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A Shed Of One's Own: Midlife Without the Crisis Paperback – 19 Jan 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408703238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408703236
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.9 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`A Shed of One's Own is warm, funny and wise, the antidote to Jeremy Clarkson, the Daily Mail, Grumpy Old Men and the other tools of the rage industry that stoke anger and pomposity in the middle aged . . . A sort of "Zen and the Art of Midlife Management".' --Mark Wilson, Independent on Sunday

'In A Shed of One's Own, [Markus Berkmann] treats all the familiar humilations, collapses and subterfuges of late middle age in a ruefully humorous style' --David Sexton, Evening Standard

Book Description

* A hilarious book about male midlife, from the inimitable humour of Marcus Berkmann

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lol on 24 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the Radio 4 reading so engaging that I thought I'd like to read this superb satirical book. Whilst preparing to download this to my kindle I read a very negative and angry one star review. It's all in the eye/ear of the beholder.
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Saw a two-page write up of this book in one of the daily newspapers and knew instantly that I needed to get this book. Really pleased to see the Kindle version was cheaper than the paperback (not always the case!!) and downloaded it the same evening. Read it over the next two days. I am 57 and this guy put my life's story down as if he knew me personally. So we are all the same boat - nice to know, comforting in fact, like my slippers. If you are an over 50s male this really should be compulsory reading - in fact this would be good reading for any over 30s male to show you what's coming up and give you ggod warning. A great laugh on every page - even when it bordered on the serious stuff like pegging it :)
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This is a must-read for anyone creeping towards the wonderland that is middle age, or anyone wishing to understand what it's like to live there. But beware: this is not just a light-hearted journey. I've rarely, if ever, read a book that had me weeping with laughter on one page and weeping with despair on the next. For among the wit and one-liners are many insights in to the inherent tragicomedy that is midlife. Admittedly that is probably because, at 50, I see my own life on every other page. But if you are, say, 30, to read this is to see your future mapped out like never before. Paradoxically, it's all rather comforting.
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Format: Paperback
Like others, it seems, I was drawn to this book by the Radio 4 abridged reading. It might seem that everything has already been said - in humorous non-fiction at least - about the hapless, obsessive, over-reaching, under-achieving, slightly autistic middle aged male. Ever since the memoir Fever Pitch (and its follow up novel Hi Fidelity) the publishing world has welcomed perceptive, well-observed, entertaining dissections of what it means to be a 40-something bloke in a post-generation gap age. Some accounts have been more successful than others, but as a connoisseur (and perfect target reader) in this area, I have to say that Marcus Berkmann's masterpiece really sets the benchmark. It is almost addictively compelling and so hugely generous and likeable that it never once slips into self-pity or self-aggrandisement. It is self-deprecating without a shred of pessimism, it is accepting without ever being resigned. It simply sparkles with jewels of knowledge, experience, insight and wit. The extraordinary acceleration of time, the shocking encroachment of body hair, the puzzle of marriage, the challenge of children; all these and many more subjects are tackled in such expertly crafted and winning prose that even with a final chapters about death you finally put the book down, reluctantly accepting that you've finished it, and actually feeling really rather cheered up.
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This is an excellent book for those of us in "middle age". The first half is a tongue-in-cheek review of attitudes and reactions to the changes in life as men approach their later years. The second half is more serious, but nevertheless a very perspicacious analysis of the impact of the way life has treated men, and how they react to it. Altogether, it is a good commentary on men's lives, and well worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I find myself agreeing with him and being shocked at how well he describes what I am thinking in places. I am listening to it on BBC Radio. One of those books that contains info that no one speaks of but everyone thinks. I will be 43 this year and a woman and I find some of his assertions are a bit off the mark regarding women, too sweeping a generalisation and self-assured of course, but I guess that is the tone and style of the book. All in all a well written, amusing and instructive read. I just hope there was some measure of hope for us all, that after 40 life does not go downhill and there is some hope that you could still re-invent yourself and be whatever you want to be?
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I have long been a fan of Marcus's work, include rain men, monkey dust (tv) and so on. Many of the characters in this book were familar to me, both in that I recognised the same changes in my own life and also in that I recognised some of the characters described, as people that I was at school with! So a very enjoyable collection of wry observations, enhanced with good humour. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Marcus Berkmann's often hilarious, laugh out loud observations of middle class, middle age angst rang a worrying amount of bells for me. Most concerning however were the observations that didn't quite ring true.. yet. Mind you, being a little younger than the author I imagine it is simply a matter of time.

Some of the 'loife' subjects covered are pubs (mega-genius), anger, envy, decrepitude, progeny, matching/dispatching, laziness, dribbly willies, sports (no ping pong though), dosh, ear hair (oh lordy lordy lord), oldies, the good old grim reaper and erm.. quite a lot about bus journeys.

The book jacket should really have some kind of 'Government Wife Warning' as the contents within is generally female unfriendly but in a good way - if such a thing were possible which in this day and age of political correctness clearly is not. Obviously.

Read it and weap with laughter whilst concurrently raging at the dying of the light. Who says men cannot multi-task?
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