Better Late Than Dead: The Book

Now available!

Are you looking to laugh? This book just might be of assistance in that area. Humorist Brooks Palmer helps pull the rug out from under the seriousness of life. With his words of wisdom, short stories, and cartoons, he pokes fun at the human condition in a way that is inclusive and hilarious.

Order the book.


David Sedaris

Above is a postcard review from David Sedaris. (I sent him a copy of my book.)

“Brooks is like a smiling modern Rumi.”–Rachel Z.

“This book delivers such a unique kind of commentary and humor. When I read one, I just wanted to read another one. Funny, witty and most definitely unique.”–Sam

“Brooks Palmer is the Philosopher King of Comedy. He is a time traveling yogi who speaks with God and listens in on the Sun and the Moon as they quarrel. He is the master of the anti-punchline. His comedy is a Möbius strip of depth and simplicity forming one continuous side of thought-provoking, philosophical humor, always with a unique point of view. This book is his invitation to go on a journey with him and seethe universe in a different way. Trust me, you will feel special having made the trip.”
Craig Shaynak , author of Fat, Bald, and Loud

“lol “GOOD BOOK” HAHAHA very funny worth it. This guy is funny indeed this book is too. I really liked it. :)”–Guy

“Sly, witty, wise and humorous in a satisfyingly subtle way that no mere comedian or comic writer could possibly match, this is a book that you will ponder over, read out loud to friends, and read to yourself again and again — the first time with delight, and after that with an appreciation for just how original a work it really is.”
Michael Antman, author of Cherry Whip (ENC Press)

“Angels fly because they take themselves lightly and Brooks Palmer’s book is heavenly in its ability to make you both smile and reflect deeply on life at the same time. Superb.”–Theresa

“Dim-Sum for the Soul
(Weren’t you getting tired of chicken soup?)

I’m just a speck in the universe.
Sometimes, though, I wind up in the eye of God
and get some attention.

(from the book)

Ever since Alan Watts died, America has been without a local Zen master able to make us laugh at our pathetic, national attempts at world domination – or just our incessant, personal need to feel superior. Well, now we’ve got one! Brooks Palmer and his new book, Better Late than Dead, have filled the void. I got my copy of the book yesterday and read the whole thing in one afternoon splurge of sheer exuberance.

Brooks Palmer is just an ordinary guy with an extraordinary capacity for imagining the unlikely intersections of thoughts in a universe unconstrained by space or time. Brooks is regularly visited by, or makes time-travel visits to, dead presidents, angels, remote Arctic hangouts, heaven, historical figures, saints, ancestors with special gifts, authors, and animals of all sorts, especially his wise and wise-cracking dog, Rexy. In every one of these encounters, Brooks is taught something more about humility and the need to just take life as it is.

Here is a typical day-in-the-life event for Brooks:

While we shared a fondue lunch, God said,
“Listen, I made you lazy. It’s not your fault.”
I said, “But you also made me want to improve myself.”
God said, “No, that’s your fault.”

Any ego-stroking tends to be a mixed blessing, as in these exchanges:

I took my dog Rexy out for a walk. We didn’t say anything to each other for quite a while. Finally my dog Rexy said, “I think of you as my person.”
God and I were swimming in my backyard pool.
I asked if Jesus and I were drowning whom would God save.
God said, “You.”
With tears running down my eyes I thanked God.
God said, “Jesus is afraid of water and won’t go near a pool.”

Then there are the dozens of lovely – “Ha, I bet you never thought of that” moments – that are scattered throughout the book accompanied by a small, childlike drawings reminiscent of A.A. Milne or Antoine de St. Exupery. (see attached image from the book)

But it is not merely small quips and jests that make up this book. Scattered in between the bite-size candy are chewier morsels for the mind. Like the morning the ghost of philosopher, William James, shows up and is offered toast. After munching the ghost confesses to be stymied in his further investigations into pragmatism. Brooks, having been urged to learn to be more compassionate by his girlfriend, offers this advice:
… perhaps it’s nothing than one could ever completely unfold since the essence of the investigation is the questioner herself and awareness can never know itself, just like the tongue can never taste itself. William James said that essentially I was correct, but the waves of investigation can never be thwarted. I agreed. I’ve been finding that agreeing with whatever anyone says has made my life much easier. As Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism said, ‘Essentially, what makes life most practical will find me burrowing into it.’

A stroll through this book takes you from nihilistic depths to ecstatic heights but mostly back to the hilarity of everyday life and our ridiculous quest to make more out of everything than is necessary. But even that is embraced at last as just one more of our endearingly human quirks. As Brooks discovers in yet another one of his strolls with God:

I went for a walk along the beach with God.
I said, “I’m never satisfied.”
God said, “I know, you’re as bad as me.”

This is a good book to give to a type-A friend, or to keep in the bathroom for all your other friends who are closet perfectionists and need to laugh and sigh a bit more, especially when in the act of letting it all go – like we all should!”   —Rebecca