Death to Live?

As a reader goes to pick up a novel such as The Death And Life Of Charlie St. Cloud” they first take notice of the title. It is different. Slightly different from the usual phrase “life and death.” By reversing the two elements, the title relates more directly to the story within the pages; the story of Charlie St. Cloud. This reversal is no mistake. Ben Sherwood, the author of the novel, made this the title specifically because in a way, the main character, Charlie, had to die and be brought back to begin his life again. In essence, he had to die in order to live. However, with his being brought back to life, he had to leave behind his brother, Sam, who died in their accident. The title is “Death and Life” because after his brief death and revival he now has to live on without his brother being with him, and he has to grow as a person without someone who was so very close to him After the accident that killed Sam, Charlies life began again and it was entirely differently then was before. With his ability to see those who are on their way to the afterlife, (a “gift,” left with him from the accident) somehow he manages to live on still being able to see his long dead brother. It makes sense for the title to be The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud instead of the “Life and Death.” This way the title is more symbolic towards Charlie, Sam and their story, as Charlies story and life, only start again after his death.


To the Writer of The Life-Affirming Novel entitled “”The Death and Life if Charlie St. Cloud”

Dear Mr. Sherwood,

If I may say so myself, you are a shear artist. You undoubtedly capture the hearts and minds of every person who picks up your book. Within the very first sentence the reader is immediately intrigued and it is impressing how quickly they always fall in love with the story. The word choice is genius, as well as the brilliantly placed humor. You amaze me with the intricate details of your characters personality traits as well as how easily one can relate to them. Your story is very realistic and as a reader, it is hard to not take away from the story; our own ideas and thoughts involving life or death and a possible “in between” between the two. These elements made the story so real and pulled on heartstrings like no book has before.  As we begin reading, we are taken to a whole other world. Suddenly we are a third person within the story living the life of someone in the town, hearing the stories of those around us and coming to form our own thoughts and opinions of the events in the story.. Every time the pages are opened it is truly an experience that no one should be left out from. The way you establish the relationship between Charlie and Sam is incredible, making all of us readers wish that we had a relationship like that with a sibling of our own, or reminding us of the relationship that we already have with a family member. I would like to thank you for sharing this amazing book with the world so all can know the wonderful story of Charlie St. Cloud.

Best regards,

Elizabeth Walker

Coincidence or Planned connection?

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is an exploration of life, death and love. The pain of death but the miracles of life are two major themes in the novel. The first line in the book is simple; “I believe in miracles.” After reading that sentence, I thought back to the title of the book: The Life and Death of Charlie. St Cloud, and I could not help but be intrigued and hooked. These three concepts all seemingly go hand in hand so I find it to be quite interesting how the words “Life” and “Death” in the title and “Miracles” in the first sentence are all the first things that the reader will read, because after reading only the first page, the reader (in this case, myself) can just tell that those three words are going to be reoccurring themes throughout the novel. This being said, to most people it would be obvious that those words will have a major significance to the novel, in regards to the story that it tells. I also think that the author did used the words that he did on