The Thing about Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead

The Thing about Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead

3.34 (1,441 ratings by Goodreads)
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Mesmerized-at times unnerved-by his ninety-seven-year-old father's nearly superhuman vitality and optimism, David Shields undertakes an investigation of the human physical condition. The result is this exhilarating audiobook: both a personal meditation on mortality and an exploration of flesh-and-blood existence from crib to oblivion-an exploration that paradoxically prompts a renewed and profound appreciation of life. Shields begins with the facts of birth and childhood, expertly weaving in anecdotal information about himself and his father. As the book proceeds through adolescence, middle age, old age, he juxtaposes biological details with bits of philosophical speculation, cultural history and criticism, and quotations from a wide range of writers and thinkers-from Lucretius to Woody Allen-yielding a magical whole: the universal story of our bodily being, a tender and often hilarious portrait of one family. An audiobook of extraordinary depth and resonance, "The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead" will move listeners to contemplate the brevity and radiance of their own sojourn on earth and challenge them to rearrange their thinking in unexpected and crucial more

Product details

  • CD-Audio | 6 pages
  • 139.7 x 154.94 x 27.94mm | 90.72g
  • Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • United States
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 0739359282
  • 9780739359280

Review quote

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 sidestepshow more

About David Shields

David Shields is the author of eight previous books of fiction and nonfiction, including Black Planet (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award), and Dead Languages (winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award). A senior editor at Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, The Yale Review, The Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and The Believer. He lives with his wife and daughter in Seattle, where he is a professor in the English department at the University of more

Rating details

1,441 ratings
3.34 out of 5 stars
5 15% (212)
4 29% (425)
3 35% (511)
2 16% (229)
1 4% (64)
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