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Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther
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Death Be Not Proud (1949)

by John Gunther

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
John Gunther's memoir of pain surrounding his son, Johnny's cancer, treatment, struggle, life pursuits, and eventually death. The book itself is basically the Foreword expanded from 19 pages to 198 and for the most part fairly shallow. The subject is a painful one as it's a parents nightmare for their child to die before them and John does an OK job describing the events leading up to it, but it wasn't until the final eleven pages that are written by Frances, John's ex-wife and mother to Johnny, that one realizes the depth John could have taken it. The book itself is known for Johnny's prayer he wrote called An Unbeliever's Prayer. If the book were edited down to John's Foreword and Frances' final pages I would have rated it a 4-5 stars, as it is I can only give it a 2. ( )
  revslick | Aug 31, 2013 |
As did most people, I read this in High School. I would re-read it whenever I was certain that my parents hated me or vice versa, get weepy, then carry on. Gunther had an honest quality in this book that brings you to reality. ( )
  Elpaca | Jul 23, 2013 |
I know I should have loved this, but I didn't. Gunther made his son out to be too perfect. Still, it is sad, as to be expected. ( )
  Mortybanks | May 28, 2013 |
Thank goodness this book is so short. If it was any longer I really doubt I'd have made it through. It definitely touched me. There were some unrealistic moments, namely how Johnny was supposed to have talked. But maybe that is me being jaded and thinking of him with a 2009 mentality. Regardless, John Gunther's recounting of his son's illness and subsequent death was touching and heart-wrenching for me.

I am terrified by death. I'll admit it. The mere thought frightens the shit out of me, to put it bluntly. And reading this, I couldn't help but put myself in the Gunthers' shoes. It's hard for me to imagine terror of knowing that your child is going to die and there's nothing you can do about it. Or the knowledge that you yourself are going to die, and at such a young age, so full of potential.

I'm glad that I read this, because when I have kids I will appreciate them all the more. ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
Wonderfully written true account by a father losing his son. The story encapsulates the battle between life and death. Johnny is only 17 when he dies of a brain tumor; he never loses hope and puts the interests of others ahead of himself always. Bittersweet. ( )
  Brenda63 | Feb 2, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so:
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death: not yet cast thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!
--John Donne
Dedication
In Memoriam
John Gunther Junior
1929 - 1947
First words
Foreword: This is not so much a memoir of Johnny in the conventional sense as the story of a long, courageous struggle between a child and Death.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
John Gunther was sventeen when he died of a brain tumor. This book is a father's memoir of a brave spirited boy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060929898, Paperback)

Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The father of a seventeen-year-old who died of a brain tumor describes his son's courage in the face of certain death.

» see all 3 descriptions

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