I spent a lot of time thinking about death today, which at first may appear to be a macabre statement, but Barnes leads the reader through the topic with humour. Par example:
“So here’s another logical inevitability. Just as every writer will have a last reader, so every corpse will have a last visitor. By whom I don’t mean the man driving the earth-digger who scoops out your remnants when the graveyard is sold off for suburban housing. I mean that distant descendant; or, in my own case, that gratifyingly nerdy (or rather, charmingly intelligent) graduate student–still bibliophilic long after reading has been replaced by smarter means of conveying narrative, thought, emotion–who has developed a quaint and lonely (or rather, entirely admirable) attachment to long-forgotten novelists of the distant Print Era.”
Nothing to Be Frightened Of is heavily soaked with memoir and philosophy, and although it was a fascinating read, it was a poor choice for Bookstravaganza. I wanted more time between the breaks to absorb and reflect on what Barnes had just discussed. The stories and case studies circle on themselves with many elements recurring, which I’m surprised I even picked up on due to the speed that I tried to shove it in my head.
I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking to view death as a less serious subject. Take your time with the book, and enjoy a glass or two (okay–a whole bottle) of wine.