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The Original Manchester Book Group Message Board › Midlife Crisis Suggestions

Midlife Crisis Suggestions

A former member
Post #: 3
Midlife Crisis Books


1. Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi
The author got panned for this semi-autobiographical gem about a man who finds that being married and having children isn't as exciting as being free to sleep with other women and stay out late. A ruthlessly honest examination of what it feels like to be a horrible bastard with no thought for anyone but oneself.
Amazon Review
Hanif Kureishi's latest novel made many reviewers uneasy on its first appearance, because it cuts so painfully near to the bone. If a novelist's first duty is to tell the truth, then Kureishi has done his duty with unflinching courage. Intimacy gives us the thoughts and memories of a middle-aged writer on the night before he walks out on his wife and two young sons, in favour of a younger woman. A very modern man, without political convictions or religious beliefs, he vaguely hopes to find fulfilment in sexual love. No-one is spared Kureishi's cold, penetrating gaze or lacerating pen. "She thinks she's feminist, but she's just bad- tempered," he says of his abandoned wife. A male friend advises him, "Marriage is a battle, a terrible journey, a season in hell and a reason for living."
Paperback: 155 pages
Average Customer Review: 3.8/5stars (28 reviews)
Cost from £2.81 (Amazon)

2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin's daring portrait of a woman seeking a life beyond her role as devoted wife and mother
Chopin's slight, brittle and fierce novel became a classic and a cult when it was first published in 1899, shocking readers with its candid and unsentimental portrait of marital infidelity. Though the subject has lost its power to outrage, the novel has not, it remains delicately bitter and acidly angry.
It doesn't seem so daring now, but it's an inspiring model of personal crusading. Written in lyrical, restrained prose, this is not only a historical document of writer ahead of her time, but an enduringly good read.

Paperback: 128 pages
Average Customer Review: 4/5stars (17 reviews)
Cost from £2.81 (Amazon)


1. A PLAY (rather than a book)
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill
Hugely powerful postwar American-Irish drama, and a warning to all men who spend their waking hours in the pub.

This play, first staged in 1946, is written by the author of "Anna Christie" and "Strange Interlude", who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936.

The setting in The Iceman Cometh is a run-down tavern/hotel in NYC run by Harry Hope. The play features a motley crew of characters who spend most of their days and nights drinking and deluding themselves that they will get out of the bar “tomorrow,” stop drinking, and reclaim their respectable positions in society. When the curtain rises, they are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Theodore Hickman, Hickey, a traveling salesman who comes around at least once a year for Harry’s birthday, and he always brings the party with him.

This visit, however, Hickey has an unusual purpose; he has reformed and is selling inner peace rather than a good time.

Paperback: 192 pages
Average Customer Review: 4.5/5stars (3 reviews)
Cost from £4.30 (Amazon)

Help!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done by Oliver Burkeman

Oliver Burkeman is a feature writer for the Guardian. He is a winner of the Foreign Press Association's Young Journalist of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. He writes a popular weekly column on psychology
The brave man undertook to read as many “Self Help” books and psychology research as he could stomach and provides a guide, separating all the schmaltzy hokum on achieving inner bliss from genuinely enlightening research on human happiness.
He makes no promises of massive personality makeovers or psychological transformations, so this really isn’t a self help book, more a logical and entertaining set of musings on managing life.
I’ve actually read this one and enjoyed it – it is very sensible but lots of fun. You might actually learn something useful!

Paperback: 220 pages
Average Customer Review: 4.5/5stars (36 reviews)
Cost from £5.59 (Amazon)
Available on Kindle
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