Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

May 23, 2004|By Michael Pakenham | Michael Pakenham,Sun Book Editor

Remember Me When I'm Gone, by Larry King. Doubleday. 213 pages. $19.95.

This is one of those trick books that seem all too easy (Why didn't I do that?), but work well because both the idea and the implementation are sound. King, of course, has interviewed more people that most cemeteries could contain. Encouraged by his agent, he confronted an array of notables with the question "How would you like to be remembered after your death?" More than 300 responses are published here, and are delightful, touching or in some cases revealingly absurd. A section of cartoonists and artists is particularly engaging. Self-obituaries in words, rather than pictures, include Stephen King's "He tried to be better than he was"; Fannie Flagg's "Does this mean the book tour is over?"; Alexander Haig's "He Really Was In Charge"; Robin Leach's "Hi, this is Robin Leach standing outside the pearly gates!" and David Brinkley's "I always tried to tell the truth." Many of the longer ones are intricate and genuinely interesting - among some not unexpected pomposities.

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