

    Wow, what a great book! Highly recommended: 4.5 rating. Note: just upgraded to 5 stars. Just really enjoyed this book, unusual and great story.

    What drew me to this book was the unusual story of a student, Joe, who has a biography assignment for his studies and decides to interview Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam veteran and convicted murderer and rapist in a nursing home. Carl has been released from prison because he is dying from cancer. Joe has just left his home to live near college and try an

    Wow, what a great book! Highly recommended: 4.5 rating. Note: just upgraded to 5 stars. Just really enjoyed this book, unusual and great story.

    What drew me to this book was the unusual story of a student, Joe, who has a biography assignment for his studies and decides to interview Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam veteran and convicted murderer and rapist in a nursing home. Carl has been released from prison because he is dying from cancer. Joe has just left his home to live near college and try and finish his studies. At home he left his alcoholic and dysfunctional mother, her abusive boyfriend and his vulnerable autistic brother Jeremy, which is really tough on him. So there are several elements in this story, part of which is the 'crime part', where Joe is trying to figure out if Carl did the murder years ago. Great writing, great story. Sensible, intelligent, tender, creepy at the same time. Will definitely go and find this author's other books.

  • Mischenko

    This book is featured on Throwback @

    Loved it from beginning to end...

    Joe, a college student, has an English assignment to complete that requires him to interview someone for a biography. He chooses a man named Carl; a Vietnam veteran who’s also a convicted rapist and murderer. Carl has an interesting background including some secrets. He’s been released from prison only because he’s dying of cancer. Everyone already knows his story, or do they? As Joe dis

    This book is featured on Throwback @

    Loved it from beginning to end...

    Joe, a college student, has an English assignment to complete that requires him to interview someone for a biography. He chooses a man named Carl; a Vietnam veteran who’s also a convicted rapist and murderer. Carl has an interesting background including some secrets. He’s been released from prison only because he’s dying of cancer. Everyone already knows his story, or do they? As Joe discovers more about Carl and gets him to open up about his past, he realizes that there’s a lot more going on and must uncover it all.

    Joe and Carl are the main characters and the book focuses primarily on these two. There’s so much happening with Carl’s story in addition to Joe’s struggles with his alcoholic mother and autistic brother. I truly enjoyed all the characters, the plot with the twists, and the suspense. The characters are all well-written and everything felt realistic to me. I had to find out what the outcome would be, and for that, this will always be a favorite. 5-stars

  • j e w e l s

    This book has been in my Audible wish list for at least three years. From the summary, it looks like a book I would enjoy: mystery, suspense, rave reviews for the storytelling. The only thing holding me back was the Vietnam War veteran as a character. How ridiculously picky is that? I was secretly afraid it would be too graphic in retelling old war stories. And it was a bit graphic, but thankfully very brief. As it turns out, Carl Iverson the paroled convict and war veteran, is a major reason th

    This book has been in my Audible wish list for at least three years. From the summary, it looks like a book I would enjoy: mystery, suspense, rave reviews for the storytelling. The only thing holding me back was the Vietnam War veteran as a character. How ridiculously picky is that? I was secretly afraid it would be too graphic in retelling old war stories. And it was a bit graphic, but thankfully very brief. As it turns out, Carl Iverson the paroled convict and war veteran, is a major reason this book is so lovable!

    The heart tugging, suspenseful book centers around Joe, a street-smart college student. He has had to struggle for everything in his life. He never knew his dad, his mom is a raging alcoholic and his almost grown brother, Jeremy, is a perpetual seven year old due to his autism issues.

    Our guy, Joe, literally stumbles onto a mystery while writing a biography essay on a nursing home resident, Carl Iverson. If solved, the mystery may exonerate Carl of crimes that sent him to prison for 30 years. Carl doesn't particularly care if he is exonerated or not, which makes the mystery even more compelling. Joe, however, does care. That is the kind of guy he is. Principled, caring, compassionate. And tough as nails.

    Allen Eskens is a first rate storyteller and a natural born writer! The story flows effortlessly from Carl's life story to Joe's back story. They seem to not have anything in common with each other, but as they talk, their stories become intertwined. The ending is a little bit of a twist and 100% reader satisfying. 

    There was just enough of everything I love in a good story: mystery, suspense, likable (lovable) protagonists, real emotions and struggles, and a rewarding ending! I also adored the Minnesota setting, the cold, snowy weather provides the perfect tone to the story. I finished this little beauty in less than 2 days.

    This book won all kinds of awards as a debut novel for Eskens. Deservedly so. You will not regret listening or reading this one!

    The audio book is narrated by a talented actor, Zach Villa. I felt he perfectly captured the voice of Joe and Carl. Not an easy task, considering the age and life differences of the two characters. If you like audio books, I highly recommend this one! If not, you must read it!

    Lucky for all readers, there are three more books in this Eskens series. They are touted as possible standalone books, but most of my Goodreads friends say the back stories are so interesting that you will want to read all of the books. That's enough for me, I already borrowed the next audiobook from the handy dandy Overdrive app (free!!!) and started listening to THE GUISE OF ANOTHER.

    Sadly, we are still packing and moving, but thank God for writers like Eskens for making it less painful!

  • Jennifer Masterson

    Let me just say that the narrator of this book is awesome! I mean 5 Star! This book is excellent in audio!

    Really good debut novel. Fun mystery with likeable characters and some good twists and turns. I loved Lila and Joe! You need to be able to suspend disbelief for this one.

    Recommended for mystery/thriller lovers!

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister

    I listened to the audio version of The Life We Bury after a tip from a Goodreads friend who also listened to it while doing chores. While listening to this I was mostly shoveling snow which made that task a little bit more tolerable. This book was an excellent choice for listening to as the pacing of the narrative kept my attention throughout and my mind didn’t wander.

    The Life We Bury is a rewarding tale of two characters, Joe and Carl that are bonded together by buried secrets and the burdens

    I listened to the audio version of The Life We Bury after a tip from a Goodreads friend who also listened to it while doing chores. While listening to this I was mostly shoveling snow which made that task a little bit more tolerable. This book was an excellent choice for listening to as the pacing of the narrative kept my attention throughout and my mind didn’t wander.

    The Life We Bury is a rewarding tale of two characters, Joe and Carl that are bonded together by buried secrets and the burdens they carry. Joe who takes on responsibilities way beyond his years unravels the tale of Carl’s conviction and his past secrets.

    The tale is told through Joe’s eyes and ears and we learn part of the tale as Carl is telling his story to Joe. This made the audio version very enjoyable for me. It was like hearing the story for myself first hand.

    I highly recommend the audio version of The Life We Bury for those times you want to get lost in the tasks and chores that need to be done.

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