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Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther

Death Be Not Proud (1949)

by John Gunther

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Seguendo un suggerimento trovato su BrainPickings l'ho trovato, usato, in GB. Letto in inglese solo per esercizio, dopo un poco è faticoso. Sono arenato a meta', e non voglio andare avanti. Perche' so gia' che sara' sempre peggio, e non dipendera' dall'ignoranza della lingua. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
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 |
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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 canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go—
Rest of their bones and souls' delivery!
Thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then?
     One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
     And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!

                                                  —John Donne
In Memoriam
John Gunther Junior
First words

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. It is not about the happy early years except in this brief introduction, but about his illness. It is, in simple fact, the story of what happened to Johnny's brain. I write it because many children are afflicted by disease, though few ever have to endure what Johnny had, and perhaps they and their parents may derive some modicum of succor from the unflinching fortitude and detachment with which he rode through his ordeal to the end.

Johnny came home for the Christmas hoiday in 1945, and he looked fit and fine. He was lenthening out physically and otherwise, as children do all of a sudden, responding as it were to the release of some hidden inner spring. We saw a lot of each other, and just before getting on the train to return to school in January, he excalimed, "Pop, that was the best ten days I ever had!"
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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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