Review: The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

By Hannah Lynn

Available on: Amazon

Read as part of the Golden Trio Reading Challenge.

Overview:

Blurb: Walter Augustus is dead. Has been a long time. And while he’s hanging in the Afterlife, he’s waiting to be forgotten to go on to the next adventure. And then Lettie picks up the only remaining copy of his book of poetry and reads it. It only gets more entangled from there.

Trigger Warnings:

Bullying, Dead People, Death, Emotional Abuse, Extortion, Food, Ghosts, Haunting

Body Count: 1

The Specs:

  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Contemporary British Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction, Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction
    • Theo Genre: Modern British Lit, Literature, Ghost Story
  • Page count: 296 pages/3025 KB
  • POV: Unlimited 3rd
  • Publication information:
    • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language:  English
    • ASIN: B07CLL98QC

Other Fun Stuff:

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

Read Again

Rating out of five: 4.5 out of 5

Representation, Morality, and Sexism Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test
    • Purpose: to establish actual female characters that act independently of male characters in a story.
      • Do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • DuVernay Test:
    • Purpose: to establish characters of color in a story.
      • Are there fully actualized characters of color? No
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Ellen Willis Test:
    • Purpose: to show balance in characters regardless of gender.
      • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Hays Code Test:
    • Purpose: to ignore outdated and queer-degrading/punishing standards that once were the standard for produced mass media.
    • Part One: outdated moral guidelines
      • Are there any outdated “moral content” rules gloriously kicked in the teeth by this story? No
      • Are there people of color allowed a happy ending? No
      • Is there an interracial couple? No
      • Is there profanity used at all? No
      • Is there one or more homicidal acts and/or murder? No
    • Part Two: queer representation
      • Are there queer characters that get a happy ending? No
      • Is there an illegal or otherwise distasteful age gap between characters, queer or otherwise? No
      • Do the queer characters die tragically, violently, or at all? No
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Mako Mori Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that in the story there is at least one female character independent of a male character’s story.
      • Is there a female character? Yes
      • Does she get her own arc? Yes
      • Does it do anything other than serve to support a man’s story? Yese
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Sexy Lamp Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that a female character in the story serves as an active protagonist, not just a device to be used by the male main character.
      • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Absolutely
    • Post-It Note Caveat:
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance? Nope!
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Tauriel Test:
    • Purpose: to help support the existence of competent, independent female characters regardless of a romantic sub-plot.
      • Is there at least one woman in the story? Yes
      • Is this woman competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character? Yes
      • If she has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, does she suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest?  Nope!
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Vito Russo Test:
    • Purpose: to establish more characters that are on the SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance), QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) or LGBTQIAP+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Biromantic/Bigender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic, and others not listed here) spectrum.
      • Is there a character on the queer spectrum? No
      • Are they a character beyond their orientation? No
      • Do they actually affect the plot? No
      • Is the character something beyond a punchline? No
    • Pass or Fail: Fail

Overall review:

Thoughts:

I enjoyed this read. It was a premise I had not considered before for the afterlife, that much like an ofrenda for passed relatives, it is our thoughts that keep them bound to earth.

I found that the characters were wonderful, but the pacing was a bit choppy, as if an over-zealous editor cut bits out that would have made things flow a bit smoother.

Was it engaging?

At times

Favorite Character:

Lettie

Review format updated 5 March 2019

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