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The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead Paperback – February 10, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
But it's the obsession of a man who, for all his gripes, is engaged in life. Death is a shark out there hovering. But until you put the blood in the water, the shark stays put.
Shields offers alternating chapters of objective data on the body's demise and famous commentary on The Big Sleep with subjective epigrams of pique and pathos. Shields laments but never mopes. He is in awe (and peevishly envious) of his father who somehow has figured out the cosmic joke of existence yet never pauses long enough to let the realization that the joke is on us get him down.
This is a great book, subversive in its brevity and ferocity. A communique of rabbit punches.
The Thing about Life is That One Day You'll be Dead is a bold book that explores this odd duality that exists in each of us: we know we'll die--one day--but we're also quite sure this won't happen to us, somehow we'll be the exception. Reading Shields' book, I became aware that this belief of immortality informs everything we do--toe tapping in line in the grocery store, mindless TV watching, cursing the rain--all speak of our subterranean certainty that we'll be around till the end of time. It's a quirky book, almost outrageous in its structure that follows the decline of the human body, and one well worth reading. And no, it's not depressing; Shields is as funny as he is insightful.
I'm picky about the books I open. I'm even more picky about the books I finish. I find that my interest in many nonfiction books (the only kind I read these days) tends to peter out a third of the way through. The Thing About Life..., though, compelled me to the last page--as if I couldn't imagine how it would end. A page-turner of an essay--what a feat. This book is wiser and richer than Mary Roach's Stiff; it invites the reader to peer inside and get reacquainted with the body and soul staring back.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great tour through the reality of mortaluty. Readable and personalized.Published 3 months ago by Harold S. Morse
Loved this book. Bought this copy for a friend. Highly recommended.Published 8 months ago by R. Wagner
Apparently writing a few lame anecdotes about your utterly uninteresting, annoying, ancient Dad, interspersed with random Google facts re the decay of the body constitutes a book... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Frank G. Feldman
There were a couple of lists or facts that were helpful, but this was not what I was hoping it would be. Read morePublished 15 months ago by RPCV6466
Very interesting. May have should of read it when i was younger!Published 18 months ago by Leonard E Brickell
I bought this book because of the good references it had and because I wanted to know how to fill two hundred and fifty pages with an idea that everybody knows from childhood. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Odysseus at home
I don't think I've ever read a book more centered on humans as pure animals. If you are an atheist, or have zero sensibility to humans as eternal souls, this book is tailor made... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Let's Compare Options Preptorial
The references to his father were particularly meaningful and endearing. We'll written and we'll worth reading for people of all ages.Published on June 16, 2014 by Raphael Engle