Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rules for Old Men Waiting - Peter Pouncey

This was an engrossing read, unfolding quietly, leading the reader to an understanding of one individual's loneliness at the end of life.  MacIver is a recent widow, living alone near a northeast coast, facing a cold winter and a terminal illness.  A former journalist and historian, he embarks on writing a fictional story of soldiers he interviewed in the past.  In spinning their tales, he tells the story of his own life and family and comes to acceptance of the closing of his time.

The story is tightly written and we understand his sorrow and depression that he battles to have meaning and purpose in his life.  He explains at one time when reflecting on a conversation with his wife:

"You know, the cruel thing about depression is not that it makes you see the world darkly....[it's that it] removes all flashes of energy or concentration, ensures that you can never complete anything.  Depression as depth fatigue".

I enjoyed getting inside the old man's head, understanding his life and admiring his courage.

Published:  2003   Read: November 2013   Genre: Fiction

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