The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand | Gregory Galloway | DNF Review

Why’d I Pick This Book To Read?:

I was initially interested in The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway because the concept sounded interesting. It’s about a boy who kills himself 39 times but he comes back each time. I haven’t read a book with that kind of plot line before, so because it was unique I thought I would pick it up and see exactly why he wanted to kill himself and why he kept coming back to life instead of staying dead.

The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway | Good Books And Good Wine

What’s The Story Here?:

“Adam Strand isn’t depressed. He’s just bored. Disaffected. So he kills himself—39 times. No matter the method, Adam can’t seem to stay dead; he wakes after each suicide alive and physically unharmed, more determined to succeed and undeterred by others’ concerns. But when his self-contained, self-absorbed path is diverted, Adam is struck by the reality that life is an ever-expanding web of impact and forged connections, and that nothing—not even death—can sever those bonds.

In stark, arresting prose, Gregory Galloway finds hope and understanding in the blackest humor”

via Goodreads

How Long Did I Last?:

18% or …56 pages

Why Did I DNF?:

Sometimes you have to be in certain mindset to read a book. I thought that The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand was a bit more cerebral than I could really handle at the time I picked it up. I mean, I was in the process of packing, getting ready for BEA, sending out resumes and interviewing for a new job SO my mind just could not take a book that required a high amount of concentration. When I read books that are literary, I feel like I really do need to concentrate and pay attention and try to process what exactly is happening and the meaning of it all. I could not do that with this book.

I stopped exactly where the characters — Adam Strand and his friends are at this bridge and they see this cow carcass. They then decide to watch the cow carcass decay. That’s a bit much for me and I get squemish. Also, I just did not get it. I am sure there are people out there who are much smarter than me who can puzzle out all kinds of meaning in this, but I just thought it was gross and not for me and at that moment gave myself permission to give up.

Essentially, it was a case of wrong book at the wrong time with a side of disgusting.

Is There Anyone This Book Would Appeal To?:

I really think that people who are into literary fiction will like The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway. It definitely is not commercial fiction by any means. It is unique. It’s deep. It’s a smart book and one that I think people who really enjoy books with symbolism and all that English class stuff will totally enjoy. Seriously, this is not an awful book, it just was not for me and I think that there are people out there who will really find enjoyment in it, or at least, meaning.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.

Other reviews of The 39 Deaths Of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway:

Book Twirps – “I got a little bored after a while
Forever Young Adult – “Call me when you get a life.
Wrapped Up In Books – “dark humor, excellent writing, and well-rounded characters

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I DNF this too at page 49. Maybe if the author had given reason why Adam kept on trying to kill himself or the results of the different attempts and what he learned from each try but no.

  2. I get wary when I see the word “prose” in the blurb or on a jacket cover. If someone has to point out that the prose is good, chances are the story and characters are lacking.

    I enjoyed your review. I hope the moving, job interviews and BEA go very well. 🙂

  3. I totally dnf’d a Galloway book! This review is very helpful for me. Thanks, yo.

  4. Lol, I remember when you were trying to read this. I think DNFing was a good choice. Also, how fucking bored does one have to be to watch a cow carcass decay for fun. I mean, it’s not like decay happens at lightspeed.

  5. Wow, if it was just you, I might give this one a try based on the intriguing title and premise, but it sounds like everyone has DNFed this, I think I’ll give it a pass. Thanks for the fair and helpful review 🙂

  6. Dog Eared Copy/Tanya says

    Nice DNF review! It actually sounds intriguing and something that I might have liked… until I saw the comments. Now I’m thinking that the book probably requires more patience than I have these days :-/

  7. I powered through this and just barely made. It was just really boring? Also, it would have been great if there was a reason for Adam’s immortality or why he kept killing himself, but nope. Honestly, DNFing this was the best thing you could have done.

  8. Hmm! I added this to my to-read list when I first heard about because, like you, I thought it sounded unique, it’s like the opposite of all the books where characters wake up alive each day in the same day.

    Now I’m reconsidering this, or I will make sure I’m in the mood to really concentrate.

  9. I saw this one on Netgalley. I almost requested it, then thought differently, my TBR list was too huge to be adding anymore. Its funny, sometimes I learn more from a DNF review than a full review. I see why you stopped reading, the reasons were not enough to deter me from the book, you say reading the book was at a poor time for you and the book has deeper meaning. It sounds like something I might enjoy, if the right mood strikes. Thanks for your insight!