Remember, you only live once. Take chances. Just do it. Death by Living is in agreement with the pop culture slogan. You only live once, so spend that time actually living.
However, unlike the hordes of self-obsessed teens who use the catchphrase to justify stupidity and selfishness, N.D. Wilson reminds us that our life is a gift that's meant to be spent—not on ourselves, but on others. Life is something that's impossible to keep. Even the strongest of us have a hundred years at the most. But we are not meant to keep it. It was given so that it could be given away.
Death by Living follows in the footsteps of Notes from a Tilt-a-Whirl, featuring musings about theology, philosophy, and life, written in N.D. Wilson's semi-poetic energetically rambling style. But as a follow-up, Death by Living is more personal than its predecessor. Wilson traces the lives of his grandfathers and grandmothers, using their stories as touchpoints for his narrative arc about the meaning of life and death. These are people who ran the race head on. These are people who lived hard and died grateful.
The book unfolds in a meandering, non-linear style that is propelled forward by Wilson's eagerness and lust for life. His themes of dying to live and throwing yourself whole heartedly into life are something that he explores in his children's series,The Ashtown Burials, and here they are developed further. Death by Living is chock full of good things, phrases and sentences and ideas that challenge your way of thinking about what it means to die and what it means to live.
Living is the same thing as dying. Living well is the same thing as dying for others.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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