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Sixty: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning? Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 29 2015

3.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (Sept. 29 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307362841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307362841
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.5 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER 
FINALIST 
2016 – RBC Taylor Prize

“Brown manages to be both hilarious and serious, and I found his book impossible to put down. When I finished, I went right back to the beginning and started over. . . . [T]houghtful, heartfelt, and fearless. . . . Sixty is a lucid look at a particular kind of contemporary life. . . . [I]t’s evident long before you reach the end that Brown has worked arduously on his prose, crafting sentences and adjusting pace. His ultimate message—to pay attention, to keep our eyes open, to look at ‘what is coming down the road’—is vital.” —Quill and Quire (starred review) 

“Sixty may find [Brown’s] biggest audience yet; there are so many of us in the same creaky boat. Written with [Brown’s] trademark gutsy candour, and full of self-deprecating wit. . . . [E]difying . . . accessible. . . . One of the book’s many charms is its distinctly male point of view.” —Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us EverythingThe Globe and Mail 

“[W]ickedly honest and brutally funny.” —Global News

“[F]unny, honest and profound.” —CBC 

“Brown applies his precise insights and self-deprecating humour to the universal anxiety about aging.” —Ottawa Citizen 

“Like everything Brown writes, there’s a smooth quality to the prose. The reader is carried along effortlessly on Brown’s thought waves, his regrets (he has wasted his life) and his follies (overspending yet dedicating himself entirely to underpaid journalism). Readers are granted a rare private tour of a very bright, introspective and sensitive man’s brain. It’s raw, it’s real and it’s scary as hell.”—Winnipeg Free Press

“Brown’s diaries . . . are more than readable. They are, despite his doubts, a fascinating blend of astute observation, penetrating insight and self-deprecating good humour. . . . [W]ry and hilarious. . . . [Sixty] taps his own inner and outer lives and the reader is rewarded by Brown’s musings on the existential angst he believes sets in after sixty. . . . [A] unique blend of realism and bravado. . . . Brown’s book is crisp, candid and wonderfully written. No reader, of any age, should miss it.” —The Sarnia Observer 

“I would read anything Ian Brown writes. This is a particular pleasure: Humane, funny, dark, wry, and utterly engrossing.”—Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
 
“Finding out Ian Brown has turned sixty is like finding out my bad little brother has turned sixty: I’d expect him to have a disarming, slightly disreputable take on this least interesting of birthdays (long now in my rearview mirror). And with Sixty, I’m certainly not disappointed. Ever the witty, ever the mischievous, observant and likable, Ian Brown has written a book that other sixty-year-olds can keep on their breakfast table, to dip into with their Ovaltine. It’s a splendid companion book to aging—a condition when ordinary companionship is, frankly, not always that agreeable.”—Richard Ford
 
“I’ve been reading Ian Brown since before I needed reading glasses. He’s wise—poetic even—and willing to be unabashedly petty, which is what makes this book so funny and almost too true.”
Sarah Vowell, New York Times–bestselling author of seven books, most recently Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
 
“Ian Brown is so wise and insightful and funny about the indignities of turning sixty that he makes those of us who haven’t yet reached that harrowing birthday believe that maybe it won’t be so bad. Surely, once we get there, we’ll all be as wise and insightful and funny as Ian is. We won’t, of course: This book, like its author, is one of a kind. A wonderful, inspiring, occasionally cringe-inducing chronicle of a very human year.”—Paul Tough, author of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why

About the Author

IAN BROWN is an author and a feature writer for the Globe and Mail whose work has won many National Magazine and National Newspaper awards. His most recent book, The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son, was a national bestseller and a New York Times and Globe and Mail Best Book. It was also the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Trillium Book Award. His previous books includeFreewheeling, which won the National Business Book Award, and the provocative examination of modern masculinity, Man Overboard. He lives in Toronto.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a 59 year old I bought this looking for a guide book on my journey into the abyss. What I found instead was a tightly coiled bundle of self absorbed dark navel lint.

An interesting and readable account but it was like watching a car crash in slow motion. Seriously, Ian, lighten up. At 60 you may have polished off more than half the glass but complaining about your lack of accomplishment and lack of money while jetting around the world, skiing, swimming, biking and getting paid to write interesting stories for a top newspaper.. ? And publish a book about it? WTF? .. Really more indulgent than insightful or inspiring.

As 'they' say: Success is wanting what you have not getting what you want. Reminds me NOT to keep a journal.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ian Brown, one of Canada's best feature writers has delivered a funny, thought-provoking look at what happened to the sixty years we've just run through. How did they slip away so quickly and why didn't we achieve more - professionally, financially and personally? Surely there's not a person of 60 or thereabouts, who won't be drawn in to all or part of this tale.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a fan of all of Ian Brown's writing and this book is no exception. He writes about his experience of the darker, troubling side of being human without shame. He gets to the nub of issues with which we all struggle and describes them with compassion and elegance. I am reading this book slowly because I want to savour his phrasing, better understand the literature he references and get a glimpse of what may be ahead for me.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved Ian Brown’s book. If I have one criticism—and it’s minor—it’s that he’s too hard on himself. I worry that he might be suffering a low-grade depression. He seems to have arrived at the threshold of retirement with a sackful of regrets—that he didn’t write the great novel he always planned to write; that he isn’t better off financially; that he no longer has the physical and mental prowess of his misspent youth. Brown is heavily influenced and inspired by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, an articulate, reflective and minutely detailed six-volume account of his daily life. And Knausgaard is only forty-five years old.
Brown details the inevitable physiological disappointments that accompany aging—prostate concerns, glaucoma, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, hearing aids, rosacea, skin tags and even his recently discovered hemorrhoid that he fondly named George, who has become an important part of his persona, sadly replacing his former preoccupation with sex. As a result of once listening to his mother-in-law and her friends endlessly talking about their operations, strokes and hernias, he promised that he would never do the same. “I would talk about literature and ideas” he says, adding “Now I talk about operations, strokes and hernias. hemorrhoids even. I used to talk about sex but no one wants to anymore. Despite its cynicism, the entire book is written with humour and honesty.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excerpt in a magazine made me want to buy the book. Unfortunately it was in my mind the only section of the book with much interest and even that did not go far enough. You don't have to be old at sixty.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a disappointment. I say this as someone who has always enjoyed Brown's feature articles in the Globe and elsewhere. I've been consistently impressed by how quickly he can write a great article relevant to the times, on various issues. This book, however, while entertaining and informative for the first 100 pages loses its impact as it turns to summarizing wikipedia descriptions of the ailments of aging and focuses more on his general neuroses and frequent vacations. He repeatedly bemoans his poor finances for the first 50 pages and then describes leisure trips to Banff, England, Italy, August on the beach outside of Boston and Colorado for Christmas skiing, all of this paired up with talking of doing a kitchen remodel and buying a used boutique bike. If you're a yuppie or wannabe yuppie, this book may be for you if you're closing in on 60, but for the average person, his self-pitying pose surrounded by a world of affluence will turn you off so that what's generally enlightening about aging becomes an afterthought.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm only partway through the book but so far I'd have to say Mr. Brown's view of aging is rather dour not what I had hoped to read. Nonetheless he is a descriptive and entertaining writer so I expect to finish the book and perhaps I'll be surprised with a change of his view as I read further.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A hard book to put down. At 57 ( nearly 58) I am comforted by his notions of life and it's passing. Thanks Ian for giving us this close inspection of a life worth living. A life filled with love, compassion, and humour.
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