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Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir (2008)

by Diana Athill

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5873429,272 (3.65)31
An esteemed memoirist and one of the great editors in British publishing examines aging with the grace of Elegy for Iris and the wry irreverence of I Feel Bad About My Neck.

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English (31)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (34)
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I really enjoyed this. I'm 72 with asthma and the corianus virus is coming. I have enjoyed my life and am hoping for more time. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 10, 2020 |
I look forward to hearing conversations and varied wisdoms from senior citizens. Now that I am in my mid 60s, they often serve as a guide on what I can look forward to or from. I enjoyed Ms. Athill's book. It was very honest and touching in many places. She looks upon her life with little regret even as a mistress.

My notes from the book:

Not being able to take dogs for a walk
Sixties- within hailing distance of middle age
Faith-the decision to act as though you believe anything that you have no reason to believe. (Diana is an atheist.)
It's dying (not death) that I am afraid of.
No one past 80 has the right to complain about death.
Re-reading old favorite books
Two regrets: 1) childlessness and 2) never having the guts to escape the narrowness of my life.
God will forgive me, that's his job. ( )
  writemoves | Jun 17, 2019 |
This is such a gentle, gentle-womanly piece of writing. She is not an idle gossip and any hint of criticism is handled very tactfully. I held off reading it for quite a while because reviews had made it sound focussed upon a loss of sexuality with age. The book deals with sex very lightly, and is a well-rounded consideration of many aspects of growing old and dying. It is a straightforward, unsentimental and philosophical retrospective of life, if a little rambling.
  joannajuki | Jan 7, 2019 |
I stayed up much too late finishing this book but did not want to continue it into another day. In about the last chapter she states: There are no lessons to be learned, no discoveries to be made, no solutions to offer. This is not surprisingly her view of herself upon reaching 89 which makes me sad for her. The problem, IMO, is her poor insight into herself. She’s 100 now. Hopefully, she has dug deeper,learned more & can now share her wisdom. ( )
  joyfulmimi | Jul 29, 2018 |
Interesting, but not really as interesting as I expected it to be. I think she'd be a fascinating woman to have tea with, though. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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It ain't no sin
To take off your skin
And dance about
In your bones.

- Edgar Leslie
For Sally, Henry, Jessamy and Beauchamp Bagenal
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Near the park which my bedroom overlooks there came to stay a family which owned a pack of pugs, five or six of them, active little dogs, none of them overweight as pugs so often are.
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An esteemed memoirist and one of the great editors in British publishing examines aging with the grace of Elegy for Iris and the wry irreverence of I Feel Bad About My Neck.

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Average: (3.65)
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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 039306770X, 0393338002

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