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Nothing to Be Frightened Of
Julian Barnes
Alfred A. Knopf, $24, 288 pp.

The novelist Julian Barnes’s new book, Nothing to Be Frightened Of, is a memoir about dying, death, and the fear of death. Since nobody remembers his own death, it would appear to be the one event safely beyond the scope of a memoir. But this book does not fit neatly into that or any other genre. In style and structure, it has something in common with Nabokov’s Speak, Memory; in other ways it is more like Pascal’s Pensées or St. Augustine’s...

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About the Author

Matthew Boudway is an associate editor of Commonweal.