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Paperback Death Be Not Proud Book

ISBN: 0060929898

ISBN13: 9780060929893

Death Be Not Proud

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Book of Love

Written by his father, this book is an ode of love to a courageous young man who died of a brain tumor in 1946 at the age of 17. Although divorced, Gunther also writes with great love about his ex-wife and her part in caring for their son.This was a grueling reading experience as John Gunther takes the reader through his son's life from the time of diagnosis until his death a year and a half later. I cannot believe I had never read this book before. I am sure that many readers would not find this book to be comfortable reading, but it does deal honestly with sickness, death, and the emotions surrounding the ending of a young life.I found the book to be both dated (in relation to how medicine is practiced) and eternal (in relation to the grief at the loss of a child).For me, the most moving part was Johnny's graduation week at Deerfield with all of the activities and ceremonies that went on. The strength of character that it took for him to participate in all of these, just a month before his death, was extraordinary, as was the compassion shown by the school and his classmates.

Sad and True

This might be the first book I read as a young boy which drew me to tears. It is relatively short, and when I reread it as an adult, I found myself awake deep into the night, turning each page in sorrow, knowing how it was going to end. I started early on a Saturday, reading until I was done early on Sunday morning. You know how it will end too. The title cheats us from wondering if Johnny will make it, but at the same time, there is a peace. Johnny was ready, and teaches us a little bit about being ready for life's ultimate end. The title, from a famous John Donne poem, is intriguing, as Donne saw no dignity in death, but that there was dignity in how we died. It refers to a more famous passage by St. Paul... "Oh Death, where is your sting?" talking about how Death has no real power over the faithful. Johnny was a faithful, powerful young man. He prayed, like another biblical person, for his unbelief, as he humbly struggles with trying to believe in God in the middle of his fight for life. John Gunther, the father, previously best-known for his travel books, has made a mark on literature which will never be erased. Read this honest, quietly spiritual, compelling story. You'll be emotionally drained, but better off for it. I fully recommend this book. Anthony Trendl editor, HungarianBookstore.com

"And soonest our best men with thee do go" -- John Donne

John Gunther wrote DEATH BE NOT PROUD as a moving record of the last months of the life of his son, Johnny, who had died, as the result of a brain tumor, at the age of seventeen. Throughout his long and painful fight for his life, Johnny had maintained a cheerful outlook, and continued to hope that, somehow, he would go on. His father, in writing this book, made sure that Johnny did go on.I'm sad that some of the younger (I assume) reviewers of this book found it wanting in pathos, or whatever it was that they thought was missing. Perhaps, with the coming of maturity, they will realize what a remarkable book it is. The fact that John Gunther was able to write this book at all, probably with tears in his eyes, was an amazing feat.The death of a child is probably the most heart-wrenching loss that anyone can experience. I know. I, too, lost a son aged seventeen. That was 21 years ago, just three months after my son's seventeenth birthday. The pain of that loss is still with me after all those years. Just writing a review of John Gunther's book is almost too much. How much more difficult must it have been for Gunther to write DEATH BE NOT PROUD within two years of Johnny's death.In spite of his own pain, Gunther wrote this book in hopes that other children and their parents who might find themselves in a similar situation "may derive some modicum of succor from the unflinching fortitude . . . . with which he (Johnny) rode through his ordeal to the end."Before Johnny died he wrote a poem of prayer that ended as follows:"Accept my gratitudefor all thy giftsand I shall tryto fight the good fight. Amen"And this when he knew he hadn't long to live. What a remarkable young man!

A Fight for Life

Don't let this title fool you, Death Be Not Proud, A Memoir is not the story of death but the story for a fight for life. This true story is sad but one of the best books I've read in a long time. It is sad in the sense that John Gunther Jr. is diagnosed with a maligant brain tumor at sixteen years old. He has everything to live for. Johnny is a bright high school student, at Deerfield, and plans to attend Harvard University. His father writes a true account of his son's fifthteen month struggle with cancer. He had operations to remove the tumor but they were unsuccessful. His father researched treatments to find a cure. Johnny tries a chemical mustard treatment, X-ray treatment, and a special diet but the cancer is still not cured. Johnny has an inner spirit that can not be crushed by cancer. He is determined to keep studying and remain in contact with his friends. He never complained about his treatments or setbacks when the tumor begin to grow again. He sets an example of courage for his parents and those around him. Johnny's death does end the book but his spirit and fight for life are the real story. The story made me think about the life I have, and how I should appreciate the chance to make the most of it.

Death Be Not Proud

This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It focuses on one teenage boy who suddenly develops a cancer causing brain tumor and his will to beat the odds and survive to make it to college. This book shows the will to win against any odds. It tells of the human sprit and a struggle of a young boy to survive. This book is beautifully written by the father of the teenage boy as he undergoes three surgeries and many treatments. It also shows the parents' desperate search to save their son from his proclaimed fate. They try almost anything for their son. It is remarkable how their son, throughout the entire book, is fighting. There is an ongoing struggle going on inside of him, to fulfill his dreams and make it into Harvard. Although he missed two years of high school, he gets tutors to help him make up his missed work. He is tutored even through the toughest times of his illness: surgeries, pain and diet restrictions. This boy does not give up whatever it comes to. This memoir is one that I recommend very much. It shows the courage that this boy had and really pulls at your heartstrings.
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