I'm not a big enthusiast of Derrida. Much like those who like to hear themselves talk, I have always come away from Derrida convinced he was someone who liked to watch himself write.
This book is anything but that, and certainly whether you are George Harrison or Jean Paul Sartre, death has a way of sharpening one's focus and editing the superfluous. Heidegger would have simply nodded and said, yes, being-toward-death does that. In the case of Derrida, the infatuation with his own opinions is dismissed and he gets down to what's real here. And to that extent this is indeed a moving, chilling and unblinkingly honest coming to terms.
You can draw your own conclusions when the book ends, but it reminded me of Sartre's HOPE NOW, an astounding last interview with Bernard Henri-Levy who was inisistent on getting Sartre to cop to Messianic Judaism and in his obsessive drive missed what Sartre was saying at the end of his life: that in what he had seen in the course of the human struggle, there was every reason for hope now. Derrida was always more positive than J-P S, and he seems intent on delivering a valedictory for the converted and the curious that by thinking, we approach the being of freedom.
A wonderful way to say good-bye...