I “Old Age. A Beginner’s Guide” by Michael Kinsley
The title grabbed my attention but with full disclosure I admit I have not read his latest book. I was a little amazed that someone in his 60’s was experienced enough to write a book about aging despite his literary credentials, and brush with an early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. I inserted my recent shot of a tortoise taken on the Galapagos this winter as a symbol of aging — slowly but well! Hope you find it humorous!
Kinsley maintains in a book review that baby boomers will be living longer and will be churning out more and more memoirs as we age, and become afflicted with the diseases of older age. I guess he wanted to be among the first or be a trail blazer in this category.
The book is described as short, funny and packaged in a way to make it an excellent impulse purchase. I will be sure to check it out the next time I am at an airport!
Helpful or Humorous?
The review of this book will have us believe that the book is more funny than informative. This is a good thing. A sense of humor will get us far and with Kingley’s diagnosis this is a must have quality. He points out a fellow boomer, Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle who apparently is well invested in living forever, and has spent a fortune to figure out a way. He is quoted as saying, ” Death has never made any sense to me.” Kingsley’s reaction is to retort: “Actually the question is not whether death makes sense to Larry Ellison but whether Ellison makes sense to death.”
He is also pragmatic in his attitude towards losing ones memory as we age. He predicts that one out of three boomers will eventually suffer from some form of dementia. Colorfully he describes his position by saying, ” They are jogging everyday, but will get Alzheimer’s anyway.”
The book apparently is not about old age. See first paragraph above! Kingsley makes a point of powerfully using this book as a way of possibly engaging boomers to think about their legacy. He suggests they try to eradicate the national debt by having their money taxed after death in a way that would accomplish something equivalent to the Greatest Generation’s achievement in World War II.
He’s a good writer and some of his essays are from the New Yorker and The Atlantic. This could just be my next impulse buy!