Old Age: A Beginner's Guide

Old Age A Beginner s Guide Vanity Fair columnist Michael Kinsley escorts his fellow Boomers through the door marked Exit The notorious baby boomers the largest age cohort in history are approaching the end and starting to plan

  • Title: Old Age: A Beginner's Guide
  • Author: Michael E. Kinsley
  • ISBN: 9781101903766
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Vanity Fair columnist Michael Kinsley escorts his fellow Boomers through the door marked Exit The notorious baby boomers the largest age cohort in history are approaching the end and starting to plan their final moves in the game of life Now they are asking What was that all about Was it about acquiring things or changing the world Was it about keeping all your marblVanity Fair columnist Michael Kinsley escorts his fellow Boomers through the door marked Exit The notorious baby boomers the largest age cohort in history are approaching the end and starting to plan their final moves in the game of life Now they are asking What was that all about Was it about acquiring things or changing the world Was it about keeping all your marbles Or is the only thing that counts after you re gone the reputation you leave behind In this series of essays, Michael Kinsley uses his own battle with Parkinson s disease to unearth answers to questions we are all at some time forced to confront Sometimes, he writes, I feel like a scout from my generation, sent out ahead to experience in my fifties what even the healthiest Boomers are going to experience in their sixties, seventies, or eighties This surprisingly cheerful book is at once a fresh assessment of a generation and a frequently funny account of one man s journey toward the finish line The least misfortune can do to make up for itself is to be interesting, he writes Parkinson s disease has fulfilled that obligation.
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      Published :2019-06-08T04:42:01+00:00

    857 Comment

    • Melki says:

      No one wants to think about getting old and dying, right?And since we don't even want to contemplate the idea, we sure as hell don't want to talk about the subject, even though that may not be a completely bad thing -- to hash out our fears and wishes for what lies in the not-too-distant future. So, we get on with our lives, and try not to think too much about that "scary thing" that awaits us all. But, sometimes, as the author tells us, we get a valuable warning shot from the Grim Reaper.Kinsle [...]

    • Melanie says:

      "Surprisingly cheerful" is not how I would describe this book, amazon notwithstanding. Nor is it a "beginner's guide to aging" unless the reader, like Michael Kinsley, has been given a diagnosis of early-onset Parkinson's disease after a career in political analysis and online innovation. Kinsley is not Everyman.Most of the chapters in this slim book were originally published in The New Yorker. An editor should have eliminated repetition (sometimes verbatim), as well as the last chapter (a possi [...]

    • Mrs. Danvers says:

      Really more of a 2.5 star read. Much of it has been published previously and as a consequence of collecting the essays from a number of different sources, it is repetitious both in thoughts expressed and in the phrasing that expresses them. I came to this one expecting something more along the lines of The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead and I recommend that book by far over this one.

    • Scott says:

      I should have trusted my instinct here, that little voice whispering "good god Scott don't read this book you can't stand Michael Kinsley and his smug elitist ilk", but I still hit "buy" because as I get more middle-aged I'm more and more interested in what people say it actually feels like to get old and die. And, yes, the misleadingly-named "Old Age: A Beginner's Guide" was a mistake. This is a poorly edited, uncharming, shallow money grab mostly about how Kinsley has lived with Parkinson's fo [...]

    • Shawn says:

      Might also have been appropriately titled, "Old Age: An Old Man's Rant". And, it felt very much like that -- a rant by someone who is at the end of a lifetime of ranting and decides to give it one more go. The author's personality comes through. He's witty, he's intelligent, he's self-important -- but for some reason you aren't totally put off by it -- and he's worried about being forgotten. I could offer him the consolation that no one can forget someone they have no idea about in the first pla [...]

    • Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee says:

      DNF.I'm so fortunate that I didn't get an arc of this book from someplace that requires a review. I got it from Netgalley and I'm going to explain to the publisher that I'm thankful for their generosity but that I'm not going to finish nor review it at anyplace like .So depressing. Part of this might not have been the author's fault. One of my dearest friends in the world passed away very quickly. Her last full meal was on Thanksgiving. Diagnosis the two weeks later. Gone by the end of Snowpocol [...]

    • Judy Collins says:

      A special thank you to Crown and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 StarsMichael Kinsley writes about his take on aging—OLD AGE: A Beginner's Guide, an exit strategy for Boomers, born between 1946-1964, entering life’s last chapter. Remembered for being ambitious and competitive? The largest age cohort in American history. Death, illness, and time.How will you use your time?Kinsley (65)writes honestly about his own illness, early-onset Parkinson’s and the three ways [...]

    • Lizzie says:

      I was disappointed. I thought it would tell me something useful. It was very repetitive. I got the point a long time ago, quality of life vs how many years I will live. Being disabled a couple of years ago and my career ending at age 53 as a result, what I was looking for wasn't here. The only chapter I found interesting was the last one. Being born at the end of the boomer generation in 1959, I agree that we created jogging and the sold all the accoutrements, making a profit from it. Rather tha [...]

    • Tina says:

      Humorous take on the Boomer generation with a lot of truth behind the discussion of aging, illness, and, most importantly, the legacy the Boomers may/may not wish to leave the Gen X and Millennial children and grandchildren they will eventually leave behind. A big feat given that the previous generation (the Boomers' parents/grandparents), the "Great Generation", emerging victorious in their participation in World War II. If for no other reason, pick it up to solely read Chapter 7.

    • Robin says:

      Depressingly honest.

    • Jackie says:

      Parts of this collection of essays were quite funny. Reading the book is like spending an afternoon with a clever guy who is interested in himself more than in you- amusing but something missing. However the chapter on Parkinson's and denial made the time spent worthwhile,

    • Jill says:

      Granted, I'm not in the target audience for this book (baby boomers), but I was hoping for more interesting or insightful reflections on aging. Kinsley has Parkinson's, and much of the book focuses on this particular health problem, which I found to be an unwanted distraction. However, if readers begin this book knowing that it's focus is not what's advertised on the cover, you'd likely have a better reading experience.

    • Msjodi777 says:

      This is a short one, but well worth the 2 month wait I went thru at my library's OD site. Quite interesting, and a bit scary. This is one I will come back to again. <><

    • Addie says:

      Funny in parts, but underwhelming. I also recognize I'm not his intended audience (baby boomers).

    • Sheila says:

      Quick read about Parkinson’s and aging and what the Boomers can do to redeem themselves. Since I’m not a Boomer, some of it missed the mark for me. This guy is wicked smart for sure.

    • Mark says:

      This is a thought provoking and yet decidedly odd little book by journalist and uber-editor Michael Kinsley, who helped found the online magazine Slate. Twenty years ago, Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He was not as young as Michael J. Fox when he got word, but nevertheless, he has lived with the disorder for much longer than most patients. As he enters his 60s, he put together this slim book with the idea that his diagnosis had given him the burden and the privilege of entering [...]

    • Anita says:

      I really liked this slim volume. Written by a baby boomer for baby boomers about baby boomers, I'm not exactly the target audience (too young). Still, professionally speaking, I'm very interested in discussions of longevity and mortality. Probably 80% of my clients are boomers. And generally speaking, it is never too early to think about and plan for old age and its potential accompanying infirmities. I wasn't familiar with the author before reading this book. I was very impressed with his style [...]

    • Judith says:

      The author was born in 1951 and has had Parkinson's Disease since 1993. I share his birth year and his young-onset diagnosis of PD, so I am sure that colors my impression of this book. Having said that, this was a great book. You don't have to have any interest in PD to appreciate this book but it helps if you are a baby-boomer because that's the real subject of the book, which could be subtitled: baby-boomers face their mortality. It helps that the author is a long time published journalist wri [...]

    • Jmpalad says:

      this book was so damn pompous. it's as if publishers had to be goaded to pull through with this book, guilted by the looming fact he had Parkinson's to be quite honest. there were too many unnecessary percentages, calculations unneeded to get whatever simply defining point across. (the few being: better to have your marbles then go old and senile, DBS is a game changer, BB generation can economically save us all [pshh yeah o k]). a couple tens of pages expanded about DBS yet it could have been c [...]

    • Sandy says:

      This in my opinion is a 2.5. I was surprised to read that most of the book was discussing his early diagnosis of early on set Parkinson disease. My father also had Parkinson's but his was acquired in his early seventies. I am (I guess) a baby boomer and when Mr. Kinsley said "And then, at some point, death becomes a normal part of life-a faint dirge in the background that gradually gets louder." I found my self thinking "hum that is part of life, right." I read some where that the day we are bor [...]

    • Jim Robles says:

      A poignant read: I lost a dear friend, and far better man that I ever dreamt of being, to Parkinson's.Oh yeah! Also a searing indictment of the "Baby Boomer Consensus."The thirtieth book I have finished this year.p. 34. You can't really criticize people whose reason for opposing research that uses embryos is that they truly bp. 40. The hospital printout of all the things you can't do afterwards describes DBS as "major brain surgery." Is there such a thing as minor brain surgery?That resonates. M [...]

    • Laura says:

      This was a very enjoyable book, up until the last chapter. At which point, the book turned a bit political and a tad preachy. It's Mr. Kinsley's prerogative, it's his book after all. In all honesty, I would not mind at all if the Boomers all decide, as a show of sacrifice, in honor of their parents' generation's sacrifices, to pay off the national debt in the ways that Mr. Kinsley suggests. I don't think it's likely at all and I think that the book would have been better without that last chapte [...]

    • Seth Fiegerman says:

      If there is such a thing as a breezy read about aging, chronic illness and accepting that you'll be forgotten after you die, this is it. Kinsey chronicles life with Parkinson's and his gradual acceptance that it has deteriorated his cognitive abilities and the way he is viewed by others. He no longer has the freedom he once enjoyed to be fully part of -- and competitive in -- the career-driven, passion-pursuing world of adulthood. This is the unwelcome realization he expects his ambitious peers [...]

    • Ron S says:

      A surprisingly entertaining, readable, even cheerful book about losing one's physical and mental faculties and the inevitable demise that awaits us all. The final chapter might not go down well, particular with American readers, but I applaud Kinsley not being afraid to voice a controversial opinion and take a position that the majority likely won't applaud. Because of the questions and subjects it raises are universal, this is a great book for anyone, but more particularly if you're age 40 plus [...]

    • Martha says:

      Comedy about aging and Parkinson's Disease. Essays in Kinsey's typical funny and charming voice leading the boomers into the last phase of their outsize existence. I get to feel superior b/c I'm a war baby. But my husband has Parkinson's, so I can attest to the accuracy, valor and laughs with which Kinsley faces the condition he says aged him early rendering him qualified to lead the boomers toward the exit. But there's much more besides Parkinson's, and you don't have to have or know about it i [...]

    • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance says:

      You can reframe your fifties as the new forties. You can pile on the hair color and Botox and all of the other magical transformative potions. Nevertheless, we Boomers have been shocked to discover we have become old. Boomers have traveled every other path---childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, parenting years---together. This book is a little book of essays about that trip into old age. And our guide? A fellow Boomer who has, in addition to regular old age troubles, suffered from Parkinson' [...]

    • Bradley says:

      Right before this year's birthday I was feeling down and went to the library looking for books to make me feel better. I turned 40 this year (2016) and I thought that a book named "Old Age: A Beginner's Guide" would give me a heads up on this whole aging process. This book turned out to be less of a beginner's guide and more Michael Kinsley's ruminations on his life with Parkinson's. It wasn't the book I was looking for but it was still a pretty good read.

    • Mala Ashok says:

      I was rather disappointed with this book. I had expected a humorous account of getting old and an insightful look at its trials and tribulations. What I got instead was an account mostly of Parkinson's Disease. Not to devalue this in any way but a more general description would have been more interesting.

    • Susan Csoke says:

      Michael Kinsley is a Baby Boomer, born between 1946 and 1964. Sadly in 1993 he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. But this book is more than that, its also about growing old and the reality of it all. A must read for anyone and everyone!!!!! THANK YOU FIRSTREADS FOR THIS FREE BOOK!!!!!

    • Peg (Marianna) DeMott says:

      Must not have been much in the mood to think about dying! Really this is more of a memoir of a man afflicted with Parkinson's and the ins and outs of that disease more than anything. There is a healthy reminder to the boomer generation that yes, the times they are a changing.

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