Every Third Thought: On life, death and the endgame

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9781509815289: Every Third Thought: On life, death and the endgame
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AS READ ON BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'Thoughtful, subtle, elegantly clever and oddly joyous, Every Third Thought is beautiful' Kate Mosse

In 1995, at the age of forty two, Robert McCrum suffered a dramatic and near-fatal stroke, the subject of his acclaimed memoir My Year Off. Ever since that life-changing event, McCrum has lived in the shadow of death, unavoidably aware of his own mortality. And now, twenty-one years on, he is noticing a change: his friends are joining him there. Death has become his contemporaries’ every third thought. The question is no longer ‘who am I?’ but ‘how long have I got?’ and ‘what happens next?’

With the words of McCrum’s favourite authors as travel companions, Every Third Thought, takes us on a journey through a year and towards death itself. As he acknowledges his own and his friends’ ageing, McCrum confronts an existential question: in a world where we have learnt to live well at all costs, can we make peace with what Freud calls 'the necessity of dying'? Searching for answers leads him to others for advice and wisdom, and Every Third Thought is populated by the voices of brain surgeons, psychologists, cancer patients, hospice workers, writers and poets.

Witty, lucid and provocative, Every Third Thought is an enthralling exploration of what it means to approach the ‘end game’, and begin to recognize, perhaps reluctantly, that we are not immortal. Deeply personal and yet always universal, this is a book for anyone who finds themselves preoccupied by matters of life and death. It is both guide and companion.

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Review:

Thoughtful, subtle, elegantly clever and oddly joyous, Every Third Thought is beautiful and - most of all - true (Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth)

Every Third Thought is an important book, and one that brings death into the light, uncovering both the losses we have to endure, as well as the gifts we can receive if we are open to it. Profoundly moving and fascinating. It is a gem. (Julia Samuel, author of Grief Works)

As an assemblage of great quotes and prompts for further reading, Every Third Thought rivals DJ Enright's anthology The Oxford Book of Death. McCrum adds striking metaphors of his own. (Blake Morrison Guardian)

A wry and reflective treatise on mortality . . . fascinating and paradoxically enjoyable (Roger Lewis The Times)

We have to think about death, and talk about it, perhaps rather more than we do. And if that’s so, there can be no better guide than a wise, humane and battered-about writer like McCrum. He has thought deeply, talked widely, read voraciously and experienced much . . . by the time I had finished this book, I had a silly grin on my face. That was partly because it ends with a happy surprise, but more importantly because you cannot confront the meaning of death without a refreshed and more vivid understanding of the glory of being alive . . . As I closed it, having stared pretty steadily at extinction, I found myself encouraged and fortified. So, really, thank you, Robert. (Andrew Marr Mail on Sunday)

I can't think of another writer who could display such learning and erudition with this lightness of touch. Robert McCrum seems to have read everything, but you never feel he's lecturing; rather, he is a delightful and amused companion. The subject of Every Third Thought is so serious, yet it's illuminated by such humanity and flashes of wit that the reader closes it feeling oddly comforted. Only a writer in total command of his subject could present all this so deftly. Every Third Thought is a constant source of wisdom and interest . . . a gem (Cressida Connolly)

Marvellous . . . Every Third Thought is a reminder of the shadows on the grass, even at this time of year; that we shouldn’t be afraid of them, that in time they will come to enfold us all . . . McCrum's book shows us that we should grab all the living moments and live in them, while we are here. (Scotsman)

A wonderful book, so personal that it holds you in its grip (Rabbi Julia Neuberger)

A jewel of a book: our most profound thoughts, gracefully shaped . . . thoughtful, humane and full of warmth (David Bodanis)

Every Third Thought is simply stunning: a brilliant, wise, compassionate and consoling account of death and dying in a secular age. McCrum moves seamlessly from personal testimonies to medical case studies to recent developments in neuroscience. He asks profound philosophical questions about mortality, finitude and the unknown. A uniquely beautiful and significant book (Joanna Kavenna, author of The Ice Museum )

Book Description:

Every Third Thought is about how we approach and accept death.

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9781509815296: Every Third Thought: On Life, Death, and the Endgame

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ISBN 10:  1509815295 ISBN 13:  9781509815296
Publisher: Picador, 2018
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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2018. Hardback. Condition: New. UK ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. AS READ ON BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK'Thoughtful, subtle, elegantly clever and oddly joyous, Every Third Thought is beautiful' Kate Mosse In 1995, at the age of forty two, Robert McCrum suffered a dramatic and near-fatal stroke, the subject of his acclaimed memoir My Year Off. Ever since that life-changing event, McCrum has lived in the shadow of death, unavoidably aware of his own mortality. And now, twenty-one years on, he is noticing a change: his friends are joining him there. Death has become his contemporaries' every third thought. The question is no longer `who am I?' but `how long have I got?' and `what happens next?'With the words of McCrum's favourite authors as travel companions, Every Third Thought, takes us on a journey through a year and towards death itself. As he acknowledges his own and his friends' ageing, McCrum confronts an existential question: in a world where we have learnt to live well at all costs, can we make peace with what Freud calls 'the necessity of dying'? Searching for answers leads him to others for advice and wisdom, and Every Third Thought is populated by the voices of brain surgeons, psychologists, cancer patients, hospice workers, writers and poets.Witty, lucid and provocative, Every Third Thought is an enthralling exploration of what it means to approach the `end game', and begin to recognize, perhaps reluctantly, that we are not immortal. Deeply personal and yet always universal, this is a book for anyone who finds themselves preoccupied by matters of life and death. It is both guide and companion. Seller Inventory # AA79781509815289

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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2018. Hardback. Condition: New. UK ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. AS READ ON BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK'Thoughtful, subtle, elegantly clever and oddly joyous, Every Third Thought is beautiful' Kate Mosse In 1995, at the age of forty two, Robert McCrum suffered a dramatic and near-fatal stroke, the subject of his acclaimed memoir My Year Off. Ever since that life-changing event, McCrum has lived in the shadow of death, unavoidably aware of his own mortality. And now, twenty-one years on, he is noticing a change: his friends are joining him there. Death has become his contemporaries' every third thought. The question is no longer `who am I?' but `how long have I got?' and `what happens next?'With the words of McCrum's favourite authors as travel companions, Every Third Thought, takes us on a journey through a year and towards death itself. As he acknowledges his own and his friends' ageing, McCrum confronts an existential question: in a world where we have learnt to live well at all costs, can we make peace with what Freud calls 'the necessity of dying'? Searching for answers leads him to others for advice and wisdom, and Every Third Thought is populated by the voices of brain surgeons, psychologists, cancer patients, hospice workers, writers and poets.Witty, lucid and provocative, Every Third Thought is an enthralling exploration of what it means to approach the `end game', and begin to recognize, perhaps reluctantly, that we are not immortal. Deeply personal and yet always universal, this is a book for anyone who finds themselves preoccupied by matters of life and death. It is both guide and companion. Seller Inventory # BZV9781509815289

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