Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir
Hailed as “a virtuoso exercise” (Sunday Telegraph), this book reflects candidly, sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old. Charming readers, writers, and critics alike, the memoir won the Costa Award for Biography and made A ...more
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Also I bought Miracles of Life…moreNearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham - I have it to read - it is from a Christian perspective.
Also I bought Miracles of Life by J G Ballard based on a book review on TV again unread but I think it talks about reflections of age and death in the family.
The first book however I am going to read was recommended by you, thank you(less)
I needn’t have worried. This is the most amazing book for anyone who is on the path towards old age to read. What an intelligent, original and insightfu ...more
Near the park which my bedroom overlooks there came to stay a family which owned a pack of pugs, five or six of them, active little dogs, none of them overweight as pugs so often are. I saw them recently on their morning walk, and they caused me a pang. I have always wanted a pug and now I can’t have one, because buying a puppy when you are too old to take it for walks is unfair.
Athill (who is sti ...more
In this book Diana Athill very honestly describes what it means to be in your la ...more
At age 89, Diana Athill has written a moving and thoughtful memoir on what it means to grow old as an atheist and as a single woman. Athill writes beautifully, with no frills or fancies, and she has an honest approach to the end that we all face.
Somewhere Towards the End isn't the first book to describe in detail the process of "falling away," the author's apt euphemism for the decline one experiences in old age. Critics compare Athill's memoir to John Bayley's Elegy for Iris and Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, or the fiction of Philip Roth, Alice Munro, and John Updike. But Athill writes with a nothing-to-lose attitude that brings dignity to a process so often marked by the inevitable slowing of the mind and the deterioration o...more
Yet the early chapters of the book were a real stumbling block for me. Athill's remembrances of her early life are not particularly gripping, nor are her reflections insight ...more
As I lifted the book off the shelf at the Santa Monica Public Library, I thought, "This looks like an interesting book about living at an advanced age." What ...more
Having recently read a book about aging (Out of time) which I did not like, I was wary, but decided to plunge in regardless. I am really glad I did.
Aging is definitely the last taboo of our time, together with death. However, TV shows and video games somehow acq ...more
There is nothing ‘old’ about her style, and her memory and famous sense of humour are on top form. A great strength is the ability to describe both early and much later episodes of her life with tremendous honesty and clarity, and not to flinch from recounting events that do not necessarily show her ...more
Diana wrote this when she was 89. It is worth reading for the quality of the writing alone; the wisdom and entertainment are a beautiful bonus.
Miss Athill's life seems a fine example of the maxim that says, it isn't what happens to you that matters, it's your attitude to it. The big adaption she makes, in my opinion,is to Barry, her long term partner/friend/flatmate. We a ...more
"it is a reminder" (being around young people) "that we are not just dots at the end of thin black lines projecting into nothingness, but are parts of the broad, many-coloured river teeming with beginnings, ripenings, decayings, new beginnings--are still parts of it, and our dying will be part of it just as these children's being young is, so while we still have the equipment to ...more
Somewhere towards the end is a touching and intelligent memoir, by a woman still highly astute well into her nineties. Diana Athill writes about what many older people really think about. She remembers old lovers, some from not that long ago, discusses religion, death and how it felt to become a writer unexpectedly. This is a lovely, readable memoir, it is never depressing, melancholic or self-pitying. Diana Athill comes across as the sort of older woman I would want to be in many ways - eminent ...more
As usual I arrive late to things. Diana Athill’s book, Somewhere Toward The End is a gorgeous analysis of what it’s like to be close to the end. She stares into the abyss from her position 89 years into the journey on Planet Earth and offers back reflections and wisdom on the experience so far.
She has had a fascinating life, but it is not the hint of celebrity’s met, famous writer’s supported or places been to that impresses. It is the sheer clarity in expl ...more
"All through my sixties I felt I was still within hailing distance of middle age, not safe on its shores, perhaps, but navigating its coastal waters. My seventieth birthday failed to change this because I managed scarcely to notice it, but my seventy-first did change it. Being " o ...more
As it turns out all she wanted to do was tell you about her younger life, how many men she had slept wi ...more
I found the book's so-called frankness to be somewhat boring. It seemed to always come back to her sexual experiences.
Her description of her declining faculties depressed me. Maybe because my own are declining and I'd rather not read about other people's struggles with sore feet, etc. I've got my own sor ...more
This book got many raving reviews. I wish I could say it knocked me out, but it really didn't. Although I'd probably give it 2-1/2 stars if I could. I found most of the chapters rambling with frequent diversions from the subject, and for the most part, a bit dull. Perhaps my expectations were just too high d ...more
Her writing style is easy going and often it makes you laugh. She wrote this book just as she lived her life: with a lot of fun and with no regret.
I would definitely recommend this book. And everybody who reads it should reflect ...more