The Year I Died Seven Times: Book #1

Publisher: Beat To A Pulp

Publication Date: January 2014


Prolific pulp master Eric Beetner (THE DEVIL DOESN’T WANT ME and STRIPPER POLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD) has unleashed something a bit different this time around. THE YEAR I DIED SEVEN TIMES, another excellent title from Beetner, is your classic tale of “boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-in-love-with-girl, girl-runs-back-to-Japan,” type story. Our slacker hero Ridley is going to do everything he can to get his girl back. Even if it kills him. Over and over and over again. Seven times, in fact.

In the tradition of Stephen King’s THE GREEN MILE, Ridley’s quest to find his girl Miho and live happily ever after is being brought to the reader as a serial. Each installment will be released in the month the story takes place. And, as you may have figured out from the title, things don’t go well at the end of each edition.

Told from Ridley’s point-of-view, it’s impossible to not be sucked into the story. Ridley is the classic lovable slacker. His stoner best friend CJ enables his loser lifestyle. Ridley’s lack of drive and ambition are infuriating to read about, yet his story of meeting Miho, a girl with “hipster style, but she didn’t look like she was trying too hard” is impossible to stop reading about.

When she abruptly tells Ridley that she must leave, our hero is tossed into a tailspin. Thus begins Ridley’s yearlong adventure. Is it morbid of me to want to know how Beetner is going to kill Ridley each time? Sure it is. But in the space of 41 virtual pages, Beetner has also made me want to know where this adventure is taking us. In a very short span, the reader is invested in the story and that takes skill to accomplish.

So for all you adrenaline junkies that like your mysteries to play at 100 rpm’s and covered in blood? Yeah, you folks need to hit that button on your magic e-reader machines. And, you other folks? You guys that like your mystery stories more in the vein of the Hardy Boys? Just pretend that Frank and Joe had a cute Japanese girlfriend who disappeared one night.

And then Frank and Joe died seven times in the same year.


Dan Malmon