How Shall I Tell the Dog?: And Other Final Musings by Miles Kington | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
How Shall I Tell the Dog?: And Other Final Musings

How Shall I Tell the Dog?: And Other Final Musings

by Miles Kington
     
 

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In this hilarious and moving book, popular English humorist Miles Kington faces cancer and death with his sparkling trademark wit, musing on everything from board games and yodeling to the prospect of being outlived by his dog.

When some people are told they have only a few months to live, they might travel around the world or write their memoirs or put their

Overview

In this hilarious and moving book, popular English humorist Miles Kington faces cancer and death with his sparkling trademark wit, musing on everything from board games and yodeling to the prospect of being outlived by his dog.

When some people are told they have only a few months to live, they might travel around the world or write their memoirs or put their affairs in order. When it happened at the age of 66 to Miles Kington-one of England's best-loved humorists-he did what he did best, offering sharp, wry, laugh-out-loud observations and ideas about his situation. Following his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Kington proposes crazier and crazier ideas for his next book (what he calls "cashing in on cancer") in a series of letters to his literary agent, Gill.

And what sort of things capture Kington's attention in his waning months? The sudden grimness of those 1,000 Places to See Before You Die books, for example. (What about 100 Things to Do Before You Die, Without Leaving Home?, he suggests. Instead of bungee jumping and whitewater rafting, learn to whistle with two fingers in your mouth, yodel, or steam open envelopes.) The irony that his dog, Berry, will probably outlive him, or the semi-outrageous idea of creating a funeral video:

The answer is quite simple.

Make a video in advance of my farewell speech, to be shown on a monitor, from the pulpit, or on a screen behind the stage, or wherever the best place would be.

I have already visualised the opening shot.

It is of me, smiling ruefully, and saying to camera: "Hello. I'm sorry I couldn't be here in person with you today."

Mischievous and utterly original, Miles Kington's words in the face of death are memorable and surprisingly uplifting.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Written as a series of fictional letters to his agent and friend, Gill, proposing the book he has more or less written, late British humorist Kington (1941-2008) offers a witty, bittersweet slice of meta-nonfiction about his struggle with pancreatic cancer-or, more precisely, his struggle to write a book about it: "phrases like 'cashing in on cancer' give quite the wrong impression. What I mean is, 'making cancer work for its living.'" One letter is devoted to a list of cancer IFAQs, or Infrequently Asked Questions-what you wouldn't know to ask and wouldn't like the answers to besides-in which Kington gets wrapped up in ideas of denial (more like "cold-shouldering?") and astrology. Another responds to bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, which he calls "grimly prescient" and "nasty"; he proposes a more practical volume like A Hundred Things to Do Before You Die, with simpler goals like whistling loudly. And, inevitably, he considers the question of his healthy 10-year-old springer spaniel, who has at least five years on Kington. Throughout the goofy proceedings, Kington remains tuned to his condition but focuses on his relationships and life story, sparing much of the harsh physical reality; perhaps more stirring in omission, Kington writes around the pain to produce a touching, funny and life-affirming look at death.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Daily Mail (London)
Laughter was [Kington's] lifeblood. With unflinching courage and undiminished inventiveness, this unique, quirky wordsmith coped with his dying in the only way he could, by escaping into his surreal imagination and taking a squint at death's funny side.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557048615
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/21/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
435,010
File size:
263 KB

Meet the Author

Miles Kington was literary editor of Punch and a writer for the London Times. He also wrote a regular column for The Independent, from its earliest days until the week he died. The author of several bestsellers in the UK, he died of cancer in January 2008.

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