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Death My Own Way (LeapLit) Paperback – November 27, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Graziano (God Soul Mind Brain), a Princeton professor of neuroscience, writes with intelligence, mischief, pace, and economy, and seems to care little about telling a story. He uses a whiff of outrageous plot—a naked, terminally ill man perches on a wall in Central Park—to bat around the big questions. What is love? What is art? he asks playfully, though not frivolously. There is a bit more plot when a helpful woman, mistaking him for a suicide case, falls from his perch to her death. This accident turns blame on the man and the flurry of activity that follows allows him to flee deeper into the park, all the better to join the fun and provocative discussions that constitute the bulk of this book. In a touch of irony, the philosophic circle with whom he discusses not just love and art but also religion and death (he calls them the committee ), are a ragtag group of homeless people, given names like Chair Lady, Knee, Guitar, and Bottle Rat. The kind of entertaining and piquant talk that you hope to hear in your favorite bar or on cable TV, but almost never do. (Dec.)

About the Author

Michael Graziano is a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University and director of the Sensory Motor Laboratory. He is the author of 56 articles on the functioning of the brain. His work regularly appears in journals such as Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He is internationally known for fundamental discoveries about sensory perception and motor control in the brain. His is the author of The Intelligent Movement Machine (Oxford University Press, 2008) and Human Consciousness (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: LeapLit
  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Leapfrog Press (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935248332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935248330
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,525,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Robert G Yokoyama VINE VOICE on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
The main character in this book is a man who is dying of cancer. The premise may sound depressing, but the book is not. Death My Own Way is a good reminder. It reminds me that a person can choose to die in a peaceful and respectful way. This is a lovely message to communicate about death. The main character is intentionally naked in this book. He symbolizes a person who is not afraid of death and has nothing to hide. This novel is set in one evening in Central Park. Graziano makes Central Park sound like an excellent place to meet people. He makes me want to visit New York and make some new friends.

Death My Own Way expands my definition of art. Graziano communicates these theories of art by using homeless people. Each homeless character has a different opinion about what art is. There is a musician and a teacher among this group of homeless people. Graziano reminds me to value the opinions of homeless people. What I learned from read this book is that art is not just a painting on a wall. It is an expression of love. It is the end result of a series of failures. This book implores me to find the art and beauty in my own personal experiences. Each piece of art communicates a vitality and a passion for life. Death My Own Way is a thought provoking book.
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Format: Paperback
Death My Own Way
written by
Michael S.A. Graziano

A Book Review

A man decides to take his clothes off and enter Central Park! Sound strange? If not strange, how about, at night? No, still not strange enough? He has a lump in his stomach. The size of his fist. He has cancer.

Damn good. Right? I had to read on.

He is searching for the meaning of life. Through the events, that unfold during the night, meeting an array of different characters and situations, he finds it.

I'd call this story a psychological thriller, in a philosophical way. Articulately crafted. Perfect prose. One big metaphor.

After reading it, I decided it was full of flaws. Not very realistic. A man naked in the park. (not that it doesn't happen) A friendly cop, who leaves him alone. Naked in the park? This is in New York City. (I don't think so!) He gets beat up, there's an incident with a woman, he meets a group of derelicts and they befriend him.

Does that sound realistic? Searching for the meaning of life? Naked in the park?

Because of that, as I turned every page I was looking for flaws.

I have to admit I did enjoy it, besides the flaws. I wonder how Michael researched this. I'm sure it wasn't from personal experience. A little unbelievable. Humorous.

I'd give it 4 stars. A good quick read.

Like most of the books I read, this one was on the "Books We Liked" shelf at the Surrey Public Library.

Other books by the same author: The Divine Farce, The Love Song of Monkey

Michael Estey
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I don't know how many people think about the end of their life or how it will go or what they will be thinking about. For those that do, I wonder if it turns out like they thought. This book would seem to be an allegory for the search for meaning and letting go of the need to find it. Coming from a person who has spent a career investigating mind, movement, consciousness and awareness, there are many moments that ring true.
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