11 February 2010

14. Kill Me

Kill Me - Stephen White

Spoiler Alert!... spoiling it because I don't think you will be reading it yourself anyway.

This was my second try with audio and it was better. This one was more story-like than Walden and therefore was better for the long drive to and from work. This one was ten discs and took me five days or so to listen to. I think the only thing I did not like with this one was the reader doing some voices that just didn't fit the characters. A minor detail and has nothing to do with the book itself.

The book...
A cocky rich guy and his buddies like to do dangerous things like sky-diving, deep water diving, skiing untamed mountains, etc. One of the friends gets hurt and is in a vegetative state. The rich guy gets the news on a satellite phone while deep in the woods skiing with his friends. Then he has an accident while coming down the mountain and tells his friends to promise to kill him if he ever ends up a vegetable like the other dude. They all say yeah yeah yeah and go on with life...except for one of them.

Jimmy Lee is that friend and takes the protagonist (who never is named through the entire book) aside and tells him about a group that will kill him if he ever reaches a point where he can not live up to his own standards of life.

The man meets with this clandestine group and sets up a contract where they will kill him if his medical condition ever reaches certain client defined parameters that he has set as trigger points for his own execution. Not really suicide, but more like keeping control of a situation that may get beyond his control. He looks at it as some sort of "insurance policy".

He goes on with his life never really thinking he will need to use the service. He and his wife and kids continue as normal. A 15 year old son shows up at the door one day. He is from a one night stand the man had when he was 23. Adam, the son, becomes someone this man loves and wants to have in his life.

Then one day he goes to the doctor due to headaches and finds out he has an aneurism. It is inoperable. It could blow today, tomorrow, or never. As the symptoms progress he worries more about his health and his relationship with his son becomes more important.

One day a few years later he gets a phone call from the "Death Angels" (his name for them) saying he has reached an activation point and the contract is irrevocable. They are obligated to kill him!

The man does not wish to die yet. He is looking for his son, who has run away. He needs to explain some things so the boy will not think he was abandoned or something like that.

The events that happen are interesting, but it is predictable. One can only escape imminent danger so many times before it gets ridiculous.

In the end the man finds his son. Adam now is in need of an immediate liver transplant. Lizzie, his Death Angel, helper kills him. Adam gets a liver from his now dead father. Lizzie is also killed because she has been hiding breast cancer from the Death Angels and then decides not to hide it any more.

It is a decent story, but no big thrill. There were some points when I wanted to keep going and see what happened, but for the most part it was easy to take a break from the story and not think about it until I continued.

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