Death Need Not Be Fatal by Malachy McCourt with Brian McDonald is a memoir of sorts. It pulls from events in his life both tragic and humorous – sometimes both at the same time. And sometimes the humor only comes in retrospection.
From the synopsis: “It seems the only two things he hasn’t done are stick his head into a lion’s mouth and die. Since he is allergic to cats, he decided to write about the great hereafter…”
I hadn’t read any of his previous books or his brother Frank’s books. So I wasn’t at all familiar with the subject matter he draws on most – their lives. You don’t need to have any familiarity with it though to enjoy the book and his stories.
As expected, much of the book focuses on deaths and how they have affected him. The last part of the book is something of a contemplation of his own death. He says, “Any day on this side of the grass is a good day.” And he talks about reading the “Irish Sporting Pages” – otherwise known as the obituaries. There’s more to it than that,
“I’ll try to keep the lies to a minimum, but I never let truth get in the way of a good story, and a lie is just a dream that might come true.” location 101 on my Kindle
So after a while, I wondered how much might be exaggeration. I decided to take most of it at face value.
Overall, it’s a good and interesting book. It has a conversational tone. It’s like he’s sitting there telling you the stories. I give it 4 stars out of 5.
Death Need Not Be Fatal was published May 16, 2017 by Center Street
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. My review is my own opinion and freely given.