Death Wins a Goldfish
Even Death cares about his work-life balance...Death never takes a day off. Until he gets a letter from the HR department insisting he use up his accrued vacation time, that is. In this humorous and heartfelt book from beloved illustrator Brian Rea, readers take a peek at Death's journal entries as he documents his mandatory sabbatical in the world of the living. From sky diving to online dating, Death is determined to try it all! Death Wins a Goldfish is an important reminder to the overstressed, overworked, and overwhelmed that everyone—even Death—deserves a break once in a while. If you enjoyed Brian Rea's work in Mary Karr's The Liars' Club: A Memoir or in the New York Times' popular Modern Love column you'll love his delightful illustrations of Death in this funny, heartfelt collection of works.This book is a great gift or self-purchase if you're looking for:Funny BooksFunny ComicsHumor Books

Death Wins a Goldfish Details

TitleDeath Wins a Goldfish
Author
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherChronicle Books
ISBN-139781452172552
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Humor, Comics, Fiction

Death Wins a Goldfish Review

  • David Schaafsma
    January 1, 1970
    The author, Brian Rea, at 30, asked his father what, if anything, he would do over. Rea knew his father to be a "work ethic" guy, up at 5, out of the house at 6, back home after dark. His father replied, "Work less."So Rea imagines that Death, who worked harder than almost anyone, never takes vacation days, gets a a notice from HR that he has to use up his vacation days, so he is forced to take a year's sabbatical. He keeps a journal, and does what you might expect, travels, goes to a carnival The author, Brian Rea, at 30, asked his father what, if anything, he would do over. Rea knew his father to be a "work ethic" guy, up at 5, out of the house at 6, back home after dark. His father replied, "Work less."So Rea imagines that Death, who worked harder than almost anyone, never takes vacation days, gets a a notice from HR that he has to use up his vacation days, so he is forced to take a year's sabbatical. He keeps a journal, and does what you might expect, travels, goes to a carnival and wins a goldfish, goes to karaoke, goes back to school, goes to a keeper or two and drops out.This is an odd book that just basically affirms the implication of his Dad's regret, that one should live more and work less. There aren't many deeper insights than that. And the things he does are not remarkable and are not, on the surface, anything he gets a lot more out of than work, really, but I still liked it. Okay, maybe 3.5 because I like the artwork. But as Rea himself says in a longish introduction (with a lot of words, given Death is kinda not verbose in his journal) that he could have done the with a banana instead of The Grim Reaper and the point would have been the same.
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  • Jon Nakapalau
    January 1, 1970
    HR tells Death he must take his vacation time! Really deep look at how even Death has to find time to 'live' once in awhile - well done!
  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    This was an impulse-read after someone on GR recently read and reviewed it and I liked the concept. So today, in the bookstore, I picked it up.The story is simple but already chuckle-worthy: Death, like the best of us, gets an e-mail from HR because he's amassed too many days of vacation and is now forced to use them all up.But what do you do on such a long vacation?Well, let me tell you, Death had some pretty creative ideas so we follow him along through a year of (self-)discovery. And most of This was an impulse-read after someone on GR recently read and reviewed it and I liked the concept. So today, in the bookstore, I picked it up.The story is simple but already chuckle-worthy: Death, like the best of us, gets an e-mail from HR because he's amassed too many days of vacation and is now forced to use them all up.But what do you do on such a long vacation?Well, let me tell you, Death had some pretty creative ideas so we follow him along through a year of (self-)discovery. And most of his "adventures" ended like they do regularly for us normal folk.The drawings are more than simplistic. However, that's not because the artist is as gifted as I am with a pencil - it was done on purpose. And you know what? It's cute (no doubt that was intentional).For whatever reason, these two were the ones that made me laugh the most.(Yes, the goldfish remains important.)Despite it getting the attributes "cute" and "simplistic" from me earlier, I have to say that the author also managed to create a little book that lets the reader reflect on his or her own life. What do we do with it? Every day and during vacation? What are the things that interest us? What makes us happy? What SHOULD we do more often?A lightweight on first glance, but upon reflection, deeper than some might realize.
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    Clearly, Death works here in my office. I think he's in the next cubicle over.This is an extremely cute and relatable book in which Death is told by HR that he needs to take some vacation time. A lot of it. So, with a huge amount of PTO, Death fulfills all his dreams...yes, including winning that goldfish.Death's sabbatical is adorable and made me smile again and again.After I read it, my 10 year old stole it and read it as well. She's now wondering if perhaps Death might attend her school...and Clearly, Death works here in my office. I think he's in the next cubicle over.This is an extremely cute and relatable book in which Death is told by HR that he needs to take some vacation time. A lot of it. So, with a huge amount of PTO, Death fulfills all his dreams...yes, including winning that goldfish.Death's sabbatical is adorable and made me smile again and again.After I read it, my 10 year old stole it and read it as well. She's now wondering if perhaps Death might attend her school...and she wants her own sabbatical.Five happy stars!
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  • Ed Erwin
    January 1, 1970
    Cute, but not much more. Could be a useful gift for someone who works too much.2 stars = "It was OK".
  • Rod Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Death takes a holiday and does every stupid thing people do on vacations, with pretty much the same result. Neither funny nor insightful. The art varies from simple to childlike.Not for me.
  • Constance
    January 1, 1970
    Droll, with hints of profundity.
  • Barbara Mohs
    January 1, 1970
    This wonderfully titled book about a workaholic forced to take a break and ponder living made me laugh out loud many times while it reminded me of what’s really important. Simple drawings with multi-faceted meaning. Highly recommend!
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Ran into this graphic novel while searching the new book stacks at the library and just had to read all about Death’s year-long sabbatical taken because HR requires him to use his leave time! Had to see what death did on his year off. Brian Rea illustrates the Modern Love column for the New York Times. A little gem that might even make you think!
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  • Cathi
    January 1, 1970
    I heard about this on Litsy, and I'm so glad I picked it up. I smiled the entire way through and laughed quite a few times. The concept (a grim reaper has to use his year of accrued vacation time - how will he spend it?) is fantastic, with just enough darkness to stop the message from being overly saccharine.
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  • Sammy Lawnchair
    January 1, 1970
    A perfect, enjoyable little book. Read it.
  • Travis Cook
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderfully surreal little book! Highly recommend this one.
  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    The wonderful little gem Death Wins a Goldfish is actually a philosophical gem about the importance of rest and renewal and work “life” balance. When Death is forced to take his mandatory vacation days via an HR directive, he soon gets into the groove of enriching his “existence”.
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  • Mindy Rose
    January 1, 1970
    after going through his whole career without taking a single day off, death is informed that he must use up all of his backlogged vacation days at once; adorable, wholesome adventures ensue. this was lovely and sweet, 5/5.
  • Debra Lowman
    January 1, 1970
    HR sends death a memo explaining he has to take some of his vacation time. Hilarious at times, poignant in a lot of ways. The prologue explains the book from the author's POV through his father whose solid advice to a younger self was, "Work less."Very simply scribbled illustrations add to the clear message from the author asking the reader to consider the purpose of a full life.
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  • Halsted M. Bernard
    January 1, 1970
    I was charmed by Rea's depiction of Death, who is no more morbid than any of us. And how smitten Death is by the titular goldfish! As a child, I had a goldfish I adored so much I walked with him in our small town's pet parade, clutching the tiny bowl, careful not to spill or jostle. Reading this graphic novel evoked the same feeling of delight, a rush of pleasure evoked by the simplest enjoyment.
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  • Nate
    January 1, 1970
    Funny, sweet, inspiring. And the art really grew on me as I progressed. A wonderful book.
  • Marilyn B
    January 1, 1970
    The introduction really got me. Death (and life) is always super present in my mind around this time of year, especially as I read this book on the almost 5th anniversary of the day I collapsed and required over 45 minutes of resuscitation before returning to the living. The introduction tells us that the author wanted people to take a pause and reflect on how hard they are working, or are they really living. I feel this so hard. It’s something I have often reflected on over these past five The introduction really got me. Death (and life) is always super present in my mind around this time of year, especially as I read this book on the almost 5th anniversary of the day I collapsed and required over 45 minutes of resuscitation before returning to the living. The introduction tells us that the author wanted people to take a pause and reflect on how hard they are working, or are they really living. I feel this so hard. It’s something I have often reflected on over these past five years. I certainly appreciated Death’s initial uncertainty in being thrust out into life and in experiencing life around him. His need to write out a list of everything to do before he actually heads out to do it was very much like something i would do. As Death experiences more life events and human connections he is changed. He is willing to experience and do more. He connects with his pet fish. I would say he loves his pet fish. And at the end of the year, when Death is back at work, there was a sort of melancholy about the images. I wondered what Death would think of his work now.Very sweet images, with a subtle humour. The best bit was when Death went to Starbucks and the barista wrote his name on the cup as “Beth”.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Death is forced by HR to take a year off.This was adorable and at the same time had several pages that made me stop and think. What would you do with an entire year off? Going to a fair - yep, that would be good. Walking in the snow alone. Trying parasailing - Death notes "It's basically sitting, but in a very lonely (and windy) high chair." Then the phase of improving yourself starts, but Death just can't handle the partying that comes with college so he drops out. Travel is always good. And Death is forced by HR to take a year off.This was adorable and at the same time had several pages that made me stop and think. What would you do with an entire year off? Going to a fair - yep, that would be good. Walking in the snow alone. Trying parasailing - Death notes "It's basically sitting, but in a very lonely (and windy) high chair." Then the phase of improving yourself starts, but Death just can't handle the partying that comes with college so he drops out. Travel is always good. And then back to work, where Death worries he may have forgotten how to do his job. It's a quiet book, but it's one I really enjoyed.
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  • Dakota Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    The introduction, in which the author ruminates on work/life balance, is far more interesting than the actual book. The Grim Reaper takes a yearlong vacation and does some stuff. The art is an acquired taste, probably not designed for a full-length book. There are a few good grim reaper jokes. After that fine introduction, though, it's just ten minutes of flipping through pages, eyes glazed.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely, meditative, whimsical. Death takes a yearlong sabbatical and learns to enjoy living. Deceptively simple, with line drawings and a muted color scheme. But contains some real lessons about looking around to appreciate things.
  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    A short, emotional book about taking time off to discover yourself. It's about figuring out what makes you happy and discovering that there is more to life than just your job. I loved it.
  • Stacy Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    I think the title says it all. It's hilarious and throughly enjoyable. Even death deserves a vacation.
  • Iseethestrals
    January 1, 1970
    Very cute, quick book.
  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    Cute.
  • donnalyn ♡
    January 1, 1970
    flipped through this during a quiet shift at work. some parts really made me laugh out loud. it's so tender, and the art is quite beautiful!!
  • Ben
    January 1, 1970
    I completely relate to Starbucks getting death’s name wrong on the cup
  • Meltha
    January 1, 1970
    This was just plain fun. Death takes a year off (lots of stacked up vacation days) and does whatever he wants. A lot of this actually made me laugh out loud, and I'm very happy it didn't end the way I suspected (Rea's ending is much better). Fun, fast read, and very cute (not for kids, incidentally).
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  • Corinne Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    This was much more a contemplation of work-life balance than the funny grim reaper situation comedy I hoped for, but the Starbucks cup he got that said "Beth" was hilarious anyway.
  • Kurstin
    January 1, 1970
    A nice breath of fresh air
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