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Pamela PaulPhysical appears to be McManus's way to exorcise the pain and frustration brought on by man's limitations - our individual and collective refusal to modify our lives in order to forestall dying, our propensity to die at times both expected and unforeseen and our inability to cope with death when it comes. These are big issues. McManus's own limits are that he can raise the right questions when writing about his personal life and can tug tantalizingly at answers, but cannot provide the big-picture framework needed to address them in full. Maybe none of us can.
— The New York Times