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Episode 1

Author Robert McCrum reflects on how we approach and accept death. The question is no longer 'who am I?' - but 'how long have I got?' and 'what happens next?'.

How do we approach and accept death?

In 1995, at the age of 42, Robert McCrum suffered a dramatic and near-fatal stroke - the subject of his acclaimed memoir My Year Off. Ever since that life-changing event, he has lived in the shadow of death, unavoidably aware of his own mortality. And now, 21 years on, he is noticing a change - his friends are joining him there. Death has become his contemporaries' every third thought. The question is no longer "who am I?" - but "how long have I got?" and "what happens next?"

With the words of Robert's favourite authors as travel companions, Every Third Thought takes us on a journey through a year and towards death itself. As he acknowledges his own and his friends' ageing, he confronts an existential question - in a world where we have learned 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.

Witty, lucid and provocative, this is an enthralling exploration of what it means to approach the end-game, and begin to recognise, perhaps reluctantly, that we are not immortal.

Episode 1:
Robert has a sudden and unexpected fall in the street, resulting in a head injury.

Written by Robert McCrum
Abridged by Barry Johnston
Read by Nicky Henson
Produced by David Roper
A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 5 Sep 2017 00:30

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Role Contributor
Reader Nicky Henson
Author Robert McCrum
Abridger Barry Johnston
Producer David Roper


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