The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

Book - 2002
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'Herz wondered if the people he passed on the street ruminated on lost causes, as he did. Try as he might to divert himself, he could never escape the suspicion that he should be elsewhere.' Herz is seventy-three and facing the difficult question: what is he going to do with the rest of his life? How is it all going to end? He could propose marriage to an old friend he hasn't seen for thirty years; he could travel, he could make a trip to Paris to see a favourite painting; he could sell his flat, move, start afresh. He must do something with the time left but what?
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2002.
ISBN: 9780670913022
Characteristics: 246 p. ;,23 cm.


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Aug 24, 2018

A challenging book but worthwhile. Brookner writes about the outsider so well. Herz is an exile from Germany living in England. We get his entire life in hindsight as he thinks about his life during his old age. I enjoyed seeing society through his eyes, the way thinking positively can be abused as an armor against any real conversation, the way modern women live and work, the way the elderly have to live, what is expected of them, how treacherous it is to stray outside their acceptable range of behaviors, the smile, the nod, being a listener, not offering advice, certainly not having any desires. A lifetime of dignity can be compromised with a single indiscretion.

This book is a work of art showing old age and displacement with some startling insights about society, families and loneliness.

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