In January 2014 I was informed that I had cancer. However, Quicksand is not a book about death and destruction, but about what it means to be human. I have undertaken a journey from my childhood to the man I am today, writing about the key events in my life, and about the people who have given me new perspectives. About men and women I have never met, but wish I had. I write about love and jealousy, about courage and fear. And about what it is like to live with a potentially fatal illness. This book is also about why the cave painters 40,000 years ago chose the very darkest places for their fascinating pictures. And about the dreadful troll that we are trying to lock away inside the bedrock of a Swedish mountain for the next 100,000 years. It is a book about how humanity has lived and continues to live, and about how I have lived and continue to live my own life. And, not least, about the great zest for life, which came back when I managed to drag myself out of the quicksand that threatened to suck me down into the abyss.
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by Henning Mankell
"Sean Barrett's performance of these 67 essays written by Henning Mankell between his diagnosis with lung cancer and his death faithfully encapsulates the Swedish author's sense of seriousness and social justice. Mankell ranges across his life, letting us glimpse childhood memories, his satisfaction with running a theater in Mozambique, embarrassment at asking a teenager dying of AIDS if she was afraid of death, and grave concern about the storage of nuclear waste in Finland for 100,000 years. Barrett's voice and tone expertly incorporate a vague sense of being European and of language translation. His timing and rhythm are so perfect that we can hear the melancholy and joy that shape Mankell's reflections. Mankell fears being dead for a long time. We, at least, have the large body of work he left behind to enjoy. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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