About Time: Growing Old Disgracefully

Irma Kurtz

About Time: Growing Old Disgracefully

Something in our world is changing. In ten years time 60% of us will be over 55. The retirement age is likely to move up to 70; modern medicine ensures that most of us will live well in to our 80s and most of us will choose to do some work, paid or voluntary, while we are still physically able. Yet older people have, as yet, no role in modern society. Old age is regarded as an invonvenience, something to be shunned and set apart from our daily lives. In this frank, often funny and always compelling disquisition on ageing, Irma Kurtz sets out to chart the territory through her own and others' experiences. Along the way she meets a diverse group of people whose insights into their own lives have much to offer a younger generation - from a 90-year-old weekly columnist and a vicar still working in his mid-70s to The Good Granny Guide"'s Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall and 'London's Rudest Landlord', Normal Balon of the celebrated Coach and Horses. 3.8 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
About Time: Growing Old Disgracefully

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Family & Lifestyle
Format Hardback
Pages 272
RRP £16.99
Date of Publication March 2009
ISBN 978-1848540231
Publisher John Murray
 

Something in our world is changing. In ten years time 60% of us will be over 55. The retirement age is likely to move up to 70; modern medicine ensures that most of us will live well in to our 80s and most of us will choose to do some work, paid or voluntary, while we are still physically able. Yet older people have, as yet, no role in modern society. Old age is regarded as an invonvenience, something to be shunned and set apart from our daily lives. In this frank, often funny and always compelling disquisition on ageing, Irma Kurtz sets out to chart the territory through her own and others' experiences. Along the way she meets a diverse group of people whose insights into their own lives have much to offer a younger generation - from a 90-year-old weekly columnist and a vicar still working in his mid-70s to The Good Granny Guide"'s Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall and 'London's Rudest Landlord', Normal Balon of the celebrated Coach and Horses.

Reviews

The Guardian

Claire Armistead

She is spiky about the boring old people she encounters at a college reunion, on a cruise liner or on the top deck of buses. But she is wonderful on the unexpected gains of old age: "The young," she says, "are welcome to their efficient short term memories ... Only in us old people can memory achieve its art and its apogee ... in us weary adventurers memory can become a new emotion, fierce, unedited and sensual".

28/03/2009

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The Sunday Times

Jenny Diski

There isn’t much positive here, but why would anyone praise declining mobility, joint pain and the increasing nearness of death?... Perhaps the greatest shock is that Kurtz’s complaints about growing old are common to every generation. All our lives, everything was different for us, yet now, it’s all happening just as it has always happened. She experiments with dressing youthfully and wanders the streets to get a different kind of reaction, but she seems to prove only that the old do not look young even if they wear tight jeans and jangly earrings...

05/04/2009

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The Times

Iain Finlayson

...her life on the hoof has given her a wide, worldly experience and she has acquired wisdom that she defines as “the apotheosis of common sense”. Here she tells not only her own story but has also drafted the likes of the supergranny Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, the mouthy publican Norman Balon, the DIY stylist Jocasta Innes and other “pioneers” of New Age old age to say what, besides cheerfulness and bloody-mindedness, keeps them going. Excelsior!

07/03/2009

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