Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Going Gently” as Want to Read:
Going Gently
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Going Gently

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  15 reviews
From the creator of Reginald Perrin, a funny and touching look at life and love.

Going gently is something Kate Thomas has never been good at. On the eve of her 100th birthday, she reviews her turbulent life from her hospital bed. This is not just an escape from the mad, bad and sad characters around her, but also a search for the truth – about life, death, and which of her

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published July 25th 2000 by William Heinemann (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Going Gently, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Going Gently

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 213)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lance Greenfield
This is just so brilliant, original, insightful and downright funny.

The main character is lying in a hospital bed, paralysed and awaiting her inevitable death. Unbeknown to her visitors and the hospital staff, she is totally aware of everything that is going on around her, and relates all of that to her long, and eventful, life.

You can read the synopsis for more of what has actually occurred in her life, without giving too much away.

David Nobbs is a very funny man. You can read some of his othe
Feisty woman (99yo) reviews her life and tracks down her husband's killer from her deathbed. Cheerier than it seems! The woman has interests beyond family - oh dear because this is written by a man? Some amusing scenes. She and her husbands are brittle but siblings and sons have less exciting and more touching lives.
I didn’t dislike this book -- I wouldn’t have finished it if I had -- but it didn’t live up to the cover blurb. Jonathan Coe saying it’s “extraordinarily rich and satisfying” makes me sit up and take notice, but it definitely wasn’t up to Coe standards ... absolutely nobody does tragicomedy like Jonathan Coe!

Kate isn’t a particularly likeable character, but I don’t have a problem with that -- it’s quite possible to enjoy reading about obnoxious people! The trouble was that all the characters see
Fantastic account of a woman on the verge of turning 100's life. The book takes you from her birth through to her eventual death hours away from her 100th birthday, via the births, deaths and marriages (five) that have occured to her and her family throughout her years.
It made me look at elderly people with a curiosity about what tales they could tell if I only had the courage to ask. Highly recommended.
Sue Lyle
this is my book club's book for this month. Not something i would have chosen - I don't normally go for male writers writing in a woman's voice or for comic writing. Just goes to show! I really enjoyed this story of a 99 year old woman who is lying on her deathbed reviewing her life. It was a light read and a page turner and I did laugh and find the voice authentic. A great character and a breathe of fresh air. I loved the way her youthful outlook and attitude to life stayed with her throughout ...more
M.J. Penny
After Reginald Perrin, Going Gently is a superb read that both enthralls, makes you laugh and again question life with a bittersweet melancholy and inspiration.
Dying in a hospital bed, Kate, now aged and wrinkled is trapped inside her own mind. As she reflects on her life and past loves, she uses the last of her willpower to retrace her life and discover which one of her children killed her husband.

Sentimental and comic, the poignant tale is written in first person through Kate's perception of e
Michael Myciunka
This was one of the most powerful epic novels I had read for a while! It spans 100 years of the central character's sometimes turbulent life! I particularly was moved by the compelling ending which was her actual death and what she was thinking as she slipped "gently into that good night!" I liked the reference to Thomas' poem in the title and the antithesis of it- she did go gently into the night because her life had been so rich!
Mark Nunn
This is one of my all time favourite books. There is something about it that I find totally captivating. It tells the story of the main characters whole life which has been filled with so many amazing things. There is the detective story going on in the background, the effort to discover her hsubands killer before she dies, but that's such a small part of the story. This is a wonderfully written book and I found it almost impossible to put it down.
I really enjoyed this book. A mixture of sadness and humour. A 99yr old lady, lying in hospital after a severe stroke, relives her loves and marriages. She has a lovely sense of humour, and a very eventful life. It was easy to read and I found myself chuckling a lot. Now passed it on to another family member to read.
Derek Baldwin
Enjoyable enough but to be honest I was expecting a Reginald Perrin-esque laffriot, and this wasn't.
A blend of humour and sadness. Very enjoyable.
Jan 10, 2010 Sheena rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2001
Not too keen on the main character too smug
Very enjoyable and touching
Jenna is currently reading it
Feb 28, 2015
Zorica marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Ian marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
Angela Davies
Angela Davies marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jump at the Sun
  • In War Times
  • Best Intentions
  • Precious
  • Captivity
  • Decline & Fall: Diaries 2005 2010
  • Hunting Unicorns
  • Drifting House
  • Drawing in the Dust
  • An Amateur Corpse (Charles Paris, #4)
  • Kings of Colorado
  • Things Snowball
  • Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion
  • The Diary of Pelly D
  • Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: An Autobiography
  • Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son
  • Between Friends
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin Second from Last in the Sack Race Pratt of the Argus The Return of Reginald Perrin It Had to Be You

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »