When a severely deformed corpse lands on his embalming table, skilled mortician, Horace Carver is forced to confront his apathy towards life and the dark secrets hidden within himself, his family, and his hometown of Always, Indiana.
This stylized novel uses mythology as a base for a narrative that examines the nature of life by exploring the ways we die.
Ernest Gordon Taulbee grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky called Salyersville. He received both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Upon completing his MA he moved to Louisville -- where he has lived most of his adult life.
Love of reading and writing has been a theme in his life. Through the decade and a half since he finished his MA, Mr. Taulbee has worked a variety of jobs, from populating a cubicle in a large corporation to making and selling mead. Throughout his whole life, writing has remained his singular professional and artistic passion.
Horace Carver is a psychopomp. He leads the dead to their grave. With this role, he must know the dead in a personal way. Throughout the book, Horace encounters the dead and must find a unique way to lead them all to the hereafter.
This is his announcement. He makes one at each of his distinct six chapter sections. This is Horace stating his reluctant purpose and going to task to fulfill his duties.
A Sibling in Always
I have to learn the dead, so I will know how to proceed with making them look alive again, reminding myself the entire time this used to be a human being.