Just Like Him To Die tells of the last days of Dylan Thomas as he lies unconscious and dying far from his Welsh home in a hospital bed in New York’s Saint Vincent Hospital.
Dylan Thomas was a womanizer, a drunk, a bad husband, parent and friend, but Just Like Him To Die makes an effort to redeem him.
In this new novella from Douglas Bruton, Dylan Thomas remembers ― albeit imperfectly ―episodes from his life which he transmutes these into gentle Under-Milk-Wood-like stories which are full of fun and word-play pyrotechnics.
After all, when we each come to tell the stories of our own lives, we turn them into ‘untruths’ in just the same way.
Weaving in and out of the poet’s thoughts and recollections are the voices of those gathered around him at the end. At the poet’s death, everyone forgives Dylan Thomas his failings and remembers only the soft and the warm and the good things about him.
Just Like Him To Die is subtitled ‘a short novel for voices’ which mirrors the subtitle for Under Milk Wood: (a play for voices).