Customer Reviews for

Death Be Not Proud

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

What conquers Death?

Death Be Not Proud resonates with me on many different levels. Without going into personal matters, as a teenager, this book quickly became my favorite. It's the personal recount of a father, John Gunther, struggling with his terminally ill son, Johnny, inflicted with a...
Death Be Not Proud resonates with me on many different levels. Without going into personal matters, as a teenager, this book quickly became my favorite. It's the personal recount of a father, John Gunther, struggling with his terminally ill son, Johnny, inflicted with a brain tumor. It's about the unstoppable nature parents posses to save their child, regardless of how silly or inconceivable the strategy might seem. Diets to starve the tumor. Gas to shrink it. It's about searching for answers that no one has. Through this entire ordeal, Johnny, has an unwavering passion for life. While his body suffers the effects of the procedures and the tumor, his mind does not. That is something special I keep referring back to. For Johnny, with an IQ off the charts, letters to Albert Einstein at 16 or 17 years old, and taking on course loads that had never been entertained at his school, his mind was one of his greatest gifts.

As his father points out, it's ironic that the best feature of Johnny was the one that was being attacked. Of course, identifying something as best is all relative. I would suggest his heart was his best feature. I applaud Gunther for writing this tribute to Johnny. With this book, Johnny's memory can now last in the minds of millions, not just the few that had the privilege to actually know this special young man.

posted by Social_Heel on April 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Inspring Struggle to Live

Reading Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther reminded me of the hints of pain I saw my sister go through while her best friend fought against cancer. However, reading this book did not make me feel very emotional at all. Sure, there were points in the book when I felt tou...
Reading Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther reminded me of the hints of pain I saw my sister go through while her best friend fought against cancer. However, reading this book did not make me feel very emotional at all. Sure, there were points in the book when I felt touched by Johnny Gunther's tough pride and perseverance, but his father writes in a very dry style that doesn't convey much drama or emotion. Too often he does not go into much detail and he does not delve into his pain or his ex-wife's pain and instead focuses on the events. It may have been hard to remember his own struggle, but I was hoping for more of a father's memoir of his pain as he watched his son, instead of a chronicled book of events, very much like a history textbook.
However, the inspiring, brilliant story of Johnny Gunther's fight made me think about life. I wondered about fate and destiny and if I have any control over that. Johnny did not know of his terminal condition, and he continued to believe he would return to his normal life after the cancer was eradicated. His love for academics, especially chemistry and physics, was wondrous to read about. His capacity for knowledge, even when his brain was under such stress and dealing with a very large tumor, was amazing. He continued to learn, expand his knowledge, and conduct many laboratory experiments even in the hospital. Johnny's high school graduation was probably the highlight of the memoir. His heroic battle just to walk down the aisle of the church was exciting to imagine.
The novel was a drag to read sometimes because of the bland wording which pushed the reader away from the time of Johnny's illness. However, I would recommend this memoir to anyone, especially children who need to be exposed to some of the darker sides of life. Johnny's inspiring fight will give anyone the courage and will to live.

posted by 4960487 on October 19, 2010

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    Death be Not Proud is very inspirational to all of the audience no matter what age they are

    This book was inspiring because Johnny Gunther Jr. was a young boy who was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was in his teens. Since this is the year 1943 the doctors don't know very many things about the certain type of cancer that he had. Although he had half of his brain removed he could still move around and do stuff one of the most amazing things that he did was when he had to finish 43 labs in one week he did because he worked hard in it and if he hadn't have died in the summer then he would have been enrolled in Harvard in the fall. This book really motivated me telling me that anybody can do anything as long as they believe in themselves that they can do it then they can do it. This is shown in when the doctors say that he only has a year to live and he fights with the cancer super hard and he winds up living an extra three months. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get inspired.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2007

    A reviewer

    I literally just finished reading this memoir at three in the morning. Not only the style with which Gunther writes but also the story behind it all and Johnny's experience itself, combine to make this memoir truly life changing. No more can be said about this book that I would recommend to anyone who asks.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    Sad and poignant

    I read this book years ago, and I'm glad I was able to find this title again. What I did remember was I found it good how the boy, although he was very sick was able to see life in everything.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2005

    The world would of been so much brighter if he had lived...

    No book that I have ever read has captured my complete atention as the way this book did, and I am only 14. And to think that it was all true, saddens me to the point that I wish I could give my life to let this boy live. Johnny was a person who deserved to live. He put so much hard work into everything he did. His intellegence was so immense and incredible. It's hard to believe that a boy that smart and dilegent died to the evil monster, cancer. His story inspired me to be the very best that I can be, because that is what Johnny did, to his very last breath. He was the best he could have been at the point of his death. That is what makes me smile, to think that he could of been no better than what he actually was when he died. He was certainly something and truely special. His continual strength and will to keep a smile on his face and the people around him through his illness is an act all itself so great. It bothers me to wonder what would of become of Johnny had he lived. He could of contributed a great deal to the world. Although the story and memory, and the feeling of his undying will and desire to strive to be the very best that you can be is enough. He would of been a leading brain of his time. I know it. Though, the one question I wanted answered at the end of the book is that if he got accepted to Harvard. I so greatly hope he did. If he didn't then that was the worst decision that Harvard ever made, despite had he lived. If he was accepted, I feel left out as to see of what great things he could of done with the aid of their education. This is the best book I have ever read, and I thank my 8th grade Gifted Language Arts teacher gave it to me to read. I have an undying respect to the doctors who helped Johnny live as long as he did, and his parents who never gave up, never stopped searching, and most importantly of all never stopped loving him. I recommend this book. It should be read by the whole world, and its effects will be for the better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2004

    The True Meaning Of Courage

    I've read this book so many times. I feel that I know Johnny. I think of how his spirit was so strong. Everytime that I read this book I expect the ending to be different. I expect him to beat death and live a full life. I want my son to read this book and see that he was a seventeen year old just like him but he was trying to do so much with so little time. I wish that someone would do a movie on this book. It will be a book for every generation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    A must read

    I loved this book. Usually in this genre I am filled with a sense of graditude and faith, but I was filled with a sense of loss in this book because without a doubt, the world would have been better were Johnny allowed to live. But this book truly portrayed how fragile life is and how things aren't fair. This is a must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2004

    Memorable story

    I first read Death Be Not Proud when I was a junior high school student (45 years ago). I was greatly impressed by the courage and intelligence of Johnny Gunther. I recently saw the title when visiting a Barnes and Noble store and purchased a copy. As I reread this moving story, I am again deeply touched, but this time I ache for the pain of the parents. While it is indeed a sad and tragic story, Johnny Gunther's courage in the face of death is inspirational. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2003

    Johnny Gunther is an Angel

    I read this book when I was in the 10th grade (1989 I believe) and I was moved so much that I felt like I would have traded places with Johnny if I could have. I read it again about four years later...I never reread books...That's what actually makes this novel indescribabe. It definitely has been the ONE book that I'll never forget!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2003

    AWESOME!!!

    I wish I could have given this book more than five stars. It is definitely my all time favorite book. Although I am only sixteen, I don't think I will ever find another to leave me with the same feelings. Even while reading this book for the second and third times, I was still hoping for some cure for Johnny. Death Be Not Proud was written so beautifully. I admire Johnny, his family, and the many doctors that tried so despirately to save him. This is by far one of the best and saddest books I've ever read. Though sad, I closed the book with a smile. I smiled because I now look at things differently. I have realized that you must live life to its fullest, for there are others who have been far less fortunate than those of us who are reading this now.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    So sad:(

    I wish Johny didn't have to die!!!!!!!!!!!! He was such a good person and he wanted to live more than anything. It scares me knowing it could happen to anyone. I noticed that there was nothing written about the parents' feelings. In the end it says they had a daughter who died before she turned 1, which means they lost both their children:(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Darknight and Soulsearch bio

    Darknight-- AGE: ? GENDER: male RANK: warrior LOOKS: grey and blaxk mixed pelt. Emerled green eyes PERSONALITY: kind, firece, very loyal, protective of siblings and anything he luvs, brave, adventorous SIBLINGS/HISTORY: at plato love res2, startails bio MATE/KIT: i wish!•••• Soulsearch-- AGE: ? GENDER: female RANK: warrior LOOKS: pure black except for white around eyes and one ear PERSONALITY: kinda shy, sweet, nice, good at helping others MATE: sadly, no•••• Nightmagic-- AGE: ? GENDER: male RANK: male LOOKS: a dark brown with light brown paws. Army green eyes PERSONALITY: loyal, short tempered, can become nice, ferice, cunning, quick, good hunter MATE: wants

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    Touching

    It was amazing to read that the ordeal this boy went through didn't hurt his spirit. It was truly touching and i recommend that you read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    Grab your tissues.

    Overall I would say that this is a must read book. John Gunther tells the story of his son¿s life, and the struggles that he faces with a brain tumor. I would have to say that if you are an emotional person grab the box of tissues because I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. I would say that throughout the book I was challenged to be positive and stay that way because it can affect others that surround you. When I started reading I was just expecting another good book, but what I did not expect is this motivational and inspirational story. While Johnny was faced with his problems he said something that made me think for a while, ¿The worst thing is to worry to little, not to much. Let¿s keep up a tension.¿

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    Great

    One of the greatest books I have ever read. The bravery of this young man was incredible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2003

    A wonderful, thoughtful, and courageous book.

    I recommend this book for everybody, it is a lesson of life. Written wonderfully. I read eating it up. So brave. So sad. So brilliant. So lovely. So pure!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2003

    Best Book Ever

    This book was amazing. I cried 3 times, jhonny was so brave and never really became negative. He made so much light of his tragic situation.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    Great moving book

    Awesome book. I cried I was so moved.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2002

    Great Book

    Excellent book. It was very sad, especially since you know it's a true story and all this really did happen, but it was still very interesting and inspiring. I think everyone should read this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2002

    a great book

    This is the greatest book ever. it makes you realize that death is out there and it doesn't have to happen when you are old or that you have to stop you life when death is near.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2002

    The Best Book Ever Written!!!

    This book was incredibly well written. John Gunther was able to capture my full and complete attention with this heart- warming memoir about the extreme courage and optimism that his son had. Johnny, his son, died of a brain tumor when he was only seventeen years old. Throughout the whole struggle, Johnny exerted such an immense amount of hope. I could not put the book down, and finished it in a day and a half. At the end, my eyes were filled with tears!! Buy this book!!! It will certainly be a favorite.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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