Sixty by Ian Brown
The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

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Where Brown really reels you in is with his sincerity. He is refreshingly candid about his growing physical limitations even as he moves about the world, visiting family and friends, fishing, swimming and staying active daily.
-LA Times

Synopsis

This is the thing, you see: I am on my way to being an old man. But at sixty, I am still the youngest of old men.

As Ian Brown’s sixtieth birthday loomed, every moment seemed to present a choice: Confront, or deny, the biological fact that the end was now closer than the beginning. True, he was beginning to notice memory lapses, creaking knees, and a certain social invisibility—and yet, it troubled him that many people think of sixty as “old,” because he rarely felt older than at forty.

An award-winning writer, Brown instead chose to notice every moment, try to understand it, capture it . . . all without panicking. Sixty is the result: Brown’s uncensored account of his sixty-first year, and, informed by his reportorial gifts, his investigation of the many changes—physical, mental, and emotional—that come to all of us as we age.

Brown is a master of the seriocomic, and his day-to-day dramas—as a husband, father, brother, son, friend, and neighbor—are rendered, inseparably, with wistfulness and laugh-out-loud wit. He is also a discerning, prolific reader, and it is a pure pleasure being privy to his thoughts on the dozens of writers—including Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, A. J. Liebling, Wisława Szymborska, Clive James, Sharon Olds, and Karl Ove Knausgaard—who speak to him most, at sixty.

From an author on whom the telling detail is never lost, Sixty is a richly informative, candid report from the line between middle-aged and soon-to-be-elderly. It perfectly captures the obsessions of a generation realizing that they are no longer young.

 

About Ian Brown

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IAN BROWN is an author and a feature writer for the Globe and Mail whose work has won many National Magazine and National Newspaper awards. His most recent book, The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son, was a national bestseller and a New York Times and Globe and Mail Best Book. It was also the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Trillium Book Award. His previous books includeFreewheeling, which won the National Business Book Award, and the provocative examination of modern masculinity, Man Overboard. He lives in Toronto.
 
Published August 19, 2016 by The Experiment. 332 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Sixty
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on May 31 2016

Brown's humor is pointed inward as often as outward, and he neither glosses over nor languishes on the fact that he has fewer years ahead of him than behind.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Senior on Aug 17 2016

And prose snobs will love him. To borrow a phrase he uses about Robin Williams, his writing quicksilvers along; his capsule descriptions are sublime.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Chris Erskine on Sep 19 2016

Where Brown really reels you in is with his sincerity. He is refreshingly candid about his growing physical limitations even as he moves about the world, visiting family and friends, fishing, swimming and staying active daily.

Read Full Review of Sixty: The Beginning of the E... | See more reviews from LA Times

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Plum Johnson on Oct 02 2015

When my own children were teenagers, they used to scream, “What’s the meaning of life?!” I remember shouting back, “The meaning of life is to give life meaning!” (I was probably preoccupied – fixing lunch.) But now that they’re headed for their 50s, I’d rather give them a different piece of advice: Read this book!

Read Full Review of Sixty: The Beginning of the E... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Reader Rating for Sixty
60%

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