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Death Be Not Proud [Library Binding]

John Gunther
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2007 1417793481 978-1417793488

Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

John Gunther (1901-1970) was one of the best known and most admired journalists of his day. The author of the immensely popular Inside books—a series of profiles of major world powers, beginning with Inside Europe, published in 1936—he was born on the north side of Chicago and died on May 29, 1970.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
is not so much a memoir of Johnny in the conventional sense as the story of a long, courageous struggle between a child and Death. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Be Not Proud May 23 2004
By Maggie
Format:Paperback
John Gunther's only son, Johnny Gunther, died in 1947. Death Be Not Proud is the remarkable and compelling memoir of the death of his son, Johnny Gunther, who suddenly developed a brain tumor at the young age of seventeen. The tumor emerged, seemed to be almost gone, and then suddenly came back and killed him fifteen months later. By the book's title and the first few pages, the reader knows that Johnny will not survive. This makes the story even more tragic as the reader turns every page knowing that even if things are getting better, they are about to go wrong again.
Johnny's brain was possibly the most important thing in his body, as he was a very intelligent person. The subject Johnny loved the most was science; if he had survived he probably would have been able to develop a cure for his very own tumor. He was deciding between two occupations at the time of his sickness: a physicist or a chemist. During the fifteen months of Johnny's illness, he was optimistic about living - the disease hurt his brain, but never his spirit. He went through much pain, but he never complained and kept up with his schoolwork while he was in the hospital or, sometimes, at home. Although he missed his entire senior year at Deerfield because of the tumor, he was allowed to graduate with the rest of his class. As his father wrote, "He died absolutely without fear, and without pain, and without knowing that he was going to die." Unlike most people with a deadly disease, Johnny lived his short life victoriously. Johnny "...did not die like a vegetable. He died like a man, with perfect dignity."
John Gunther writes about his son's struggle with death in a vivid and intriguing way. As the book was written in the late 1940's, the writing is also a little stilted - although it is still very interesting.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I also attended a private school near deerfield (the school Johnny went to). John Sr. tells an amazing story of his son's strength through a terrible brain tumor during the 1940's. John explains the positive attitute that young Johnny poses even after he finds out he is sick. Johnny keeps up his spirits and instead of worrying about dying, his main concern is getting back to deerfield academy as soon as possible so he can see his friends and graduate. Its always great to read about the Gunthers ride up through western massachusetts and to talk about the famous Mr. Boyden- who was the beloved head master of the school at that time and a legend to the old deerfield community.
This book makes any teenager want to cherish life to the fullest as Johnny did and also makes adults who read this show much sympathy to the parents because losing an amazing son like John is devistating.
This book is easy to read and definitely makes you want you thankful for the small things in life- as Johnny did!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit tedious Dec 8 2003
By szng
Format:Paperback
Death Be Not Proud is a memoir written by John Gunther about the death of his seventeen-year old son. Johnny Gunther was a bright and spirited boy interested in everything from chemistry to religion. It was a shock when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at sixteen, but Johnny dealt with it with grace and hope. He continued to take a lively interest in science and the arts, even keeping up with his schoolwork. After more than a year of harrowing treatments, Johnny died on June 30, 1947, shortly after graduating with his class.
Throughout this book, the author continuously explores the themes of hope and death. Unfortunately, these insights are clogged by many needless details, ranging from Johnny¡¯s dinner that day to his latest scientific experiment. These seem to imply that the author did not really know his son very well. The book reads rather slowly and tediously. In addition, the journal entries and letters at the back seemed to serve no purpose besides filling up space.
However, Death Be Not Proud would be an excellent book for someone suffering the death of a beloved one. The author, instead of focusing on his own grief, wrote fondly on his many memories. Instead of dwelling on the unpleasant aspects of Johnny¡¯s illness, John Gunther spoke poignantly on the almost normal times in-between. Death Be Not Proud would help many channel their grief into remembrance of the richness of life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly Beautiful Sept. 17 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
DEATH BE NOT PROUD is the unforgettable story of Johnny Gunther, who died of a brain tumor in 1947. At that time, a brain tumor meant certain death, for doctors were only then beginning to understand such things well enough to treat them at all. Today, someone with Johnny's illness has a far better chance of surviving. But Johnny faced his diagnosis and the terrible outlook with patience, courage, and humor. This is a strangely uplifting and triumphant story, told in a straightforward, honest manner by Johnny's father. He tells not only of what it was like for Johnny, but what it was like to watch his own son slowly slip away. Most of the time, people with brain tumors would ultimately lose all function and die like 'vegetables', but this didn't happen to Johnny. In the end, he had a cerebral hemmorhage and died peacefully, without really knowing that his time had come. Johnny was a brilliant boy with great abilities at science and math. Had he survived, he himself may have become a doctor and found the cure for his disease. There is no way of knowing what would have been; the book tells only what was. It is more objective than would ordinarily be expected. John Gunther was fully aware of his son's shortcomings, but, like everyone else who knew Johnny, he was impressed by the fortitude and bravery with which he faced illness and death. Please buy this beautiful book! You'll never forget it! Also recommended: THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
This is a really well written book. It is really sad, but insipring how this family is always on the son's side during all the treatments for the son's brain tumor.
Published on Nov. 11 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars A Death
This book was very well written I won't deny that for it had all the justifying characteristics of a tragedy. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Death be not Proud
A wonderful, thoughtful, and courageous book.
I recommend this book for everybody, it is a lesson of life. Written wonderfully. I read eating it up. So brave. So sad. Read more
Published on June 7 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars English Review
In the novel Death Be not Proud the main character Johnny is a young boy who is very intelligent and loves school. Read more
Published on April 4 2003 by luis calahorrano
4.0 out of 5 stars Still resonates fifty years later
It's the rare person who wasn't assigned "Death Be Not Proud" in school, but it's a book that seems to turn up quite often in people's collections. Read more
Published on March 23 2003 by NewWorldSmurf
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Be Not Proud
I liked the book because it was sad. It was sad because it's hard to imagine going through that at such a young age, knowing that you have a tumor. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Death Be Not Proud
This was a good book for the most part. I have read better ones, but this isn't horrible. It seemed that the father practically worshiped Johnny, his son with the brain tumor. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tragic Tale
I had to pick a book for summer reading for the following year, which I will be in the eighth grade. My mom told me that I should pick Death Be Not Proud. Read more
Published on July 17 2002 by Chelsea Wozniak
4.0 out of 5 stars The Journal of the Death of a Loved one.
We watch a sixteen-seventeen year-old child fight cancer to his own death, but we learn to love the child and the family, and hopefully learn how to make our lives and our loves... Read more
Published on June 16 2002 by Dr.||\\//||
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