Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Lifeby Klein, Daniel
In this book seventy-three-year-old Daniel Klein returns to an island he visited as a young man to contemplate the question of how to grow old. Klein's journey is precipitated by a visit to the dentist's office where he is told that dental implants would not age him as much as his other options. Thinking over the cost, pain and time involved, he cancels his dental appointments and travels to Hydra with his suitcase full of philosophy books. In Hydra, Klein observes the old men and compares them with Americans who try to stay "forever young" with the help of medical procedures and pharmaceuticals. He muses on the bucket lists of "things to do before I die" and the constant activities that may rob a person of the ability to enjoy the fruits of old age. Klein's fear seems to be that he will pass from a level of prime activity to extreme old-age or disability, bypassing old age.
This small book is divided into short chapters with quotes from Epicurus. Two of the most engaging chapters dwell on the value of play and remembrance. As might be expected, this is a book that raises questions to think about rather than a plan for living a fulfilled life. Medical and technological advances have lengthened a person's life- span, but the philosophical questions remain the same. Daniel Klein is the co-author of the book Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar…: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes.
Reviewed by ds, 02/13. Other reviews by ds. Have you read this book? Tell us what you think!