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Review of Dina Roberts ‘The Dead Are Online’ by Fiza Pathan

July 21, 2014

Review Of Dina Roberts book ‘The Dead Are Online’


The novel ‘The Dead Are Online’ is a masterpiece. The author has really given to her readers via this novel, a different way of looking at our social media sites which is innovative, unique and thought provoking. The book is easy to understand and the flow of the story is smooth. The author through her marvellous narrative skills has put forward philosophical ideas also through this very same book. Truly, Dina Roberts has challenged the way a 21st century modern novel can be written.

The work penned by Roberts is carefully formatted in the form of chapters based during a particular month where in each chapter a certain group of characters sharing an overall common bond is spoken about. This system of chapter formation reminded me of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ where Stoker presents his chapters as diary, Dictaphone or journal entries. The language is simple and easy to understand and the flow of the chapters is smooth. Although the author has introduced many characters in her story, her style of presenting her chapters makes it easy for the reader to remember all these characters and the common link they share with one another. Reading the initial chapters will make one so engrossed in the plot of the book that it will surely turn into a page scroller (page turner) for the reader.

The characters in the story are lifelike whom we can understand and empathize with. In the novel we seem to be drawn into the individual lives of these characters in a way that has never been done before. Through the unique subdivision of chapters, we are drawn into the lonely atheist life of Dennis, the unusual life of Christina and her daughter, the successful life of Philip who dominates the lives of all those who care for him, Jennifer who suffers from an inferiority complex, Taylor who is obsessed about her weight and food intake, Zoe who wants to get away from the man her father has chosen for her to marry, Arthur who is madly in love with his gay husband, Eugene who is having trouble with his fiancé Anna etc.

The plot of the story is unique and very modern in keeping with the social media we use on a daily basis like FaceTime, Twitter, Facebook etc. Through these mediums, the author shows us a way of connecting with the dead which is fanciful but nice to read and ponder over. Through this unique novel, Roberts has manipulated time, innovation and the supernatural to make us want to devour the contents of the book at a really fast pace.

Although the story is mainly centred on characters belonging to one family, many themes crop up during the reading of this unusual book which has been indirectly tackled by the author in a very professional way. Indeed, the book is the work of a professional and Roberts through her writings gives ample evidence of this. The themes tackled in this book are:

  1. Reincarnation
  2. Life after death
  3. Heaven and Hell
  4. Evil Spirits
  5. Atheism
  6. Agnosticism etc.

The book is inviting to read and the title is apt to what is contained in the book. There is a certain amount of suspense in the book which is placed in the right place at the right time in due measures without leaving the original plot. The book deals with everyday themes which a reader can relate with.

From this work of Dina Roberts, one can take home the following key ideas:

  1. That death is not the end of love
  2. That the supernatural is a phenomenon which is interesting to research upon and
  3. That we must shower our love on our loved ones while they are alive for we may never be able to do the same after their death…well, at least not in the usual way.

Lastly, I want to thank Dina Roberts for enriching the world of literature with her book.

Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan

Amazon link:

From → Literature, Reviews

  1. An interesting premise. I like to read books that reflect modern times and give us some message. I’ll try to read this book sometime…

  2. Seems like a sure grab, I have read books series few years back by Brian Weiss,” Many Lives, Many Masters”. Your conclusion has gripped me from heart, “we must shower our love on our loved ones while they are alive for we may never be able to do the same after their death”. Thanks Fiza.Good wishes.

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