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Podcast: Robert McCrum on Every Third Thought: On Life, Death and the End Game

19 October 2018

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Robert McCrum is an associate editor of The Observer, and was the paper’s literary for 12 years. Before that, he was editor-in-chief of Faber & Faber, where he edited writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Marilynne Robinson, and Peter Carey. His books include The Story of English and a definitive life of PG Woodhouse.

Robert McCrum’s latest book is Every Third Thought: On life, death and the endgame, published by Picador.

The book confronts an existential question: in a world where we have learnt to live well at all costs, can we make peace with what Freud calls 'the necessity of dying'? Searching for answers leads him to others for advice and wisdom, and Every Third Thought is populated by the voices of brain surgeons, psychologists, cancer patients, hospice workers, writers and poets.

“Historically, the oldie turned to God in the search for fulfilment during his or her later years,” McCrum writes. “Today, with the idea of God under assault from belligerent atheists, and an indifferent majority of committed agnostics, there’s still a hunger for a dialogue with something bigger and richer than individualistic materialism.”


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