Love and Other Ways of Dying’s acclaim is well-deserved. While I listened to Michael Paterniti’s essay collection, narrated by Richard Poe, I liked that he always wrote about people he met in a dignified way. No one ever seemed objectified. Two of the essays seemed especially evocative to me.
In what must be the longest layover ever, Michael Paterniti tells the story of a man who spent years at Charles de Gaulle airport because he was unable to officially enter France or leave. He grew up in what was described as “oil rich Iran”. After his father died, his mother told him that she’d only pretended to be his biological mother because his father could have been stoned for adultery for the affair with his biological mother. He embarked on an educational journey that stopped when he couldn’t leave the airport.
In another essay, you’ll hear the story of a humble man whose life work is stopping people from jumping off a bridge to a painful death in China. He explained that the kindest people often attempt suicide. They don’t want to harm others. And they think the only way out is harming themselves. And most of them want to be stopped. His dedication went above and beyond talking people out of jumping. He’d ask them to come to his office to see him afterwards.
I highly recommend Love and Other Ways of Dying for a glimpse at often extraordinary lives quietly lived.
You can see the audiobook edition of Love and Other Ways of Dying at Amazon by clicking on the image above or the link below:
Disclosure: I received a copy of Love and Other Ways of Dying from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.