Nothing to Be Frightened Of

Nothing to Be Frightened Of

by Julian Barnes
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Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes


A 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307356994
Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited
Publication date: 04/21/2009
Edition description: No U.S. Rights
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Julian Barnes's honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2004 he was named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French ministry of Culture.  He was awarded the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending.


London, England

Date of Birth:

January 19, 1946

Place of Birth:

Leicester, England


Degree in modern languages from Magdalen College, Oxford, 1968

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Nothing to Be Frightened Of 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Basil More than 1 year ago
How can you deny a writer whose disquisition on death begins: "I don't believe in God, but I miss Him. That's what I say when the question is put." Julian Barnes inserts his writer's hook at the start and happily never lets up. The theme of our extinction always is sobering, but in Barnes's memoir it is never without humor. The "brisk irreligion" of his parents and their passing are traced in honest detail. Interspersed are comments on mortality from the famous and near famous. Philosopher Bertrand Russell, an unwavering atheist,is asked what he would do if he "found himself faced by a deity he had always denied. 'Well,' Russell used to reply, 'I would go up to Him, and I would say, "You didn't give us enough evidence."" Nothing To Be Frightened Of is beautifully crafted by a superior writer whose narrative moves with swift, sure distinction. Robert Cecil
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SeattleBookworm More than 1 year ago
Every once in awhile a book comes along, say 1 out of 50 books, that reminds me of why I read. This is one of those books. Intellectually challenging, but never self-important or condescending, it is at the same time very humorous in a subtle, understated way. Many readers will not be familiar with the numerous literary and artistic references, but it will not get in the way of thoroughly enjoying the author's musings on death and the issue of 'what happens next'. Well written and very, very good.
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JohnR26 More than 1 year ago
Very informative, entertaining and funny. Much to learn about the history of what the illuminati have thought of death.
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