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Medicine And Books

The Undertaking: Life Studies from a Dismal Trade

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:755
  1. Anthony Clare, medical director
  1. St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Thomas Lynch: Jonathan Cape, £9.99, pp 226 ISBN 0224 04 2769

Before I opened this book, I was not exactly sure why I had been asked to review it and for this journal. After all, it is not about health or disease, or diagnosis or treatment. It is not about how to take better care of your teeth, stop smoking, stay within the sensible drinking guidelines, combat depression, or the hundred and one other preoccupations and anxieties of living that customarily make up my reviewing fare. This book is about death and therefore about life. It is written by a poet, and beautifully, achingly, movingly written it is. But Thomas …

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