Autobioscenes: A word coined by the author to describe episodes from his life. And so, not a full straight-through autobiography, but a series of scenes.
Then, necrographies. Biographies are life stories. Necrographies, another word coinage of the author, are death stories of people with whom the author had some acquaintance.
Put together, they are Autobioscenes & Necrographies, “Some Personal Experiences of Life and Death”, reported in 65 short narratives arranged in rough chronological sequence.
“Norman has had an interesting life,” an acquaintance remarks. A life deeply experienced, assimilated and valuated, and presented here.
Idea: Weeks’s intriguing personal narrative has a unique structural framework. Rather than focusing on purely autobiographical episodes, the author integrates ‘death stories’ into the narrative. Death, he appears to suggest, is the inevitable counterpart to all lived experience and, therefore, well worth examining.
Prose/Style: Weeks’s prose is straightforward, though at times stilted. His memorable voice narrates some 65 episodes of his life in a searching, analytical manner that includes moments of dry humor. This episodic telling can sometimes result in a jumpy and underdeveloped narrative.
Originality: Weeks provides much interesting content and the decision to split the narrative into life and death stories, is a compelling one.
Character Development/Execution: Weeks’s introspective narrative gives form to his personal development. Despite his in-depth sharing of experiences, he remains somewhat elusive.
Date Submitted: December 06, 2020
5-stars review rating!
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Autobioscenes & Necrographies: Some Personal Experiences of Life and Death is a work of non-fiction in the autobiographical and memoir writing sub-genres, and was penned by author Norman Weeks. As the title may suggest from the new word coinage by its author, we explore scenes of autobiography in sequence rather than a full narrative of every moment of life. Rather than exploring biographies, we also examine the death stories or ‘necrographies’ of people whom the author has known over time. Between these different scenes, contrasts and similarities develop over the human experience, and we recount a very interesting life indeed.
Through more than 60 short narratives that make up the overall tale, we have an intriguing picture of a very well-traveled man who has experienced all types of cultures, people, and ways of being during his lifetime. Author Norman Weeks takes a truly unique angle on the autobiography, editing together a cinematographic chain of words that transport us from one mood to the next. A feature I was particularly impressed by was the characterization of others, to which Weeks adds novelistic flair in order to bring the people to life as he knew them and display their fully rounded personas for us. The presentation of speech and thought is distinct, with a capable and confident storytelling voice which is sure to keep you as captivated as the stories themselves. Overall, I would certainly recommend Autobioscenes & Necrographies: Some Personal Experiences of Life and Death as a high quality and truly unique work of autobiography.