A Good Death

A Good Death

Book - 2006
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On Christmas Eve, a family has gathered around the table for the obligatory dinner. The father, once an imposing figure who terrorized his children, has suddenly fallen prey to Parkinson's. Yesterday's tyrant is now trapped inside a disintegrating body. Andr#65533;, the eldest child, is nearing 60. He has never loved the father who lied too much, abused too much, manipulated too much. But still, this holiday week, Andr#65533; cannot help but be moved. How should he behave toward a parent to whom all pleasures are forbidden? Should he struggle to prolong the old man's life, or help him end it? Around the dinner table, opinions are divided. At once intimate and universal, A Good Death is a deeply moving voyage into the essence of humanity. In it, Gil Courtemanche once again asks readers to confront the question that lay at the heart of his first novel: Why live? Why die?
Publisher: Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 2006.
ISBN: 9781553652151
Characteristics: 206 p. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Grady, Wayne


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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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