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In this one-person tour de force, a man attempts to cure his mother's depression by creating a list of the best things in the world. The list grows as he progresses from childhood ("ice cream") and adolescence ("Star Trek") to college ("surprises") and marriage ("falling in love"). But when life deals a bitter blow, the list proves to be helpful to the son in ways that it could never be for the mother. The exhilarating Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter.

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