Nothing to Be Frightened of

Nothing to Be Frightened of NATIONAL BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEARA 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

  • Title: Nothing to Be Frightened of
  • Author: Julian Barnes
  • ISBN: 9780307389985
  • Page: 153
  • Format: Paperback
  • NATIONAL BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEARA 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 mostNATIONAL BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEARA 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.

    • Nothing to Be Frightened of by Julian Barnes
      153 Julian Barnes
    • thumbnail Title: Nothing to Be Frightened of by Julian Barnes
      Posted by:Julian Barnes
      Published :2019-08-15T01:53:13+00:00


    About “Julian Barnes

    • Julian Barnes

      Julian Patrick Barnes is a contemporary English writer of postmodernism in literature He has been shortlisted three times for the Man Booker Prize Flaubert s Parrot 1984 , England, England 1998 , and Arthur George 2005 , and won the prize for The Sense of an Ending 2011 He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.Following an education at the City of London School and Merton College, Oxford, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary Subsequently, he worked as a literary editor and film critic He now writes full time His brother, Jonathan Barnes, is a philosopher specialized in Ancient Philosophy.He lived in London with his wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh, until her death on 20 October 2008.



    559 thoughts on “Nothing to Be Frightened of

    • i almost like your book. almost. it's a fun synthesis of a bunch of death related topics, there're some great historical and personal anecdotes, tons of interesting hypothetical situations and philosophical either/ors but i object to your britishness, y'know? that whole mannered and clever and cautious thing? this is death, man! the end! finito! skull and crossbones! grim reaper! "nothing more terrible, nothing more true!" sure, there are gems throughout, but ultimately your book about death is [...]


    • MASSIVE FURBALL ALERT!!!! In this massive eructation of self-indulgent, rambling, repetitive prose, Julian Barnes contemplates his mortality. At considerable, punishing, length. Where does it get him? To paraphrase another writer: And the end of all his exploring is to arrive where he began. Despite the purgatorial length of this hideous hairball of a book, he never really arrives at any conclusion. The reader isn't even offered the courtesy of a chapter break. The book just meanders on with no [...]


    • I generally don’t read other people’s reviews of books before I write my own – I worry that I will end up so affected by their review that I will never know if what I have to say after reading them will really be my reaction to the book or to their review – worse, of course, is to then go on to write a review that says much the same as they have said while thinking of them as my own thoughts. But for some reason I read what one of the best reviewers on this site had to say about the book [...]


    • Does arriving at “a certain age” predispose one to thoughts of dying? Is it because I have retired that I think about death every day? I doubt it, since I have thought about it every day for as long as I can remember, for decades. Does having been a physician keep the idea of death in my mind, even after I am no longer in practice? I don’t know whether it is true of other physicians or not, nor do I know whether non-physicians have the same experience – I suspect the phenomenon is vocati [...]


    • In one of our bathrooms we keep a drum of water which is usually half-filled and always uncovered. Occasionally, for reasons I do not know, a rat would fall into it. There'd be no way for it to climb back out. And as no one in our household is plucky enough to handle a live rat, we'll just let it stay there until it tires and finally drowns. The big black ones succumb faster than the smaller ones. The record holder of sorts was a really tough, brown, less-than-medium-sized rat athlete who kept o [...]


    • Fascinating, witty, and absorbing. This provocative memoir, ostensibly about Julian Barnes' fear of death and dying, and the nonexistence he thinks he faces afterwards, has lots of interesting things to say about belief and disbelief in God, about family, memory, and being a writer. The tone throughout is personal, and somehow both serious and lighthearted, at times comical. (Aside to those who've read the opening pages -- I'll never be able to tell friends again with a straight face about how I [...]


    • Обожавам го. Изящен език и тънък хумор :) Книгата е много по-мъдра отколкото бих могла да възприема на първо четене. С много литературни и философски препратки, освежени от тънкия хумор на Барнс. Не мога да си представя как може да се говори толкова леко за нещо "тежко" като см [...]


    • Blanca, va for yu ;)Es jodido, cuando estás en un periodo de bajoncillo anímico-emocional, empezar a leer un libro y darte cuenta que habla, única y exclusivamente, del hecho de morirse.Salvo si ese libro es "Nada que temer", de Julian Barnes, claro está. Morirse, por mucho que nos cueste creerlo en ocasiones, es algo que todos, más tarde o más temprano, vamos a tener que hacer, y en su libro, Barnes nos da numerosos ejemplos de actitudes que se pueden/deben tomar ante el que supondrá el [...]


    • How entertaining and lightly can one write about death? Fatalistic, subdued and saddened, yes, that we can imagine. Or maybe rebellious and desperate? Or just the other way around: with religious confidence or even fanatical arrogance. And finally, maybe even with indifference, cynicism and sarcasm. In this book Julian Barnes reviews all these emotions and attitudes towards mortality. Not as a systematic expose of how others think about death, of what religions or atheists tell us, or what scien [...]


    • Only last week I was walking through Highgate Cemetery in North London, seeking out the grave of George Eliot (and taking in Marx’s now that I was there, and a few others) when I happened to walk by the grave of Julian Barnes’s wife, who I didn’t know was buried there. By coincidence, I had been listening to Barnes reading aloud this volume, which was published just six months before his wife died. How apt that he should have delved into death just months before, how ironic and how sad. [...]


    • I like the way Julian Barnes writes, and I want to read more of his fiction. Instead, this is the book that was next for me. Not only did I easily find a place for it in this season's challenge, but I have reached a point in life where it is worthwhile reading a book about death and dying. No, I haven't been diagnosed with any long term illness - not even any short term ones. Though I'm past 70, I expect to enjoy some family history of longevity. Still, it's high time I should have some thoughts [...]


    • I haven't read any of Mr. Barnes's fiction, but this work of prose (an "elegant memoir") has been a joy to read. Barnes muses on death by integrating ideas of mortality, memory, family history, questions about religion and the after-life, literature and philosophy (mostly French philosophers). "Nothing to be Frightened of" is not nearly as earthy as Thomas Lynch's "The Undertaking." Lynch is fully aware that mortality rate of humans is always 100% and he seems unfrightened to confront that final [...]


    • "I don't believe in God, but I miss Him."If you're a Julian Barnes fan, an opening line like that is one of the reasons you read him. This book is funny, challenging, enlightening, frustrating and (despite its title) frightening. But tackling a subject as death needs doses of all those things, and Barnes pulls it off. For those friends that have never read Barnes, I don't recommend this as your first read. If you come to this book by way of any of his other non-fiction, or his tremendous fiction [...]


    • 4 and 1/2 starsI was drawn to this book because of Barnes' writing and because of the topic. And if it sounds odd to say one enjoyed a book about the fear of death/complete-annihilation, so be it. Barnes is entertaining, erudite, and even chuckle-out-loud funny in this book. He also writes of memories of his childhood, how they differ from those of his brother, how narrative/story both shapes and changes what we remember or what we think we remember, and contemplates the idea of memory = identit [...]


    • I got ‘Nothing to be Frightened of’ by Julian Barnes a few years back. I haven’t read a Julian Barnes book before – I had read bits and pieces of ‘A History of the World in 10 ½ chapters’ and liked it, but I hadn’t finished it. The first page of ‘Nothing to be Frightened of’ started with this sentence – “I don’t believe in God, but I miss Him. That’s what I say when the question is put.” It grabbed me and so I wanted to read the book as soon as I went home. I read a [...]


    • page 47: Philosopher, c'est apprendre à mourir. sayfa 47: Felsefe yapmak, ölmeyi öğrenmektir. Tek kaçamayacağımız şey olan ölümden söz etme, kafa yorma zamanınızın geldiğini ya da ölüme farklı bir yönden bakmaya ihtiyaç hissediyorsanız bu kitap mizahi diliyle düşünme yolculuğunuzda iyi bir arkadaş olabilir.


    • This is NOT going to be a review of the book, because I don't even know why I can't review this book. I can just talk about my own experience of it. Just this time, I promise. I am so afraid of death that it cripples me. That sounds so pompuos, but it's true. I am afraid of death, because it never just comes and goes. If it would be like that, none of us would ever suffer. We are human. We need time to addapt, to understand, we need to be conscious of what's happening to us or to the ones aroun [...]


    • On and on he goes! Where he stops, no one knows!With a great title like that and a cover showing me a grave, I expected sooooo much more. What a bummer.What I got were the rambling thoughts of the author on his eventual demise, the demise of his parents, what (drop in big name -preferably French- philosopher/artist here) thought, and what his friends C G H. and T. think about death. (I hate that initial shit. Make up a name if they want to be anonymous.)None of this seemed to flow or come togeth [...]


    • (Ξανά)διαβάζοντας αυτό το βιβλίο κατάλαβα για αλλη μια φορά πόσο μεγάλος καλλιτέχνης είναι ο Μπάρνς. Καταρχήν είναι ενα βιβλίο που σε απελευθερώνει, ενα βιβλίο φυσικά που μιλάει για το θάνατο,μην ξεχνιόμαστε, αλλά μιλάει απο μια σκοπιά εντελώς εύθυμη, θαυμάσια σκωπτική. Σαν [...]


    • I couldn’t put this memoir down. I didn’t mean to read it all but I couldn’t help it. I could discern no structure at all, but just followed Barnes for two hundred pages of reflections on death and God through the lens of his family. The whole memoir has the sort of wistfulness of the opening line quoted in the title of this post: ‘I don’t believe in God but I miss him.’Despite the constant humour, it is a frightening book to read. I have never thought through so fully the consequenc [...]


    • You know, when you have that friend - the one you met years ago, when they were quite a bit older than you, and now you know them better you can understand properly how much more of the world they've seen than you have. And every so often, you'll find yourself in the same city as them, and you'll take them out for dinner or a coffee, and you'll ask them a question, something innocuous like "So what have you been up to, then?" and they'll talk. And then, the conversation moves further away from w [...]


    • Another gem from Julian Barnes, perhaps best characterized as a memoir in essay form. By which I mean, it doesn't have a narrative arc or set out to take us through Barnes' life or any particular chronological section of it. In fact, it leaves lots out--his marriage and his professional life are noticeably absent. Instead, it begins the way a magazine essay on mortality might, with some musings about how we cope with death in a post-religious society (keep in mind, this is England, not evangelic [...]


    • "Ne verujem u Boga, ali mi nedostaje." Mnogo mi znači kakve su prve rečenice knjiga. Mogu da zamislim autore, koji se nedeljama predomišljaju kako početi. Zato je prva rečenica i pri kupovini knjige jedna od stvari na osnovu kojih se odlučujem.Ova je, dakle, počela veoma solidno. Nakon toga, moj odnos sa Barnsom je bio toplo - hladan. Ova knjiga o smrti, umiranju, životu koji tome prethodi i našem odnosu prema prolaznosti i religiji, je malo suviše nabacana zbrda-zdola da bi je mogao p [...]


    • It takes 185 pages (in my edition) but Julian Barnes finally manages to define what “life” means to him: “a span of consciousness during which certain things happen, some predictable, others not; where certain patterns repeat themselves, where the operations of chance and what we may as well call for the moment free will interact; where children on the whole grow up to bury their parents, and become parents in their turn; where, if we are lucky, we find someone to love, and with them a way [...]


    • Het boek is uit en het was helemaal anders dan ik dacht dat het zou zijn.Verwachtte ik dat ik een boek zou lezen met geruststellende gedachten in, met berusting en acceptatie, dan ben ik totaal verkeerd uitgekomen.De auteur confronteert ons met vele gedachten over het levenseinde, zijn gedachten, gedachten van zijn favoriete schrijvers en mengt deze met een soort van memoire over zijn eigen leven, dat van zijn ouders, zelfs deels dat van zijn grootouders. Veel van de dingen die ik las zijn herke [...]


    • Yet. Still. And finally, yet still? In this slim volume, Barnes has amassed musings on death from a quarry of the world’s greatest thinkers and added his own. Despite the brainpower, energy and spin expended all that’s known is it defies preparation and is inescapable. The 'yet still' being death’s rhetorical rattle. Acerbic in tone with a smattering of poignant anecdotes, one gets the impression that this is a personal dialog and accounting; he, too, comes haltingly to the conclusion that [...]


    • In reading this book I was reminded of William Hazlitt's essay, "On the Fear of Death." Hazlitt observes that we have no fear of the time before we were born, so why should we be afraid of a time after death? For Julian Barnes it is not that simple. Against Hazlitt's quite rational argument there is that old animal at the bottom of the brain that does not know reason. Emotion comes first; reason second. We feel and only after that might we be able to summon the will to over-ride the feeling.Barn [...]


    • Most readers I see below were disappointed by this book, though I'm not sure why; its tone, style, erudition, and recursive consideration of ideas seems pretty much in keeping with his body of work. It's a Julian Barnes book, first and foremost, and it feels like his work in just about every particular. I don't share his fear of death (at least, not yet), so those musings resonate much less with me than do his portraits of living with those around him who are dying, and about the perfidy of memo [...]


    • Yawn.I need a new shelf. Started but discarded.This is the first Barnes I've read (and that is more or less all of them) and haven't liked. It may not be autobiographical, but it is horribly close and he just isn't interesting. He isn't, his brother isn't. Nor are his parents or grandparents. Even worse, it is wordily pompous, which I gather is why the French like him so much.Death itself may be an interesting subject (or may not) but what isn't interesting is other people's obsessions, includin [...]


    • If you've been following me for a while, you're probably surprised I even remembered my password. Frankly, I am, too. I've never had the desire to review a book before. But I've just finished reading this book and I feel the dire need to say something. Anything. So, here I am.This book is the equivalent of that rare late night conversation where no one feels the need to embellish the gut-wrenching truth. Where no one feels the need to feign courage. Where everyone is elegantly vulnerable and equ [...]


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