Review published on August 6, 2017.
I recently read a review book, Modern Death by Haider Warraich. Within it’s pages, mention was made of this book, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast. It takes the form of a personal memoir between herself and her parents. Roz Chast is a book illustrator and cartoonist from America, as a result, this book takes on a very personally drawn cartoon look at how an only child grows up, and watches her parents age and inevitably pass.
There are many situations that reveal themselves in the pages that either resonated with myself or others of my acquaintance. Yes, it is done in a quaintly humorous manner, but there is a very serious message within the story as it unfolds. She firmly believes that openness should be paramount surrounding the subject of mortality and the ageing process. The very title tells us that this did not happen, and the resulting end of life chaos is then created.
I read the entire book, or rather this multi-paged (228) hardback comic, in a very short time. I urge others to read it too. It discusses, in its strange format, the strengths and weaknesses each of us possesses, then the individual frailties as they take hold, the elderly independence, the dementia, the care home, the assisted apartments, all this happening whilst at the same time, juggling your own families needs. It makes an intriguing story, even if it does happen to a lot of people everywhere.
To be perfectly honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I understand the subject matter is a trifle different, but that in no way conflicts with the reading for pleasure experience. It comes over as a fun way to look at a serious matter, and I for one am glad to have had a chance to read it.
Reg Seward 4/4
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Bloomsbury USA 9781632861016 pbk Nov 2016
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall