Wednesday, 4 August 2010

And now something for the kids

18 Comments:

kim fabricius said...

The good news is: no peer group pressure.

Sandra said...

I just had some profound reflections to start my day.

Jonathan Robinson said...

What a wonderfully pastoral work to give to those who are lone survivors of horrific multi-fatality accidents or massacres. Should be in every pastor's library.

Pamela said...

I'm currently reading Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" and last page of above book very relevant.

Fat said...

Ah yes! Good health - the art of dying at the slowest possible rate.
Ben - I love the truth of this - our verandah at home was death row.

Ben Myers said...

Oh, isn't The Book Thief a wonderful novel - with one of my favourite narrators in recent fiction.

roger flyer said...

Note to young theologian parents: Please do not read to kids before bed.

Pamela said...

Ben, narrator in The Book Thief is a quirky being. And it is a wonderful, compelling novel.
btw, I would not be stocking "All my Friends are Dead" on a school library shelf!

Paul Tyson said...

Considering how much publicity sex and religion get, it is a tad surprising that the only type of death we are comfortable talking about (not only that, we love it as entertainment) is acts of mass brutality rapped up in the myth of redemptive violence. So yes, I think interest in the art of dying is in real need of revival – after all, we are all going to do it ourselves at some time. In fact, in my experience, children in general are a lot more open to talking about the realities of aging and dying than are adults.

Pamela said...

Paul, we have a number of books on death and dying in our school library (and a couple of excellent ones for 6-8 year olds) but "All my Friends are Dead" is not, in my opinion, suitable.

Paul Tyson said...

Hmm.. I’m not sure either Pamela, but… maybe it would work. It is of course quite ‘adult’ in its use of irony; but even my 6 year old has astounded me at times by her sophisticated sense of irony. And perhaps we are so sensitive about death with children because we adults are not able to look at death squarely. Perhaps, even, children are more able to process issues of death than adults are in some ways. After all, we adults are more formed than our children in the culture of avoiding death at all costs by the blank practical materialism of our dominant culture. Children tend not to be so ‘developed’ in the insistently ‘this worldly’ perspective that we have. Indeed, my children are thinking about how things are for their grandparents (in their mid 80s) very much now, for we are moving in with them soon. My children will probably live through the deaths of their grandparents in the not too distant future. This book opens up a very practical issue concerning the loneliness of the elderly and the importance of inter-generational vigour to over-come that. I'm not sure that I would go out of my way to get this book for my children either, Pamela, but, on balance, I think this probably is a valuable book for children, even if it is quite confronting for adults.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Pamela.

If the appearance and contents of the book are anything like what you have shown via this posting, then it is a most unattractive book.
Quite awful in fact.

Ben Myers said...

Fair enough: it's only meant as a joke!

nate kerr said...

I think the redemptive significance of the phrase "all my friends are dead" could have been given some inflection had the booked appropriately accounted for vampirism, no?

Kevin said...

It is a jokey tome meant for adults, that much is clear. I am glad to learn that that this is an actual book and hopefully I'll read the whole thing some day.

Ben Myers said...

Good point, Nate. "All my friends are dead — except for one, and he's a werewolf."

Sandra said...

I love this morbidly funny book. Did at least two things yesterday that I wouldnt have done had I not seen this post. 1)resuscitated my dying pot plant, 2)bought a tie for my 85 yr old friend in the hope of reminding him that ALL his friends are not dead... there's still me!(though I'm not 85, or close).

oh well there's still a third... (what is it about death that fascinates me so?) took as bed time reading my favourite grammar book -- The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed.

Marvin said...

This made my son laugh out loud, and usually, only Spongebob can do that. Hats off to this post!

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