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.
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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.Read Full Review of Sixty: The Beginning of the E... | See more reviews from Kirkus
And prose snobs will love him. To borrow a phrase he uses about Robin Williams, his writing quicksilvers along; his capsule descriptions are sublime.Read Full Review of Sixty: The Beginning of the E... | See more reviews from NY Times
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
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
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