Friday, July 19, 2013

Main characters with an incurable disease

Tell someone you're reading a great book about a character who has just found out he or she is dying of an incurable disease, and your friend may think you're a glutton for punishment.  But some of these books are among the most life-affirming and lively that I've ever read.  I'm currently reading two:  John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, and Chris Crutcher's DeadlineThe Fault in Our Stars is actually a re-read since my adult book club is discussing it at this month's meeting and it's been a while since I read it.    It's been good to reacquaint myself with Hazel and Augustus.  And as I'm listening to a great audio production of Deadline, I've decided that Ben Wolf may be my favorite Chris Crutcher protagonist ever.  The thing about both of these books-- and so many others that follow a similar vein-- is that the characters so fully embrace the time they have left.  They've taken the knowledge of their illness and made the decision to make each moment count.  Sure, the story is likely to have some tears by the end as you've gotten to know the characters... but if you avoid these two, you're missing some great humor and truly compelling storytelling from two masters.

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