A moving story that explores the power of memory, the significance of loss, and the meaning of our existence. While reading this novel I was constantly reminded of Berkeley's "If a tree falls in the forest" question. Certainly many of us want to know that our life have meaning, perhaps even remembered beyond our existence. I think these are the ideas Brockmeier is playing with and of course he has no real answer but the route he takes is one mesmerizing journey. Two separate stories are revealed with both of them gently weaved together. The first one is about a city where the dead live until they are no longer remembered by those on earth and then disappear into a unknown future. This story meanders like a philosophical but casual conversation as the city empties leaving only a few thousand left to wonder why. The other story evolves around Laura Byrd who is trapped in an Antarctica station and may be the only living survivor of Earth. This story reads like an adventure tale as Laura tries to survive and find out what happened to the rest of the world. I like the contrast between the tales. Yet the journey is the thing. Those who criticize the lack of resolution in this novel are missing the point. This is a novel of questions not answers.