Death Need Not Be Fatal

  • by Malachy McCourt, Brian McDonald
  • Narrated by Malachy McCourt
  • 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Before he runs out of time, Irish bon vivant Malachy McCourt shares his views on death - sometimes hilarious and often poignant - and on what will or won't happen after his last breath is drawn.
During the course of his life, Malachy McCourt practically invented the singles bar and was a pioneer in talk radio, a soap opera star, a best-selling author, a gold smuggler, a political activist, and a candidate for governor of the state of New York.
It seems that the only two things he hasn't done are stick his head into a lion's mouth and die. Since he is allergic to cats, he decided to write about the great hereafter and answer the question on most minds: What's so great about it anyhow?
In Death Need Not Be Fatal, McCourt also trains a sober eye on the tragedies that have shaped his life: the deaths of his sister and twin brothers; the real story behind Angela's famous ashes; and a poignant account of the death of the man who left his mother, brothers, and him to nearly die in squalor. McCourt writes with deep emotion of the staggering losses of all three of his brothers, Frank, Mike, and Alphie. In his inimitable way, McCourt takes the grim reaper by the lapels and shakes the truth out of him.
As he rides the final blocks on his Rascal scooter, he looks, too, at the prospect of his own demise with emotional clarity and insight. In this beautifully rendered memoir, McCourt shows us how to live life to its fullest, how to grow old without acting old, and how to die without regret.

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What the Critics Say

"The idea of death may indeed take away a lot of things, but it cannot take away a great man's sense of humour. Malachy McCourt, as always, goes to the coalface and manages to dig out a tunnel of light." (Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin)
"A lovely 'wee' book with a huge questing soul. Written with a twinkle in one eye and a tear in the other. Mr. McCourt writes with an openness and rawness about a Dickensian childhood and a life richly lived thereafter, discovering along the way the liberation of true forgiveness and the healing quality of love. I couldn't put it down." (Liam Neeson)
"Malachy McCourt is a born storyteller. The colorful reflections on his life and his musings about death are lyrical and bittersweet, and of course given the author, filled with humor." (Ed Burns)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What a life lived and shared!

Any additional comments?

This perhaps is not my favorite memoir. There is a great deal of sadness, loss, brutal poverty, and generally the harm humans do to each other and themselves. But, the perspective on life this man has, the obstacles he has overcome, the success he has achieved and the celebrity he has endured; all make for a most memorable read. He narrates the book himself, with a sly Irish accent, and an abundance of wit and humor. Sometimes he even breaks into song!

He is the brother of the famous Frank McCourt whose book I have not read, perhaps being writers is built into their DNA, I don't know. But I do know I will remember this book, and this man, for years to come.

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- Lili

Wonderful listen!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, Malachy is funny and his brogue is just like my grandmothers!


What other book might you compare Death Need Not Be Fatal to and why?

it's not anything like Angela's Ashes, but he compliments Frank's story well.


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- Toots

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-16-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio