The Dark at the End of the Tunnel

I've been meaning to read James Atlas's book My Life in the Middle Ages for a long time.   I'm finally reading it (well, listening) because  a lot of things are conspiring to make me think about aging, the passage of time, and ... death.  Amazon reviewers complain that Atlas does a lot of moaning, whining, and wallowing. He's self-indulgent in the face of things that everyone has to go through.  But then again, if you start thinking about "life in the middle ages" you just do wind up in a whiny, wallowing state. What else would you want in a book on this subject?  With any luck, he'll whine and wallow in some interesting way.  Or he'll be just 2-3% more whiny and self-indulgent than me, so I'll get a chance to feel superior. This cannot help but go reasonably well, I think.  Anyhow, I'm 2/3 of the way through and find the guy good pretty good company. 

Speaking of time and aging and kids growing up and resentment and all that ... another book about these things, but more upbeat (ultimately) is Jennifer Egan's book A Visit from the Goon Squad. In her picture, much really bad crap in life gets redeemed, whereas in Atlas's memoir, crap is just crap.  Goon Squad is an ingenious "puzzle" book -- as in, it's a book that reader has to figure out, and the figuring out is very satisfying. 

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