Too Soon to Say Goodbye [NOOK Book]

Overview

When doctors told Art Buchwald that his kidneys were kaput, the renowned humorist declined dialysis and checked into a Washington, D.C., hospice to live out his final days. Months later, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Die” was still there, feeling good, holding court in a nonstop “salon” for his family and dozens of famous friends, and confronting things you usually don’t talk about before you die; he even jokes about them.
Here Buchwald shares not only his remarkable experience–as ...
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Too Soon to Say Goodbye

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Overview

When doctors told Art Buchwald that his kidneys were kaput, the renowned humorist declined dialysis and checked into a Washington, D.C., hospice to live out his final days. Months later, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Die” was still there, feeling good, holding court in a nonstop “salon” for his family and dozens of famous friends, and confronting things you usually don’t talk about before you die; he even jokes about them.
Here Buchwald shares not only his remarkable experience–as dozens of old pals from Ethel Kennedy to John Glenn to the Queen of Swaziland join the party–but also his whole wonderful life: his first love, an early brush with death in a foxhole on Eniwetok Atoll, his fourteen champagne years in Paris, fame as a columnist syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, and his incarnation as hospice superstar. Buchwald also shares his sorrows: coping with an absent mother, childhood in a foster home, and separation from his wife, Ann.
He plans his funeral (with a priest, a rabbi, and Billy Graham, to cover all the bases) and strategizes how to land a big obituary in The New York Times (“Make sure no head of state or Nobel Prize winner dies on the same day”). He describes how he and a few of his famous friends finagled cut-rate burial plots on Martha’s Vineyard and how he acquired a Picasso drawing without really trying.

What we have here is a national treasure, the complete Buchwald, uncertain of where the next days or weeks may take him but unfazed by the inevitable, living life to the fullest, with frankness, dignity, and humor.

“[Art Buchwald] has given his friends, their families, and his audiences so many laughs and so much joy through the years that that alone would be an enduring legacy. But Art has never been just about the quick laugh. His humor is a road map to essential truths and insights that might otherwise have eluded us.”
–Tom Brokaw




From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Some people bless their hearts; I bless my kidney." Art Buchwald's somatic gesture isn't really misplaced. When the Pulitzer Prize–winning humorist refused dialysis early this year, doctors warned him that he would probably succumb within three weeks. Instead, he emerged from a hospice three months later and returned to a home he never expected to see again. This wonderfully unrestrained memoir skips across time, providing glimpses into Buchwald's botched romances, fondest wishes, and strongest pet peeves. Along the way, he offers lists (his "Five People I'd Like to Meet in Heaven" includes four Hollywood beauties and Judas), reflections (on mortality and parking, among other things), and advice about living life to its fullest. Inspiriting reminiscences by a soulful funnyman.
James Kaplan
… the book also has a serious — though not solemn — undertone. Amid an old man’s pardonably digressive reminiscences (some of which will nevertheless feel familiar to readers of Buchwald’s other books), he speaks feelingly about the realities of death: living wills; the grief of other, less fortunate hospice residents and their families; and the strange American habit of trying to ignore life’s end. Art Buchwald has looked straight on at his own “dirt nap,” with liberating results. “People told me,” he writes, “they loved talking to someone who wasn’t afraid to discuss death.”
— The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588365743
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/7/2006
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 866,203
  • File size: 272 KB

Meet the Author

Art Buchwald was born in Mount Vernon, New York, and raised in Hollis, Queens. After serving as a marine in the Pacific during World War II and attending the University of Southern California, Buchwald left the United States for Paris. There, he landed a job with Variety magazine and began writing his now-legendary columns, syndicated for decades in hundreds of newspapers. He received the Pulitzer Prize for outstanding commentary in 1982 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1986. He was the author of thirty-three books, including the New York Times bestseller Leaving Home, a collection of political commentary, Beating Around the Bush, and a memoir, Too Soon to Say Goodbye. Buchwald died in the Winter of 2006.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2011

    No Regrets

    For all logical purposes this book should have not been written. Art Buchwald has lost a leg, his kidneys stopped working, and was sent to a hospice for a two week stay. However, his body would not cooperate and he lived on for several months. He became the in house miracle. Not missing an opportunity to not be the center for attention, Buchwald held court each day in the salon and received guest who brought bounty of food and good conversation.
    This book chronicles this stay and reflections on his life. The ups and downs and he candidly opens the dialogue about dealing with death and the finality of it.
    Even though he was way into his eighties, Buchwald still had many good years ahead and the flood of notes and visitors on his final days allowed him to have one finally hurrah.
    Death is not an easy subject to broach and with his humorous tongue Buchwald allows the reader to peek into what the end is like.
    Buchwald spends some time in this final memoir sharing his life¿s adventures and the many friends along the way. His days in Paris, his family, and his children mixed in with a few regrets along the way.
    He goes into detail about his funeral arrangements and in the end includes copies of his eulogies that ironically enough were written and submitted before his transition.
    In some respects this should be a sad book but Too Soon to Say Goodbye by Art Buchwald is about a life well lived.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2007

    WELL WORTH READING

    What an honest, interesting and full life he led. Art Buchwald will always be remembered for his great sense of humor and his wonderful style of writing. Don't pass up this book -- it's truly a great read. Rest in peace, Art, you'll be sorely missed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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