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In this extraordinary and idiosyncratic work, one of civilisation's greatest ruminations on death, Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is used as the basis to exhume a bygone approach to death and to suggest a new contemporary slant on our mortality. This poetic account ricochets between the 18th and 21st centuries to illuminate how death has changed in the intervening 250 years since Gray opined, and yet has stayed utterly the same. Starting with the role of death in Gray's own life, the work meanders from the somnolent bliss of village life to the bustling hordes of our 21st century. Paradise, posterity and poetry all play their part in this beguiling narrative of modern life and death which concludes on a surprisingly consoling note. Dick Gross has written about living and dying without a God for two decades. He has composed a godless bible, created a secular version of the crucifixion and made a radio series for Radio National Understanding Unbelief. His blog for Fairfax Media, Godless Gross, attracts more comments than any other on any topic in the country. He has also been a Mayor and councillor of the city of Port Phillip. Dick was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010.
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