Time to Go
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 book 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.
GUY KENNAWAY lives for pleasure, producing books only when all else has failed. In all of Kennaway’s work he likes to find downtrodden minorities under severe pressure and then make fun of them. He is best known for One People about a Jamaican village threatened my mass US tourism, and Bird Brain about a community of optimistic pheasants. He has written for magazines and newspapers, as well as many film scripts and TV adaptations, none of which have been made. Not surprisingly he lives alone.
News & Reviews
Marvellous interview with Guy by Lynne Barber here.
Guy about assisted dying in I Paper.
And a quote from novelist, Deborah Mogach: “This is such an extraordinary book. It’s bracingly honest, blisteringly funny, and then it knocks you sideways with its sadness and straightens you up with its good sense. Bit of a rollercoaster, really.”
A corker which should keep book clubs arguing for years. (Lynn Barber The Observer)
The funniest, sickest, most moving and provocative book about dying you are likely to read before you-know-who comes calling. (Alan Taylor The Herald)
This is a remarkable, timely and important book about assisted dying. It’s also humanely clear-eyed, shrewd and surprisingly funny (William Boyd)
Not just a darkly diverting testament to old age, but a remarkably hopeful book. (Helen Davies The Sunday Times)
Time to Go is a sometimes manipulative but mostly hilarious book – a marshalling cry for the cause of legalising assisted suicide. Kennaway believes the law is hopelessly inadequate for the times we live in. Choosing how you die is nothing less than a human right. It’s just not acknowledged as one. But it surely will be soon. (Laura K. Jones The Spectator)
“This is a remarkable, timely and important book about assisted dying. It’s also humanely clear-eyed, shrewd and surprisingly funny” William Boyd
“I finished Time to Go, wonderful book, a literary masterpiece. Brutal, but you don’t get the rose without the thorns. Lol funny and genuinely moving, an honourable tribute. Susie’s chapter is exquisite. It’s Laurence Durrell with a hacksaw.” Mat Collishaw
A brilliant interview by Lynn Barber in The Observer here.
“This is such an extraordinary book. It’s bracingly honest, blisteringly funny, and then it knocks you sideways with its sadness and straightens you up with its good sense. Bit of a rollercoaster, really.” Deborah Moggach
Long, detailed and sympathetic review in Dawn
A review in The Herald in Scotland.
The Daily Mail serialisation.
A moving review in The Spectator.
A brilliant review in The Sun.