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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 24 January 2012
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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on 25 January 2012
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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on 18 September 2012
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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on 27 January 2012
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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on 1 March 2012
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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on 5 February 2012
This is a hysterically funny book about midlife, full of wisdom, jokes and some profound thoughts too. Marcus Berkmann is one of my favourite writers and I think some of the Amazon reviewers have seriously misconstrued this book. There isn't even a whisper of misogyny in here. And those angry little men who though it wasn't funny ought to have a serious examination of their sense of humour... it could be that middle aged grumpiness has dispelled it completely. This is a delightful book and it will make the perfect present for every dad, uncle, cousin, granddad, and a great guide for their wives and girlfriends. Now at last we can peep into the minds of middle aged men. I cannot imagine a more frank or witty account of life in the middle years than this. And now we know what goes on in those garden sheds!
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on 10 April 2012
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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on 28 January 2012
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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on 18 February 2012
I should perhaps explain. Married to a man of a certain age, the sidelong glances I was throwing in his direction whilst reading this book have given me aching eyeballs and the hint of a squint. This, combined with constantly trying to stifle a chuckle and biting a tongue desperate to mutter 'that's you, that is' in a Newman & Baddiel fashion have rendered me a mass of ticks and twitches.

I loved it. I recognised almost all of the symptoms in my fellow sofa-dweller, and am now prepared for those that will almost inevitably manifest themselves over the next few years. As for me, I'd always prided myself on avoiding the slightest whiff of old-fartage, but I now have to shamefully recognise that I'm not quite as fragrant as I'd hoped. Reading the observation that no-one uses the word 'slacks' any more just twenty four hours after I'd said exactly the same thing did it for me.

Buy it for yourself, and buy it for everyone you know over the age of 45. They'll thank you for providing them with evidence that they are not alone.
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on 24 January 2012
Having previously read the author's cricket books, I was not disappointed. Having reached midlife myself(62)I can vouch that this book has taught me that nostalgia isn't quite what it used to be!!
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