Nothing to be Frightened Of

Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes gives us a memoir on mortality that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction.

If the fear of death is "most rational thing in the world," how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty, an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for and against and with God, and at the bloodline whose archivist, following his parents' death, he has become—another realm of mystery, wherein a drawer of mementos and his own memories (not to mention those of his philosopher brother) often fail to connect. There are other ancestors, too: the writers—"most of them dead, and quite a few of them French"—who are his daily companions, supplemented by composers and theologians and scientists whose similar explorations are woven into this account with an exhilarating breadth of intellect and felicity of spirit.

Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.

"It is a beautiful and funny book, still booming in my head." -Garrison Keillor, The New York Times Book Review

"Written as a long, loquacious essay, the book roams easily from his parents' deaths to reflections on how modern medicine has altered the business of dying, robbing it of cogent deathbed scenes with last moments and last words." - Hephzibah Anderson, Bloomberg



NOTE: When possible, editions are linked to entries in the online Julian Barnes Bibliography. These entries feature multiple images of the book and additional bibliographic details.
Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes
English Editions

Nothing To Be Frightened Of. London: Jonathan Cape, 2008.

Nothing To Be Frightened Of. London: LRB Limited Editions, 2008.

Nothing To Be Frightened Of. Random House Canada, 2008.

Nothing To Be Frightened Of. New York: Knopf, 2008.

Nothing To Be Frightened Of. London: Vintage, 2009

Audio Editions

Nothing to be Frightened Of. AudioGO Ltd, 2009: Read by Julian Barnes - UK & US
[8 CD Audiobook, Unabridged, 10 hours, 2 minutes]

Translated Editions

Bulgarian - (Nothing to be Frightened Of). Sofia: Obsidian Press, 2008. Pp. 304. Translated by Ljubomir Nikolov. ISBN: 9789547691926

Catalan - Res a témer. Barcelona: Angle Editorial, 2010. Pp. 288. Translated by Alexandre Gombau Arnau. ISBN: 978-84-92758-76-0

Dutch - Niets te vrezen. Amsterdam/Antwerpen: Uitgeverij Atlas, 2008. Pp. 256.

French - Rien á Craindre Mercure de France, 2009 Pp.304. ISBN 9782715228726 Translated by Jean-Pierre Aoustin. ISBN: 9782715228726.

Romanian - Nimicul de temut (Nothing to Be Frightened Of). Bucuresti: Nemira, 2009. Pp. 336. Translated by Mihai Moroiu. ISBN: 9786068073651.

Catalan - Res a témer. Barcelona: Angle Editorial, 2010. Pp.288. ISBN: 978-84-92758-76-0

German - Nichts, was man fÿrchten mÿsste. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2010. Pp. 336. Translated by Gertraude Krueger. ISBN: 9783462041866.

Spanish - Nada que temer. Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 2010. Pp. 304. Translated by Jaime Zulaika. ISBN: 9788433975263.


11/20/2011 - Julian Barnes Interview - Eleanor Wachtel, Writers & Company
[An hour-long interview with Julian Barnes in which the author discusses the novel, Nothing to Be Frightened of, his family while growing up, and his thoughts on death and the life lived. A wonderful and rich interview.]

03/13/2008 - Julian Barnes: Interview - John O'Connell, TimeOut

03/04/2008 - Julian Barnes - Philip Dodd, Night Waves

03/03/2008 - Julian Barnes - Mark Lawson, BBC Front Row

03/01/2008 - Julian Barnes: Life as he knows it - Kate Summerscale, Telegraph


10/03/2008 - Dying of the Light - Garrison Keillor, New York Times Book Review p.1

09/27/2008 - Oh no Oh No OH NO - Esther Wils, Trouw
[Review of the Dutch translation]

09/22/2008 - Julian Barnes' Brisk Inquiry Into Death's Meaning - John Freeman, NPR Books

09/07/2008 - In Memoir, Novelist Faces His Mortality - Vikram Johri, St. Petersburg Times (Florida) p.1

09/01/2008 - Reading Room - Vince Passaro, O: The Oprah Magazine p.217

08/31/2008 - Darkness visible - Richard Eder, Boston Globe p.C5

08/31/2008 - Memento mori Michael Dirda, Washington Post (Book World) p.BW10

08/31/2008 - Tome Raider - John Minervini, Willamette Week

08/24/2008 - On being shit scared of extinction - Sunday Independent (South Africa) p.17

07/19/2008 - The long haul that is family - David Christie, Newcastle Herald (Australia) p.31
[Short review]

07/15/2008 - Nothing To Be Frightened Of - David L. Reynolds, Library Journal p.31
[Short review]

06/12/2008 - Five Questions for ... Julian Barnes - Richard Smirke, Metro UK (LIVA Edition) p.28
[Short interview]

06/11/2008 - We made up the Bible as a good novel - Laura Davis, Daily Post (Liverpool) p.18
[Includes interview during the Julian Barnes Conference at Liverpool Hope University]

06/08/2008 - Scattered thoughts on a morbid subject - Bill Rankin, Edmonton Journal (Alberta) p.E10

05/10/2008 - A Healthy Scrutiny of Death - Robert Wiersema, Vancouver Sun p.C11

05/10/2008 - Death Becomes Him - Emily Barrett, Herald Sun (Australia) p.25

05/07/2008 - Death in the Family - Tim Parks, The Australian p.4

05/03/2008 - Contemplating Death and Dying - Tod Hoffman, The Gazette (Montreal) p.I4

05/03/2008 - Memoir - Joel Yanofsky, National Post p.WP17
[Also 'The final sting.' Ottawa Citizen, 6 July 2008 p.B2]

04/20/2008 - An argument with God, a discussion about death - Emily Donaldson, The Toronto Star p.ID06

04/19/2008 - Death be not proud, or maybe just ... be not - Zsuzsi Gartner, The Globe and Mail (Canada) p.D5

04/19/2008 - The mother of all issues: Memoir - James Bradley, The Age p.23

03/16/2008 - Julian Barnes: not dead yet, just dying - Susannah Herbert, Sunday Times

03/14/2008 - Sorry but dying's a dead cert - Val Hennessy, Mail on Sunday

03/08/2008 - Into the Void - Christopher Tayler, Guardian Review

03/07/2008 - Julian Barnes: Nothing to be Frightened of - Jane Shilling, Sunday Times

03/06/2008 - Intimations of Mortality - Lucy Beresford, New Statesman

03/05/2008 - Julian Barnes Dances around Death - Lynn Barber, Telegraph

03/03/2008 - Julian Barnes Ponders Wrung Chicken Necks, Death, God in Memoir - Hephzibah Anderson, Bloomberg.com

03/02/2008 - Colder but wiser - Hilary Spurling, The Guardian

03/02/2008 - Nothing To Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes - John Carey, The Sunday Times

03/01/2008 - Gone Tomorrow - Alan Taylor, Sunday Herald

03/01/2008 - Julian Barnes: Life as he knows it - Kate Summerscale, Telegraph
[Includes interview]

French Translation

03/2009 - Rien à craindre (2009), de Julian Barnes - Vanessa Guignery, Site Centre Gustave Flaubert

02/2292009 - La mort en chantant - Marie-Laure Delorme, Le Journal du Dimanche p.31

02/13/2009 - Julian Barnes à cache-cache avec la mort - Robert Solé, Le Monde des livres p.1

02/13/2009 - Julian Barnes en homme qui craint la mort - Geneviève Simon, La Libre Belgique

02/12/2009 - Barnes, flâneur d'outre-tombe - André Clavel, L'Express (3006) p.96

02/12/2009 - Julian Barnes sous la torture - Mona Ozouf, Le Nouvel Observateur (2228) p.80

02/12/2009 - Rien à craindre, de Julian Barnes - Marie Chaudey, La vie (3311) p.76

02/2009 - Lire 1974 p.72-75 (extract from the beginning of the book)