The Art of Dying Well

A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life
Narrated by: Katy Butler
Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.00

Buy for $17.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An inspiring, informative, and practical guide to navigating end-of-life issues, by a groundbreaking expert in the field and the New York Times best-selling author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door

In the mid-1400s, an unnamed Catholic monk composed a popular self-help book called Ars Moriendi, or The Art of Dying. Written in Latin, this medieval death manual taught people how to navigate the trials of the deathbed using simple rituals of repentance, reassurance, and letting go. 

Best-selling author and award-winning journalist Katy Butler argues that we have lost touch with the “art of dying” as practiced by our ancestors, yet we still hunger for rites of passage and a sense of the sacred, especially in the important life transitions of aging and dying. Butler has lectured at medical schools and spoken with community and caregiving organizations across the country. Here she reveals what she has learned about dying in America today - and how to have a better end of life. 

We are coping with a medical system in disarray in its approach to people who are aging, dying, or chronically ill. Butler argues it's not about living as long as possible, it's about living as well as possible. Not only does our current system poorly serve our medical needs, it also crowds out any sense of the sacred. It’s time to restore a sense of ​honor​, and through exploring the stages of later life, sharing “good death” stories, as well as offering practical takeaways, The Art of Dying Well illuminates a path to a better end of life. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Katy Butler (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

More from the same

What listeners say about The Art of Dying Well

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    51
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Me too

As I lay here, I am undergoing “dialysis” for over a year. I am going through a lot of pain and discomfort. I have lost my ability to think of what I enjoyed and have missed. I want to thank you for allowing me to come to grips with the way it was before . I need to re-evaluate the situation I’m in and make a serious decision as to my future. CLG

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read Well in Advance of Life’s Inevitable Decline

I just experienced up close one of my best friends decline and passing from multiple myeloma. A seven year process. The last six months my friend suffered immensely. His spouse and adult children were not prepared with a proactive plan. This book contains the wisdom that could have alleviated most of his suffering. I now feel I have the information and approach to build a clear plan for myself and will share this book with my aging parents, and wife and children.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

misleading and dangerous

I gave up on listening something over and over. A lot of this is dangerous, and outdated.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW!

As a palliative care team chaplain, I am often in situations that find me supporting patients and families in serious illness crisis and sometimes end-of-life circumstances. Both this book and its predecessor, Knocking On Heaven's Door, are excellent resources and guides for times in life all of us will face in varrying ways. Both are HIGHLY recommended! Thank you, Katy Butler!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellently Written and Narrated- Highly Recommend

I'm an advocate for end of life choices and truly enjoyed this book. There were a few laughs, more than a few tears but mostly gratitude for the reminder that so many need to hear: you have a CHOICE! Yes, physicians focus on treating the illness and because they are human like us, aren't eager to be the bearer of bad news. We have to advocate for ourselves and for loved ones unable to do so. We must ask ourselves, first, how do we want to live our last days? Then, document our desires and make them known to family, friends and our doctors. We have to ask the Doctor questions and make sure we get answers. This is a very useful book full of practical advice, suggestions, stories and remedies.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sad yet uplifting

This is about dying. Dying is sad. I cried a lot. But there is so much wisdom, especially in the first third of the book, about that whole part that comes before death — LIFE! I am truly inspired to live my life fully, because of this book. But the main thrust of this book is that the US medical industry is messed up, and if you want to die well, you’ll need to fight for the privilege. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who will die someday, or knows someone close who will die.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tough Topic done very well

My son recommended this book to my wife and I. When I started the book I wasn't sure what I thought. However, my mother-in-law became ill and passed away while Iwas reading it. This book was cathartic as well as thought provoking. I truly recommend this to everyone if you are ready to talk about you mortality and you death. Great book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Book for everyone over 50 or who has parents!

Katy Butler deals thoughtfully and thoroughly with a subject very few of us are willing or able to address: death. She emphasizes that this process requires planning and conversations and that it is never too early to start talking. The chapters are full of practical advise and resources for all stages from resilience (typically starting in the 50's) to active dying and how to identify which stage you are in.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Read Now Even If You Don't Think It's TIme

An absolutely beautiful well written book on dying and living well until we get to that point. An important read for anyone at any time of life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully enlightening

Many thanks to Katy Butler for introducing me to the “last quarter of our lives”. I now understand this last quarter is more than a time to be alive before dying but a time we can live in, manage, be a participant and an influencer in and most of all love in to give us the ending we would want. Thanks Katy.