- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Perennial ed. edition (September 14, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006073731X
- ISBN-13: 978-0060737313
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived Paperback – September 14, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
"I'm hardly the first person to notice that there is only the present, constantly," writes Barton in this extraordinary memoir. "The present moment is lived, and relieved; written, and rewritten. Every previous version still inhabits it." What gives this insight and the many others that follow uncommon power is the ever present fact that Barton, a pioneering entrepreneur in the cable television industry, was dying of stomach cancer as he wrote them. Alternating chapters with mystery writer Shames (The Naked Detective), Barton, who died in September, 2002, at 51, offers us-and his wife and three children-his final rewrite of a life filled with the optimism and idealism of his generation. Barton tells us how it feels to die while the party is still raging, offering us glimpses of a life that packed in everything from being a professional ski bum to working as an aide to New York State governor Hugh Carey to huge success as a visionary businessman (Barton helped found MTV, among other achievements). Readers will be knocked out by his honesty and his utter lack of self-pity or sentimentality. The "gift" of terminal cancer, according to Barton, is that "it doesn't kill you all at once. It gives you time to set your house in order.... It gives you time to think, to sum things up." Setting his house in order included taking his family for a balloon ride at dawn. Summing up what matters, he reminds us that it is the large and small moments of pleasure and love, those very present moments, that redeem us in the end. This is a very beautiful book about how to live.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is a wise, funny, and intensely true book--a generous gift from an amazing guy to those of us who are so busy getting through life that we sometimes forget why we're living. Sooner or later, we'll all make the journey Peter Barton took; now, thanks to him, it doesn't look so scary."
"A little masterpiece. . . a book to be read by everyone. . . . [It] may be the most honest book I have ever read. . . . Some of [the] phrases and sentences literally took my breath away. . . . [Not Fade Away] lit up my own mind and spirit--dare I include soul?--to consider my own life and purposes."
"You couldn't know Peter Barton and not know he would face dying in the most adventurous and original way. . . . This is a book full of insight and comfort, wisdom and hope."
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Top customer reviews
The biggest irony was he found out he had stomach cancer in his 40s. As he became less well he decided to allow Laurence Shames into his life to co author a memoir of his last months. He wanted his family to remember his thoughts and accomplisments, his advice, the risks he took, his successes, but also some dangerous or perhaps not so well thought times in his youth too. He was so open,so unguarded,such an admirable person.It was a privilege to get to know this man, and he chose the perfect co author. Laurence Shames helped fashion a beautiful memoir.
Peter Barton was, most obviously, a tremendously charismatic character with a zest for life. The author does a masterful job of telling Peter's story, not dwelling too heavily on anything irrelevant so as to portray a clear vision of the man in the mind's eye of the reader. We follow Peter from childhood through his successes and eventual brilliant career with Liberty Media to his heartbreaking experience with stomach cancer, a devastating disease that befell him in the prime of his life.
After reading Mr. Shames' book, I wished I could have met Peter Barton. "What a guy, what a tragedy," I thought. I found a video interview with Peter on the Internet, made during his time at Liberty Media, and I could see the magic Shames portrayed in words. He appeared to be every bit the energetic, charismatic entrepreneur with a love for life and a smile that could melt snow or sell you ocean-front property in Boise, Idaho. "So long, Peter," or should I say, "So short, Peter?" You shall not fade away.
Easy reading and a well-told story. I highly recommend this book.
You will not be able to put this book down and you will cry at some point as you read it. It is very good. Read it and then GO LIVE!