Reviews

  • "Both fun and funny. It is sharp too, in the sense of painful as well as witty... Barnes dissects with tremendous verve and insight this awesome inevitability of death and its impact on the human psyche. He also tears at your heart"

    New Statesman
  • "A maverick form of family memoir that is mainly an extended reflection on the fear of death and on that great consolation, religious belief... It is entertaining, intriguing, absorbing...an inventive and invigorating slant on what is nowadays called 'life writing'. It took me hours to write this review because each reference to my notes set me off rereading; that is a reviewer's ultimate accolade"

    Penelope Lively, Financial Times
  • "A brilliant bible of elegant despair...that most urgent kind of self-help manual: the one you must read before you die"

    Tim Adams, Vogue
  • "Intensely fascinating"

    The Times
  • "An elegant memoir and meditation. A deep seismic tremor of a book that keeps rumbling and grumbling in the mind for weeks thereafter"

    Garrison Keillor