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Death Wins a Goldfish

Death Wins a Goldfish

Reflections from a Grim Reaper's Yearlong Sabbatical

Illustrated by Brian Rea


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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.

More Details

Size: 8 X 6 in;
Pages: 176 pp;
Format: Hardcover
Publication: February 2019
ISBN: 9781452172552
Brian Rea lives in Los Angeles. He is an internationally exhibited artist and the official illustrator of the New York Times column "Modern Love."

Media Reviews

“In Death Wins a Goldfish, Brian Rea illustrates his own story, a cheeky and charming and secretly profound variation on the ‘Death Takes a Holiday’ motif.… Through it all, Death keeps a journal, and the reader enjoys his increasingly existential musings on the meaning of life, the preciousness of personal time and the fact that this sweet dark comedy is actually a cautionary tale for any human who falls into the rat-race pressure trap of working too hard.”
LA Weekly


“There’s a lot of sweetness in Death’s global journey, and while the character never speaks, Rea welcomes readers into its thoughts through journal entries, which show how Death gradually becomes more amiable and adventurous as it engages with new people, visits new places, and discovers new passions. A former New York Times art director and illustrator of the newspaper’s ‘Modern Love’ column, Rea has a talent for capturing deep emotions in loose drawings, using bright colors and strong graphic composition to convey the expressions of a character whose face is a gray circle.”
The A.V. Club


“Charming, warm-hearted, and funny”


“Brian Rea’s Death Wins a Goldfish is not a book about death. It’s a book about living.”

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