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Time to Go

Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Some things in life are too serious to joke about. Assisted dying is not one of them.

In 2017 Susie Kennaway asked her son Guy to kill her. 88 years old, with an older and infirm husband, Susie wanted to avoid sliding into infantilised catatonia. Her son immediately started taking notes and Time to Go is the result. 

In turns a manual for those considering the benefits of assisted dying, a portrait of a mother - son relationship, and a sympathetic description of old age, this audiobook is a route map through the moral, legal, emotional, intellectual and practical maze that is the biggest issue facing the senior generations today: leaving life on their own terms. 

During their conversations about when and how to make Susie’s final exit, some of the difficulties of their fractious relationship mellowed and others even melted, as the reality of what they were planning brought them together. Many elderly people, like Susie, have clearly stated that they wish to die in a manner and time of their choosing. But the Church, the law, the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry stand in the way, wagging their fingers.  

A change is coming for the rights of the elderly, the way it has come for the rights of women and gay people. Time to Go is a rallying call in this fight. Life is too precious not to be lived properly. As with a job, a relationship or a party, you have to know when it’s time to go.

©2019 Guy Kennaway (P)2019 Creative Content and Mensch Publishing

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Super funny, thoughtful and worthwhile book

Time to Go helped me to feel a little less alone in the predicament that is caring for and loving my dad. Author Guy Kennaway's take on his mother's decision to end her life at the time and in the manner of her choosing is often funny (hysterical even) and sometimes tragically sad. His personal story is supplemented with information about aging, care homes and dying in general, and he makes a sound and compassionate argument for allowing those nearing the end of their lives the right and autonomy to decide how they get there.

I liked so much about this book. The male narrator is excellent -- a delight the listen to, with a posh British accent and a sardonic way of phrasing things. The female narrator (one chapter only, as the voice of Susie) was not quite as appealing; I felt that she made Susie a little like the caricature she complains of as being portrayed in the book, but I greatly appreciated what Susie had to say. I loved the descriptions of the French village where Stanley and Susie live and the funny, quirky way in which Kennaway portrays the characters -- natives, expats and tourists -- in the village. I loved that one chapter was entirely in French, but read in a way that I could actually understand most of it by listening closely. I enjoyed the complexity of relationship between Kennaway and his mother, and finally, I absolutely adored Susie. She's utterly fabulous.

Whether you agree with Kennaway or not (and I most certainly do), listening to this book may give you greater compassion for the plight of the elderly in the modern world. If you are caring for an aging loved one, it may give you greater compassion for yourself. Society, politicians and the medical community seem intent upon extending the number of years we live without attending to the quality of those years. For many, getting old in the 21st Century is a messy, sad and even horrible process; finding humor in it can go a long way toward making it more tolerable.

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  • Patrick Birley
  • 02-26-19

Brilliant read/listen

A warming look at a tough subject, written (and read) with great humour and humanity. A call to arms for anyone who believes that our approach to death needs a huge overhaul. This doesn't have a to a taboo subject that is whispered about - we should be actively engaging and moving forward towards a way to ensure personal choice on the timing of our final demise.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful