Praise for "The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead"
"A double-memoir-commonplace book in which [Shields] presents his and his father's life stories, lovingly encrusted with facts about aging and death (it turns out your soul doesn't weigh 21 grams after all) . . . The result is an edifying, wise, unclassifiable mixture of filial love and Oedipal rage." --Lev Grossman, "Time Magazine
"Shields is a sharp-eyed, self-deprecating, at times hilarious writer. Approaching the flatline of the last page, we want more." -Stephen Bates, "The Wall Street Journal"
"Enthralling . . . Fascinating . . . Ultimately, the humanity of Shields' interior and exterior exploration is what makes "The Thing About Life"-and life itself-worthwhile." --Meredith Maran, "The San Francisco Chronicle"
"Shields undergoes his midlife crisis and comes out the other side-more accessible than ever before, more tender, 'nicer.' And yet "The Thing" "About Life" adroitly sidesteps sentimentality-very hard to do when the core of it is a son's love for his cranky, tenacious, irascible, geriatric, Jewish father. I love this book."-David Guterson
"[An] informative and occasionally unsettling meditation on [Shields's] own aging body and his [97-year-old] nonagenarian father's seemingly endless vigor and strength . . . He writes with great candor about the vitality of his father. . . Also woven into the text are clever quotes on matters corporeal from the likes of Wordsworth, Wittgenstein, Woody Allen, and Martha Graham. Shields's memoir is a sobering, at times poignant, reminder that none of us gets out of this life alive."-Booklist
"David Shields has accomplished something here so pureand wide in its implications that I think of it almost as a secular, unsentimental Kahlil Gibran: a textbook for the acceptance of our fate on earth." --Jonathan Lethem
"It's a bold writer who dares to tackle head-on the subject of what it means to be human-something that David Shields does with an extraordinary mixture of tenderness, humor, and inexhaustible curiosity." --Jonathan Raban
""The Thing About Life" grabbed me from the start. It's extremely compelling, gorgeous in many places. I loved it. And I wish I had written it."-Lauren Slater "From the Hardcover edition."show more