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Softcover, in good condition

Roddy Doyle, one of Ireland's finest observers and writers

Roddy Doyle's insightful collection of stories that for a man of a certain age – and, like the author himself, all his protagonists are men of a certain age – nothing is more keenly known than what one of them calls "death becoming real". It's a complaint about "getting older, slower, tired, bored, useless", but it adds up to a creeping mortality that casts a shadow on every page.

This is midlife crisis painted as an awakening – that is, an awakening to something more than the desire for a younger woman or an earring or an electric guitar. It is the less mocked world of illness, empty nests, parental regret, marriages and family life drifting into entropy. The names change but Doyle's men of the "manopause" bend in the same direction, their worried heads blowing in the wind like dandelion clocks.

There's some irony at play. In "Teaching", a lonely teacher, his opportunities for a more fruitful life squandered, urges his pupils to seize the day; in "Recuperation", a lonely convalescent pounding the streets for the good of his health can summon thoughts only of the vanished past. Everywhere you look is a double edge. The unemployed stand for Ireland's economic ruin but also for their dwindling usefulness as husbands and fathers; a man reduced to skin and bone by cancer is mirrored by a friend shrunken in worth after years of pandering to kids who no longer need him.

i have a whole heap of books by young adult books, please have a look at my other listings, thanks Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Waiheke Island, Auckland, NZ

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