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Nothing to Be Frightened Of
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2008
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Description
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A memoir on mortality as only Julian Barnes can write it, one that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. If the fear of death is “the most rational thing in the world,” how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty and an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for, against, and with God, and at his own bloodline, which has become, following his parents’ death, another realm of mystery.

Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/02/2008
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307270252
ASIN:
B001ANYC9Q
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Julian Barnes. (2008). Nothing to Be Frightened Of. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Julian Barnes. 2008. Nothing to Be Frightened Of. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Julian Barnes, Nothing to Be Frightened Of. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2008.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Julian Barnes. Nothing to Be Frightened Of. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2008. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:54:21
Date Updated:
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Barnes, Julian
      • bioText: Julian Barnes's honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2004 he was named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French ministry of Culture.  He was awarded the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending.
      • name: Julian Barnes
imprint
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publishDate
2008-09-02T00:00:00-04:00
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title
Nothing to Be Frightened Of
fullDescription
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A memoir on mortality as only Julian Barnes can write it, one that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. If the fear of death is “the most rational thing in the world,” how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty and an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for, against, and with God, and at his own bloodline, which has become, following his parents’ death, another realm of mystery.

Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content:

        "Beautiful and funny. . . . An elegant memoir and meditation, a deep seismic tremor of a book that keeps rumbling and grumbling in the mind for weeks thereafter."

      • premium: False
      • source: Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books
      • content: "Brilliantly written and also funny . . . cunningly composed . . . held together in a rather Proustian fashion . . . Barnes has an extremely lively mind, and a distinctive voice, which gives a certain welcome jauntiness or gaiety to his darker musings."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
      • content: "A delicious mix of personal reminiscence, family history, literary criticism, and philosophical speculation."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post
      • content: "Beautifully done . . . an extended meditation on human mortality, but one that is neither clinical nor falsely consoling. Instead, the witty and melancholic author simply converses with us about our most universal fear."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "Surprisingly jocular--although also dead earnest . . . highly literary, thoughtful but playful."
      • premium: False
      • source: O, The Oprah Magazine
      • content: "Very entertaining and, best of all, wholesomely provocative."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Globe
      • content: "Barnes is a writer of impulsive insights, many of them remarkable . . . of humane irony, antic imagination, and unsettling perceptiveness. He constructs a many-leveled scaffolding of argument, memoir, literary reference, and musings all around the dark pit."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Tennessean
      • content: "For those who think that facing death is life's most pressing test, Barnes is an amiable and articulate companion [who] sees humor in the impossibility of finding lasting comfort . . . His contemplation of death invariably becomes a treatise on living."
      • premium: False
      • source: Providence Phoenix
      • content: "[Nothing to Be Frightened Of] call[s] to mind Woody Allen . . . Touching--and very funny."
      • premium: False
      • source: Rocky Mountain News
      • content: "Just try to put this memoir down . . . A dazzling blend of wry humor, keen philosophy and perceptive observations as Barnes ruminates about the inevitability of death and what it all means."
      • premium: False
      • source: Barnes & Noble Review
      • content: "Strange and marvelous . . . Despite [its] mordant wit, erudition, and typically British understatement, the fear and trembling at its heart are always palpable . . . It is so good--an item of high literary quality and, paradoxically, great good humor."
      • premium: False
      • source: St. Petersburg Times
      • content: "Barnes is a great conversationalist, and this is a humorous book in spite of its serious subject."
      • premium: False
      • source: Playboy
      • content: "Erudite and entertaining."
      • premium: False
      • source: Men's Vogue
      • content: "A brilliant bible of elegant despair . . . that most urgent kind of self-help manual: the one you must read before you die."
      • premium: False
      • source: Times Literary Supplement (London)
      • content: "Speculative and precise, intimate and metaphysical, capacious and democratic in the variety of voices, alive and dead, that are invited to counsel the author as he edges his way towards the void."
      • premium: False
      • source: Literary Review(London)
      • content: "Julian Barnes is a delightful companion and much of the book (its informal tone included) is like an extended and very interesting conversation."
      • premium: False
      • source: Val Hennessy, Daily Mail
      • content: "Compelling . . . witty and erudite . . . consistently interesting and entertaining."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 14, 2008
        In this virtuosic memoir, Barnes (Arthur & George
        ) makes little mention of his personal or professional life, allowing his audience very limited ingress into his philosophical musings on mortality. But like Alice tumbling through the rabbit hole, readers will find themselves granted access to an unexpectedly large world, populated with Barnes's “daily companions” and his chosen “ancestors” (“most of them dead, and quite a few of them French,” like Jules Renard, Flaubert, Zola). “This is not 'my autobiography,' ” Barnes emphasizes in this hilariously unsentimental portrait of his family and childhood. “Part of what I'm doing—which may seem unnecessary—is trying to work out how dead they are.” And in this exploration of what remains, the author sifts through unreliable memory to summon up how his ancestors—real and assumed—contemplated death and grappled with the perils and pleasures of “pit-gazing.” If Barnes's self-professed “amateur” philosophical rambling feels occasionally self-indulgent, his vivid description delights.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 15, 2008
        At 60 years of age, Barnesthe author of ten novels (most notably, "Arthur & George"), two books of stories, two essay collections, and a translation of Alphonse Saudet's "In the Land of Pain"openly explores in this memoir both his life and his "réveil mortel" (deadly awakening). The son of an atheist mother and an agnostic father, Barnes describes in a familiar tone his realization of death and mortality with all the wisdom of one of the philosophers, authors, and friends he here so frequently quotes, explaining, e.g., that the notions of God and death should not be conflated because "God might be dead, [but] Death is well alive." Written in London between 2005 and 2007, with some focus on religion and morals, this work addresses the present as well as the many options that exist in the almost unforeseeable but always inevitable future. Whether God and an afterlife exist is ultimately left up to the reader to decide. Recommended for academic and public libraries of all sizes. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ" 5/1/08.]David L. Reynolds, Cleveland P.L.

        Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2008
        Somesay death is nothing to be frightened of, but most of us do fear death and dying. British novelist Barnesreflective and erudite, a stellar stylist and a piquant witconfronts the paradoxes, fantasies, horrors, mystery, and inevitability of death in this bracing, mordantly funny, and expansive mix of musings, literary criticism, and memoir. Although he assures readers that this is not his autobiography, Barnes does portray himself at transforming moments throughout his life and presents vivid portraits of his grandparents, parents, and philosopher brother Jonathan. He also ponders the fates of his dead, French, nonblood relatives, mostly writers he admires, such as Jules Renard, and assays the viewpoints on mortality of such standard-bearers as Montaigne and Richard Dawkins. Laced throughout this satisfyingly riverine blend of inquiry and apologia are sharp comments on religion (who fears death more, a believer or an atheist?); science; and the enshrinement of art. Barnes avers that death is the one appalling fact which defines life, then wonders if, for all his skepticism, he doesnt write in the hope of immortality.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A memoir on mortality as only Julian Barnes can write it, one that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. If the fear of death is "the most rational thing in the world," how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty and an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for, against, and with God, and at his own bloodline, which has become, following his parents' death, another realm of mystery.

Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.

From the Trade...

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      • source: The New York Times
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publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group