On Turning Sixty-Five: Notes from the Field

John Jerome, Author Random House (NY) $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-375-50056-5
""It's going to happen to you,"" Jerome writes at the outset of this deeply personal (and occasionally depressing) memoir about growing old, ""and the outcome is ultimately going to be negative."" Inspired by a rereading of Henry David Thoreau, outdoor enthusiast Jerome (The Elements of Effort, etc.) decided to spend his 65th year considering the philosopher's eternally poignant question: How to live? This book is the quiet, melancholy result. Month by month, as Jerome reflects on the emotional and physical effects of aging--the new limitations of his body, the distress of losing his contemporaries to illness and death, the adjustments in his priorities and lifestyle--he records the changes, big and small, brought on by the pasing years. Describing his struggle to ""draw the line between fighting and accepting,"" he chronicles his disappointment when he and his wife, Christine, find they don't have the brawn to take as many summer canoe trips as they had planned. He also details his efforts to neutralize the aging process: he juggles to strengthen his cognitive skills, swims to strengthen his body, and attempts to maximize pleasure--in his sex life, his diet and alcohol consumption. Jerome's humorous and gently self-deprecating style serves him well; although he offers no new insights on age and death, his talent for conveying his experience with an evolved, observant awareness makes this capably written book relevant for anyone facing 65. Agent, Denise Shannon. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 06/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-8129-9233-5
Open Ebook - 146 pages - 978-0-307-78670-8
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