My friends and I unofficially started a little book club and this was the first book. We all braced ourselves for a tear jerker and potentially the saddest think we’ve ever read (based on the reviews). I didn’t think it was all that sad, frankly. Maybe because I felt it was an unfinished story or maybe it was the philosophical tone of the whole thing, I don’t know.
From my perspective, Paul was objectively looking at his own mortality as if he were observing the life of someone else. It didn’t necessarily feel impersonal, but it was very “as a matter of fact.” This isn’t a criticism though, I actually enjoyed the book — as much as you can enjoy a book about death and dying. Actually I’m not convinced it was about death in the first place. It was as much a story about life and virtue, meaning and happiness, as it was about death and dying. What I really appreciated were Paul’s revelations in the face of death. What he chose to do after he found out his time was imminently coming to an end was really telling and quite inspiring!
Guess what? I wrote my own book on death and dying. It’s loosely based on my father’s death and the part of me who died with him. Coming oh so soon!