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A Curious Earth by Gerard Woodward
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A Curious Earth

by Gerard Woodward

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Woodward is writing here about issues of direct personal relevance to me - life in the later years, how a sense of self-worth is affected by no longer being part of the paid workforce, how our relationship with our children changes as we become more child-like ourselves as degeneration forces us to be more dependent on others - so I guess it's not altogether surprising that I connected to this story. Other authors could address these issues much less convincingly, however. Woodward seems to have a knack of getting an exceptionally good balance between the potentially boring true life detail of life after 70, and the need to write a story which gives (younger?) readers enough interest to keep wanting to turn the pages. ( )
  oldblack | Dec 25, 2016 |
A bit of a let down after the first two, but well worth reading if you've been following the Jones family. They're all unpleasant in some way or another (with the partial exception of Juliette), and this book is Aldous' turn to face the music. The point being that if everyone's unpleasant... well, let he who is without sin and all that. It's possible to love people who are profoundly unsympathetic, while also taking a warning from their misdeeds. But 'August' and 'I'll Go to sleep...' were great because of the interactions between family members, and Aldous' profoundly dull and unsuitable crushes don't make up for the absence of Janus and Colette. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
a hard book to give a review, it started out very strong and sort of limped to the finish line. it seems anymore the only way writers can finish their novel is by having the main character die. it is the story of a older man, his wife recently died, he is alone and has to "re invent" his life. a good theme but as i say it was weak in the finish ( )
  michaelbartley | Jun 20, 2009 |
Hauntingly beautiful novel about Aldous Jones, a retired art school teacher whose wife has just died, and his relationship (or not) with his children.
Each word so perfectly chosen, so descriptive and beautiful and sad and funny. ( )
  coolmama | Jan 7, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393330974, Paperback)

In this successor to his Man Booker Prize finalist, Gerard Woodward slyly pits defiant Aldous Jones against the hazards of aging.

Left with an empty house after the death of his wife, Aldous Jones is tempted to spend the whole day sitting in his chair in the kitchen. But with admirable determination he resumes old pastimes until, one day, wandering London, he is surprised to find a painting that holds him completely in its spell. Rembrandt's portrait of his housekeeper-turned-mistress, Hendrijcke Stoffels, awakens Jones's desire for a new life, a new woman, sex, and companionship. It leads him to Belgium to stay with his bohemian son, to evening language classes, and through a series of slightly misguided relationships until eventually he meets his Hendrijcke. As The Guardian writes, this work is "brave, funny, and beautifully written, as perceptive about Rembrandt and Shakespeare as it is about evening classes, potato tubers sprouting in neglected cupboards and the accumulated detritus of family life."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the follow-up to 'I'll Go To Bed At Noon', Gerard Woodward concludes his trilogy of novels about his family with a poignant look at old age, loneliness and being young at heart.

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W.W. Norton

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