A disillusioned office bureaucrat in the afterlife has come to realize that maybe heaven isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Bored by the endless routine of work, golf, and vegan food, he finds his one saving grace in his Field Studies: detailed reports he compiles on the living in order to determine their best fit in his world. While working on his 62nd Field Study, he begins to fall for Tetty, a detached Basque-American beauty living in Nevada, while struggling to understand what she sees in Carmelo, a clumsy scholar obsessed with the elusive Basque culture. When people start going missing from heaven for no apparent reason, the narrator learns that Field Study 62 may hold the key to explaining the disappearances.
“Studies in the Hereafter . . . is a soaring tribute to any human life, in all its flawed glory.”- Kaitlin Barasch, DIAGRAM
“Studies in the Hereafter blends two well-crafted and charming stories together – on one side you have the darkly humorous mystery and on the other a deeply introspective journey of human nature. A quirky but enjoyable read.” – Blotterature
“A whimsical debut novel in which Bernard makes heaven the setting for a story of love and self-actualization. A highly enjoyable–and intermittently profound–debut.” – Kirkus
“…a cleanly written narrative that dares to speculate wildly about the infrastructure of the hereafter . . . (and) also a profoundly human story. Above all, it’s a book that celebrates existence.” – Rhizomatic Ideas
“A novel that makes us laugh while breaking our hearts.”―Christopher Coake
“Wild and imaginative.”―Charles Yu
“Welcomingly comic . . . permeated with a sense of intrigue.” ―Kevin Brockmeier