A Good Death

A Good Death

Book - 2006
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Following the worldwide success of A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, Gil Courtemanche returns with a short, intimate, powerful second novel. A Good Death describes the everyday tragedy, horror, cowardice and love that lie at the heart of one family.

On Christmas Eve, a family has gathered for the obligatory dinner. The father, only yesterday an imposing figure who terrorized his children, has suddenly fallen prey to Parkinson's and finds himself trapped inside a disintegrating body. Andre, the eldest child, is approaching sixty. He has never loved his father, yet can't help but be moved as he witnesses his decline. How should we behave towards a parent to whom all pleasures are forbidden? Sould we struggle to prolong his life, or help him to end it? Around the dinner table, opinions are divided. Once more, Gil Courtemanche takes us on a deeply moving voyage into the essence of our humanity.

Publisher: Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 2006.
ISBN: 9781553652151
1553652150
Characteristics: 206 p. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Grady, Wayne

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imagenel
Sep 10, 2012

Film adaptation by Léa Pool is excellent. The Last Escape (Engl), or better, La Derniere Fugue (French title). Best Canadian film since C.R.A.Z.Y.

Cdnbookworm Apr 20, 2011

The story begins on Christmas Eve, with the gathering of a large family. The father, who has always been a tyrant to his children, is 86 and is ill with Parkinson's. He has difficulty talking and takes comfort in food. The narrator, Andre, is the oldest child and while he has always had issues with his father, finds himself able to take a step back and look at his father's decline and his mother's situation and to think about their deaths. Various family members try to either control their father's diet, in the interests of his long-term health, or let him do what he likes in the interests of his short-term happiness. But how do their decisions affect their mother? Andre finds himself aligned with one of his nephews, teenage William, also known as Sam, in helping his father find a good death.
This is an amazing book and I could barely put it down. I highly recommend it, especially to those with a loved one who is dying.

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