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lgpiper

Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

Don't Ever Get Old

Don't Ever Get Old - Daniel  Friedman Baruch (Buck) Schatz was once a legend in the Memphis police department. He has been retired for some 30 years now and is 85 or so. Basically all he does is watch TV, take pills, and go to funerals.

One of his former army buddies, Jim Wallace, calls Buck to his hospital room for a final confession, so to speak. It seems that Wallace had seen the head of the Nazi prison camp where they had been interred, Heinrich Zeigler, escaping at the end of the war. Zeigler had bribed Wallace to let him pass the check point with a bar of gold. It was clear to Wallace that Zeigler had many more bars of gold. Schatz was upset by this betrayal. Zeigler had almost beaten Schatz to death just before the camp was "liberated", and Schatz wants revenge, perhaps the gold as well.

So, with the help of his grandson, Tequilla (William), Schatz contrives to find Zeigler and the gold. But, along the way, other people have cravings for the gold. Also, a bunch of bodies pile up, apparently related, but how?

So, it's a sort of interesting story. Lots of folks will think that Buck is a lovable character because he is an irascible, elderly Jew, and what's not to love about plucky old Jews? Well, I thought Buck was rather an asshole, and I didn't find him all that funny. Being an old person myself, albeit not yet in Buck's league of elderliness, I'm a bit sensitive about old people using age as an excuse for assholism. Lighting up cigarettes in churches and hospitals is not funny, it's a sign the character is a narcissistic asshole who deserves to be put down.

My spouse thought I should read this book so as to learn about the experiences of others who are facing the problems of aging. I'm on board with doing that, but not if I'm to be learning from self-absorbed assholes. I'll not be reading another book in this series.